Candy Cake Company concocts cake truffles, miniature cake-based confections for sweet-seeking spirits. The signature selection, a bitty ball of cake coated in frosting and chocolate, further enhances itself by arriving in lollipop form for easy eating by butterfingered barbers and noshing neatniks. Candy Cake Company's cast of seven flavors, featuring chocolate mint, red velvet, double chocolate, and coconut, satisfies the cravings of even the most indecisive Hydra heads.
Fifth Group Restaurants began in 1993 with a hunger-driven dream and the opening of South City Kitchen in Midtown; in the intervening 17 years, the restaurant management company has grown to include a caravan of five grumble-silencing victual villas in a variety of cuisine styles. The restaurant group is also actively involved in a number of charitable and green programs, including a no-trash initiative where at least 95% of waste is either composted or recycled (Ecco is dumpster free and recycles or composts everything).
Master Chef Rudolph Matthews adores the cuisine from his hometown so much, he just can't stop making it. He's passed down this fever to his sons as well. At A Taste of the Island Restaurant, his sons Kevin and Dashaan assist Chef Matthews in dishing up authentic Jamaican food. They make dishes such as curry goat and brown stew chicken fresh every day, not photocopied from a photocopy. One specialty, the jerk chicken, gets soaked in traditional spices before being flame-grilled.
Chocolate Girl Cupcakes’ Nicole Turk—aka Chocolate Girl—pours a lifetime’s passion for baking and cooking into crafting gourmet cupcakes, cake pops, and baked goods. Without using any preservatives, she bakes her treats from scratch, in cupcake flavors such as Neapolitan, lemon, or chocolate, all topped with decadent icings. She also makes cake pops, brownies, and whoopee pies, as well as cocktail cupcakes—cupcakes infused with liquors.
Chef Chris Hall, one of the three locals behind the eatery’s moniker, sources fresh, seasonal ingredients from area farmers and weaves them into creative and playful comfort dishes. For example, the chefs show off some of the region's best meats—and some of their own butchery skills—in the Notorious P.I.G. charcuterie plate, and they modernize the classic meatloaf by subbing in a sophisticated pâte and pairing it with pickled seasonal vegetables.
More than 100 varieties of wine quite literally surround guests at Local Three, where the bottles are tucked into the walls in a private dining room. Space behind the curved oak bar is reserved exclusively for spirits, including more than 40 bourbons available by the glass or flight. The bar’s taps flow with local and international craft brews, and bartenders shake up a seasonal cocktail list that, more often than not, features a drink inspired by The Big Lebowski.
Most locavores dwell more on where their food comes from than where it’s prepared, but the owners of Local Three poured a lot of thought into their kitchen—which, at more than 4,000 square feet, is actually larger than all the restaurant's dining rooms combined. This sprawling workspace houses enough gadgetry to make just about everything from scratch, including a duck-fat fryer, two smokers, and a computer-controlled oven complete with USB port. There's even a designated pasta room that operates on a separate heating system to control humidity.