When HoneyBaked Ham was just a single shop in Michigan more than 40 years ago, it was run under the careful eye of its founder, Harry J. Hoenselaar. He handpicked every bone-in ham that he was going to sell in stores and carefully cured each in a secret marinade recipe. He then slow-smoked the ham over a custom blend of wood chips. Hoenselaar even built and patented a machine that spiral-cut the meat into almost perfectly even slices and re-creations of M.A.S.H. characters. But what really stuck with people was his glaze—a proprietary recipe that encased each ham with a sweet, crunchy finish.
Though Harry's shop has since grown into a nationally recognized brand with more than 400 stores, that attention to detail hasn’t been lost. His grandchildren now oversee the company, and they have maintained that same process of hand-selecting hams and smoking them for up to 24 hours before they’re spiral-cut and glazed. Many of the stores also have a cafe-style counter, where patrons can pick up fresh sandwiches layered with roast beef, smoked turkey breast, chicken salad, and of course, honey-glazed ham.
Conceived as part of sculptor Seward Johnson's impressionistic vision, Rat's Restaurant transports degusting diners into Claude Monet's beloved town of Giverny with cosmopolitan home cooking served overlooking a delicate lily pond. Launch your exploration into head chef Shane Cash's exceptional dinner menu with the petit escargot, featuring lemon verbena, escargot butter, and parsley tortellini ($15). Sophisticated palates can decorate themselves with a delectable selection of entrees, including Scottish halibut, a fresh pan-roasted catch accompanied by cauliflower puree and almond-caper meuniere sauce ($30). Before stepping into the attached Grounds For Sculpture galleries and discovering the secrets of scratch-n-see artwork, enjoy sips from a menu of hand-crafted cocktails and an eclectic wine list.
The 1700s-era Bill's Olde Tavern is aptly named. It was built so long ago that there's a rumor George Washington and his troops passed by it on their way to battle. Almost 300 years later, vintage black-and-white pictures decorate the cozy interior, but there's nothing old about the menu. Fresh, modern meals, such as a griddle-cooked brisket burgers with tangy kale slaw, complement a novella-length beer menu. Pours run the gamut from Bud Light to funky craft brews, such as Weverbacher's Blithering Idiot, a deep-copper barley wine.
There's always a flurry of action behind the counter at Crêpes Cêlestes. That's because the chefs don't hide behind kitchen doors. Rather, they showcase their crepe-flipping, sauce-spreading, and egg-cracking skills directly in front of customers. They create a range of internationally inspired crepes, whether it's a simple version with cane sugar, butter, and lemon juice or a decadent dessert layered with Nutella, coconut, bananas, and a splash of Bailey's. For a special treat, they can even add scoops of ice cream that melt over the still-warm batter.
They don't just fill their crepes with sweet ingredients, however. They also create a full roster of savory crepes influenced by different world cuisines, from sautéed vegetables in a spicy chipotle sauce to pesto chicken with red peppers. But whether they're whipping up a sweet or savory concoction, the chefs customize the batter with gluten-free flour on weekends to accommodate food allergies. Additionally, gluten-free macarons are available daily in a variety of flavors.
Biryani, a popular rice-based dish, was believed to have been invented in the kitchens of Indian royalty. Its high-end pedigree still makes it a popular wedding-feast dish. With its five types of biryani—in addition to the other Indian classics on its menu—Persis Indian Grill helps diners make everyday meals feel a little more special.
Guests can dig into a biryani's flavorful basmati rice mixed with goat or chicken that has been seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices and garnished with egg, onion, and lemon. Vegetarians can opt for vegetable biryani or boiled-egg biryani. These house specialty dishes are served with pepper gravy and cooling yogurt raita, which negates the desire to soothe spice-covered tongues by licking a metal pole in sub-zero temperatures.
Chic contemporary surroundings, dozens of fine wines, and thick cuts of prime choice beef—KC Prime sets the stage for an upscale dining experience. But the restaurant goes beyond steak. Whether diners visit the New Jersey or Warrington location, they can delight in a dinner of sesame-crusted ahi tuna, tender baby back ribs, crab-cake sandwiches, or Scottish salmon with mustard spaetzle. But the main event, of course, is the beef—filet mignon with bourbon sweet-potato mash, succulent prime rib with wasabi mashed potatoes, and a hefty chunk of porterhouse drizzled with a peppercorn steak sauce.