The kitchen staff at Oggi Ristorante, which Frommer's dubbed a "neighborhood favorite," makes fresh pastas every day. But according to Gayot, this feat is nothing new. Formerly a homemade-pasta supplier for other restaurants, Oggi now stands on its own. Its chefs draw inspiration from homestyle Italian recipes and culinary techniques to creating a menu of comforting, Old-World staples. In addition to making whole-wheat spaghetti and perfectly square meatballs by hand, the chefs also create what Gayot described as "some of the most delicate stuffed pastas and supple seafood dishes in the city." Grilled scottish salmon arrives perched atop a bed of wilted spinach, and tilapia alla livornese is sautéd in a mixture of fresh tomatoes, capers, onions, and black olives. Other options range from classic chicken or veal parmigiana to filet mignon topped with a green-peppercorn sauce and accompanied by champagne risotto. The wait staff ferries these dishes across the dining room, whose white tablecloths and exposed-brick walls combine to create a rustic-yet-elegant atmosphere.
When preparing their eclectic lineup of dishes, the cooks at Paprika Mediterranean Restaurant and Hookah Lounge borrow a little something from all of the diverse regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea. From the southern waters, they take the Moroccan lamb carpaccio appetizer and the Tunisian churba soup. They also make their way up north, plumbing Greece's vast culinary traditions to assemble dishes such as the Athena salad with kalamata olives and the salmon filet wrapped in phylo pastry.
After meals, guests can head to the adjacent hookah lounge and partake in the old-world tradition of enjoying a beautifully ornate hookah, which they can load with one of 25 different flavors. Those interested in immersing themselves in the culture even further can make a reservation on Friday night to catch the weekly belly-dance show.
Equipped with reclining seats, video displays, and free WiFi, Xcursions USA's fleet of luxury motorcoaches goes where few buses dare?across the ocean. On their signature Key West day trips, the coaches travel across 43 bridges spanning 31 islands to ferry passengers to the heart of the "American Caribbean." While living the island life, visitors can check out sights like Ernest Hemingway's house, the Light House Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and the southernmost point of the continental United States. Xcursions sends their fleet on other missions as well?like a trip to the Everglades where tour-takers can board an airboat, or a tour around the company's home city of Miami followed by a boat cruise.
When Sean "Diddy" Combs shares a post on Instagram, his three-million-plus followers are likely to see it. So it's saying something when he takes to Instagram to promote a new restaurant he's excited about?which is exactly what he did for the opening of Finga Licking @ Royal Castle.
Finga Licking is drawing the interest of plenty of other music-industry celebrities as well, which is likely due in part to the fact that the restaurant is the collaboration of music mogul Elric "E-Class" Prince of Poe Boy Music Group and Chef Latosia Colton. Prince was immediately drawn to Colton's food?think fried shrimp and lobster bites, wings smothered in signature sauces, and other chicken and seafood specialties. The southern soul food and Caribbean-flavored bites can be washed down with a Mystery rainbow punch served with fresh fruit on the rocks. And along with the food and the possibility to run into Flo Rida, the screened patio, complete with cooling fans and flatscreen TVs, draw in guests.
Created 15 years ago by gourmands from Peru and Costa Rica, El Gran Inka's only three US locations serve up a menu of fresh Peruvian cuisine featuring influences from Spain, Japan, and Italy. Since its inception, the restaurants have charmed diners across Central America and the United States with an impressive culinary and cultural celebration of Peru. The menu presents a contemporary twist on traditional cuisine, plating tangy ceviches, flavorful seafood stews, and tender cuts of sauce-draped meat on elegant plates. As guests sip cocktails made from exotic South American fruits and spirits or mingle over plates of succulent sea bass, the classy saxophone wails of jazz riffs and the ancient dead language of scat singing serenade audiences on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays.
Amid the mood lighting and luxuriant atmosphere of C Lounge & Cigar Bar, visitors enjoy premium liquors, fine cigars, and flavored hookahs late into the night. Eyes and ears stay focused on regular offerings such as Monday-night football, spy-movie night, and live jazz. On Saturdays, DJs set the air pulsing with tunes designed to fill the space's ample dance floor with bodies. Sumptuous leather couches and low-slung footstools crowd around ornately carved, darkly stained wooden tables, maintaining their shapely leather curves by holding in smoke stolen from unguarded hookahs. Blue and green lights hung far above the dancing action pierce the hazy darkness with spears of color. Out back, the bends of a boardwalk reveal spectacular views of Miami's sparkling skyline across the water.