Brothers Paul and Matthew Zappoli and friend Michael Cacciuttolo went out into the world to make their fortunes, but a chance to build something together brought them back to New Jersey. A friendship that began on a Little League baseball diamond has now taken root in Tre Amici (or "three friends"), where the trio serve Old World comfort food in an inviting and comfortable environment. Chef Matthew Zappoli, a 2010 winner of Food Network's Chopped expertly plates Italian favorites, such as chicken piccata or veal parmesan. Each bite attests to epicurean abilities, honed at the Culinary Institute of America, that have earned the chef praise from Bon Appétit and appearances as the featured chef at The James Beard House.
Hand-crafted pasta lounges in fresh sauce, and local ingredients make up appetite-trouncing accouterments. On some weekend evenings, warm tangles of guitar notes drift from the playing area laid out before the wood-burning oven. And a row of outdoor seats lets diners bask in the sun or maintain the hope that a lost kite will still come back.
Brush Salon is a study in contrast. Mirrors hang from brick walls and metal fixtures hang like street lamps to give the interior a rustic, welcoming air, but each station is lined with advanced products and staffed by a stylist continually trained to stay abreast of hair trends. This duality matches the salon’s approach to hair services, which combines cutting-edge beauty techniques with an attention to each customer’s comfort and goals. Clients are encouraged to bring pictures or magazine clippings to the salon, allowing stylists to duplicate their favorite celebrity looks or articulate what went wrong with their favorite celebrity marriages. If customers are not pleased with their haircut, color, or retexturing services, they can return within a week and stylists will fix the looks at no charge.
The Dockside Restaurant offers superbly prepared classic dishes in a setting like no other. Located on the waterfront where Granville Island faces the city, guests can enjoy panoramic views across False Creek to the world-famous cityscape of Yaletown and beyond to the mountains of the North Shore.
Sailboats breeze through the harbor outside of The Dockside, where chefs create a seafood-studded menu laden with comfort foods and upscale options. Appetizers summon jaws to action and include spiced Maryland crab cakes and lamb-chop lollipops, which are ideal for rewarding kids after dentist visits or pairing with cooling mint tzatziki sauce. After couples or quartets clear their starters, servers whisk out entrees such as succulent lobster rolls or pan-seared diver scallops awash in a balsamic reduction and trimmed with truffled potato puree and garlicky spinach. Chefs also braise Angus short ribs and sprinkle panko on five-cheese-sauced penne pasta that is studded, like the Jolly Green Giant’s belt, with broccoli rabe.
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