Bullwinkle’s Top Hat Bistro lures crowds with its baby-back ribs, smothered with handcrafted barbecue sauce and served with a salad and your choice of a tater or veggie side ($18.59 for a half slab). But because maneuvering through a plate of ribs with grace requires both physical and mental agility, give your fingers an opportunity to warm up with an order of the piled-high macho nacho ($8.99) or spicy buffalo-style bullwingers ($7.99 for one pound) while you visualize winning a game of Sudoku. Bullwinkle’s menu also sports USDA-choice steaks ($12.99–$21.99) cooked to order, fresh seafood dishes and daily specials ($14.99+), and skillfully tossed pastas ($10.99) and more. If you'd like to keep your love affair with barbecue hidden, but your personal safe is already full of Gigli posters and Goosebumps novels, have saucy sustenance served secretly between two carb slices by ordering a specialty burger ($6.59–$8.59) or sandwich such as the barbecue-chicken melt with monterey- jack cheese ($6.99).
This locally owned, Hollywood-themed eatery boasts an all-star cast of belly fillers named after classic films such as The Godfather, Rocky, and Steven Spielberg's early all-kitten rendition of Un Chien Andalou. Star City is known for its steamed hoagies, ranging from the Little Miss Sunshine's heartwarming pairing of ham and swiss ($5.50 for a whole) to the deluxe Top Gun's action-packed layers of ham, turkey, bacon, provolone, and power balladry ($6.50 for a whole). If your stomach grumbles with Fellini-esque machismo, play the director and hand-pick the bread, meat, cheese, and veggie players in your epicurean ensemble ($5.50–$6.50 for a whole customized hoagie). Round out your repast by adding a homemade side of potato salad, coleslaw, or soup ($1.95 each) to your personal craft-services platter.
The Anticoli family has piled plates high with homestyle Italian fare made with imported pastas and cheeses, freshly caught shrimp, and fresh vegetables since opening its first restaurant in 1931. Though they have emphasized serving quality Italian cuisine for more than 80 years, they recently decided to focus on creating an authentic Italian experience, renaming the eatery after the family's ancestral Italian home and cultivating an atmosphere reminiscent of a trattoria. Terracotta colors wash over walls hung with pictures of the old country and of the Italian prime minister's jazzercise class, and carved, wooden roman columns support a wine bar festooned with cascading vines.
The Italian priority of bringing together family and friends over good food is echoed throughout cozy red booths where diners dive into spaghetti with hearty meat and romano sauce, herb-griddled pork chops, or hand-dipped spumoni dishes. The revelry continues outside on the breezy back patio, which is open seasonally or whenever the chefs feel the urge to make snow angels.
TK Thai Kitchen's menu is fully loaded with a variety of fresh Thai favorites and sushi rolled to order. The grilled shrimp and scallops ($8.95) starter and phad khee mao (a.k.a. the drunken noodle, starting at $10.95) are house specialties, receiving a curry-covered thumbs-up from the kitchen. Plates of crab fried rice greet sea-faring mouths with crabmeat, egg, scallions, diced snow peas, and diced carrots ($15.95). Curries come in a variety of colors and spice levels ranging from mild to the red hand of tongue singeing. Select beef ($12.95) or the seafood- combo curries ($14.95) depending on your surf and turf politics. A friendly staff plays Vulcan with seaweed paper, producing tuna- and salmon-filled thunder rolls ($9.95, eight pieces) and spicy-mayonnaise volcano rolls ($5.95, eight pieces). Extinguish blazing mouths with 21 ounces of Singha ($6.50) or a Thai iced tea ($3), saving room for cooling mango with sticky rice (seasonal, $5.95).
Inspired by firefighters, Captain 9's restaurant proudly displays the Maltese cross throughout the barn-shaped diner, which from the outside looks as though it could house a fire truck or two. Full firefighter suits hang from the dining room's brick walls as patrons seated at gingham-topped tables dine on 10 types of specialty pizzas, lasagna, Hershey's ice-cream shakes, and subs that range from philly cheesesteak to breaded cod. Open seven days a week, the kitchen fries wings and slices lasagna noodles into spaghetti until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
KJ's Restaurant treats its guests to hearty feasts of handmade American meals at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Patrons start their morning with waffles and cinnamon rolls or hash browns with eggs over easy, or dine on main courses of ribs, grilled pork loin, or beef and noodles.