At Horizons Restaurant & Bar, owner and classically trained chef Mark Melikian uses farm-fresh ingredients to craft his seasonal menu of upscale American and European-inspired cuisine. He loads Maine lobster onto a plate of baked mac and cheese and pairs oven-roasted Atlantic cod with scampi-style shrimp and roasted baby red potatoes, which should be eaten quickly before they start teething. Other dishes include fried Camembert cheese with honey Dijon mustard for dipping and a nine-ounce, pan-blackened filet mignon with melted gorgonzola and a marsala-accented demi glaze. Each of Chef Melikian's artistic plates complements the elegant ambiance of his dining room, where stained glass chandeliers and fresh flowers create a gentle, romantic environment.
Chef Amelia Alves updates her family’s old recipes with new twists at Solmar Restaurant and Pub, where she sends both Portuguese and American classics from the kitchen to the dining room. Clams, shrimp, and lobster join grilled steaks and pork cutlets on the eclectic menu, which also features options for kids and favorites such as hamburgers and wraps. Diners pair their delicacies with draft foreign and domestic beers and a rotating selection of red and white wines.
When not hosting a cooking show on the local LCTV, The Melting Pot’s family of owners craft a belly-warming menu of burgers, wraps, specialty sandwiches, and hearty dinners. Sidle into a booth for a showdown with the Cowboy burger ($6.99), a slab of beef slung with onion-ring bandoleers and slathered in enough barbecue sauce to fill an unsuspecting coworker's stetson. An appetizer of cheesesteak eggrolls ($5.99) gives taste buds a savory segue into the clam roll ($3.50), which stuffs mollusks into a grilled hot-dog shell lined with lettuce and tartar sauce. At the sound of the dinner sousaphone, insulate innards with chicken francaise ($9.99) drizzled in a lemon-butter sauce, or a Polish plate ($8.99) of golabki, pierogies, and fried kielbasa. A root-beer float ($2.99) adds the sweet taste of Americana to any meal, and the brownie sundae ($2.99) turns frowns upside down into hideous inverted mouths.
Chef Lou left Johnson & Wales University with a culinary degree, but another 20 years of education lay ahead of him. At the Federal Hill Club, the Sheraton Hotel at Bradley, and Frigo's, he honed his cooking chops and gained an appreciation for both European and Southwestern flavors. Then, in 2006, with his culinary tastes firmly established and his apron freshly embroidered with "Entrepreneur," he branched out on his own. The result is Abudanza.
Lou's passions come through in his menu selections. A great deal of weight is placed on Central Europe—Italian pastas sing with homemade marinara sauce or oversized meatballs while french-boned lamb chops nod to the traditions of the great Francophiles. But Lou also digs his heels into American soil, rolling out a selection of burgers and Angus steaks. There are even moments where the two continents blend together like an edible Pangea—the Snakebite Pasta, for instance, where jalapenos and cheddar combine into a parmesan alfredo sauce.
Founded by certified beer judge Michael Bernier, DIY Brewing Supply equips and educates patrons in the arts of at-home fermentation procedures and food construction. Beginner's brewing classes steer students through four hours of crafting an extract beer and ingesting significant brewing concepts. Aspiring homebrewers learn to settle down yeast and barley for a midday nap in the mashtub, as well as how to perform simple troubleshooting should a batch end up tasting like lasagna. Winemaking classes help students study grapey elixirs on the journey from fermentation to sanitation to staining cashmere sweaters. Students can also round out their education with a mozzarella-making class and a one-hour coffee-roasting class, where they roast 1 pound of coffee.
After learning the tricks of the brewing trade, guests can stock up on the tools with DIY's extensive selection of wine and beer-making equipment. Homebrewers can create their own batches of booze with kegs, recipe lists, yeasts, and plenty of literature and books.
Although it may have fallen out of Top 40 rotation in the 70 years since it was sung by a burger-shop owner’s barbershop quartet, the song “When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)” lives on in the legacy of a Seattle-based burger joint. The Red Robin franchise has spread its wings far and wide, now serving locations throughout North America with sustainably grown, environmentally conscious burgers and sides that marry classic American flavors with savory twists such as onion straws or bruschetta. Most of the shop’s fire-grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, and entrees come with a side of bottomless steak fries, allowing patrons to soak up the juicy Whiskey River barbecue sauce, melted blue cheese, and edible fedoras that top the menu’s varied eats. The staff are happy to help patrons pair their sandwiches with one of the full bar’s microbrews or specialty mixed drinks, keeping glasses filled while athletic superstars battle it out on the eatery's big-screen TVs.