For more than 30 years, Countryside Deli, Pizzeria & Caterers has mastered a vast menu of comfort dishes from America and Italy. Diners stroll up to the counter in Countryside's simple dining room to order hot or cold sandwiches, cheesy pizzas, or plates of gnocchi with eggplant and mushrooms. Its catering selection is equally diverse, featuring trays full of tortellini alfredo, chicken marsala, and eggplant rollatini, as well as sandwich platters and giant subs perfect for serving a bunch of fans watching a football game or one football player after a football game.
Café Jag's chefs cater to discerning palates with fresh-made Italian pastas, seafood, and grilled meats. Dining bands collaboratively scour the dinner menu before harmonizing their orders of appetizers such as the Maryland crab cakes, dunked in house-made rémoulade sauce. The grilled rack of lamb tickles taste buds with a french-cut slab of meat and accompanies veggies as they careen down digestive canals. As soft light spills across multihued paintings and light cocoa ceilings, chefs house ocean-torn savories in the lobster ravioli, decorating pasta walls with a sherry-cream reduction and ricotta padding. An ever-rotating selection of desserts, including an oft-available five-layer red-velvet-and-chocolate-lava cake, coddles teeth with the sweet softness of a cloud of gummy bears.
Honey-hued drapes span wall-to-wall windows. Polished silverware glimmers in the glow from dangling strings of lights and tiny wall sconces. Ristorante Pavarotti's Italian-born owner, Massimo, knows that little touches like this make a huge difference, whether you’re decorating a restaurant to create romantic ambiance or crafting authentic Italian cuisine. White tablecloths warm beneath veal and fresh seafood in red- and white-wine reductions, and other traditional dishes on the menu ramp up with gourmet ingredients such as artichokes, truffle oil, and pecorino cheese. Between bites of homemade fusilli or lobster and crab ravioli, guests can ask a server to suggest a bottle of wine to transport their senses to Italy, or a genie in a bottle to transport their physical bodies there.
ZaZa's chef and culinary virtuoso Manrique Alvarenga's menu features a variety of regional Italian, American, and seafood cuisine. Patrons can sample specialties such as seafood risotto with lobster, clams, mussels, shrimp, bell peppers, and peas ($27) or herb-rubbed rack of lamb with au jus, butternut squash, and asparagus ($26). Follow an opener of ZaZa wings ($8) with the flavor fireworks of gemelli and sweet Italian sausage ($16) in a garlic-oil pecornio romano cheese sauce with leeks, black olives, and sun-dried tomatoes.
In the bistro's dining room, a small tree springs from a central planter, its gaunt branches peppering the space with twinkling string lights. As wall sconces cast buttery light on wine racks and ornate vases, fingers tiptoe across the restaurant's piano, filling the air with the seductive charm of a vintage jazz club.
Complementing these lavish ambiance notes is a dynamic Italian menu infused with seasonal ingredients from local markets and farms. Pours from a long list of wines help to awaken diners' palates, as do elegant starters of honey brie, grilled-lamb lollipops, and steamed Prince Edward Island mussels, grown in the main aquarium at Buckingham Palace. When it comes time for entrees, servers' arms stack high with fig-laced pizzas, steaks with dollops of herbed butter, and fish dishes that glisten with delicate wine sauces.
From house-made pasta to fish sliced and hauled from less than a mile away, the chefs at North End Café draw upon locally sourced ingredients as frequently as possible. Their menu allows patrons to mastermind their own meals by selecting a meat, seafood, or eggplant centerpiece for a variety of dishes. For the putanesca, chefs coat chicken, shrimp, calamari, haddock, or scallops in tomato sauce, and parmigiana dishes center on eggplant, chicken, or veal. Head chef David Ventola helps patrons bolster palates or check in on a grape they released into the wild at wine dinners. During the dinners, David and connoisseurs from Our Glass Wine Company match entrees with compatible beverages, fueling a chorus of clinking glasses and sated sighs.