More than a breeding ground for revolution, hip hats, and lovelorn sea turtles, Rhode Island Reds keeps your mitochondria busy with a mouthwatering menu of gourmet pizzas, homemade soups, salads, signature sandwiches, wine, beer, and more. Reds is renowned for its Roman-style thin-crust pizzas (eight slices of gormondo tomato pie cost $10). Try the Broforino, made with garlic pesto sauce, onions, anchovies, and fresh tomatoes; or dine on a prosciutto, pineapple, mozzarella, and tomato-herb gravy pie. Sandwiches ($6.50 each) such as the Joe Di Maggio (a salami sandwich on a baguette with mozzarella, tomatoes, and garlic pesto dressing) or the Black Friday (turkey breast and Swiss with a smear of cranberry sauce on rye bread) are served weekdays until 3 p.m. Customize your sandwich's condiments or design the entire thing yourself; Reds' ingredients are fresh, usually organic, and often locally sourced. Plus, there are vegetarian and vegan options available.
Every pizza at zpizza is freshly prepared, hand thrown, gently coaxed into the oven using soft birdcalls and pheromone trails, and fire-baked to crispy perfection. The dough is prepared fresh daily from 100% certified-organic wheat, and z is also happy to offer certified organic and gluten-free crusts, sating the pizza desire of the allergic, dieters, and wheat sympathizers. Toppings include award-winning Wisconsin skim mozzarella, MSG-free pepperoni, certified-organic tomato sauce, additive-free sausage, and fresh produce. Try a large ZBQ pizza (with barbecue sauce, mozzarella, barbecue chicken, roasted pepper, red onion, tomato, cilantro, and sweet corn; $20.95 for a large) or a chicken curry and yam rustica (with mozzarella, curry chicken, yam, mango chutney, raisin, and cilantro; $8.95). Vegans can delight in the Berkeley vegan, a faux-cheese veggie pizza (with marinara, veggie burger crumbles, zucchini, tomato, mushroom, red onion, and bell pepper; $10.50 for a small), and traveling tongues can sate their wanderlust with a mouthwatering Moroccan rustica (with pesto, mozzarella, roasted eggplant, feta cheese, caramelized onion, and pine nut; $8.95).
Flaxella sprinkles its menu of wholesome bites with flaxseed, a natural source of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy omega-3s. Start the day with an invigorating flaxseed mocha ($3.25–$3.95) or a sunrise sandwich, which tops a croissant with a fresh egg and a serenade from a rooster ($3.75). The veggie delight sandwich whisks antioxidants to mouths on a rainbow of red tomatoes, yellow squash, and roasted green zucchini ($6.50). Instead of dining in a sleeping bag, make lunch snugglier with the Dakota Roll-Up ($5.75) or a bed of romaine salad with a chicken-salad pillow and a flax-vinaigrette blanket ($6.25).
Levante’s derives its name from Levantine, the term that refers to the easternmost swath of the Mediterranean region, which includes coastal cities across Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. The bistro-style menu reflects this name by featuring flavors and recipes from each of these distinctive yet regionally bound cultures. A wood-fired oven dominates the open kitchen, charcoal grilling veal cutlets, chicken skewers, and eggplant as the chefs load plates with freshly baked scraps of pita and flatbreads. Even the dining room's color scheme echoes the Mediterranean theme with its deep blues and stark whites, mimicking the vista of a sun-bleached village beside the sea.
Lisa Markiewicz lends more than her zen-like surname to the wine bar and lounge she recently opened in Mount Vernon. Her extensive knowledge of pan-Mediterranean cuisine—including grecian tapas and grecian lamb chops—informs the menu at Waterstone Bar & Grille, and her love of the region’s signature libation shines through in a drink menu that features more than 100 wines sold at retail price.
The restaurant’s chic lounge space, recently opened for lunch in addition to dinner, strikes a balance between Old-World elegance and the hipness of the Mount Vernon neighborhood that surrounds it. Exposed-brick walls give way to plum pastels—a contrast mediated by the gauzy black curtains draped over windows and doorways, and the restaurant's prime location puts theaters such as the Hippodrome, Lyric, and Centerstage within close walking distance.
Behind an entryway guarded by brass and ceramic figurines, Rasoi—which means kitchen in Hindi—serves up traditional Indian fare bursting with aromas of cumin, garlic, and ginger. Black, lacquered tables populate with salmon and lamb dishes roasted in a clay tandoori oven. A full menu page of vegan and vegetarian dishes mingles fresh chickpeas and eggplant with dry mango powder and green cardamom. And, after sopping up the last of a three-course Thali feast, guests can sip on a sweet mango lassi or rub the mint-green walls to test whether they’re scratch-and-sniff.