The menu at La Boca Mexican Restaurant & Cantina goes beyond the usual Tex-Mex fare. Alongside fajitas and quesadillas, you’ll find traditional tamales, slow-roasted pork shank, and hand-cut corn tortilla chips. A talented staff of servers and bartenders cultivate a laid-back, festive atmosphere, serving up Mexican beers on draft and a celebrated bloody mary that’s garnished with asparagus, cocktail shrimp, and grilled steak. The eatery's parchment-colored walls are covered with drawings of proud vaqueros and rustic Mexican scenery, forming an ideal backdrop for authentic dinners of mahi mahi tacos or jicama salad. Pub rockers, live karaoke backing groups, and cover bands provide a festive soundtrack.
Sweet Harmony Café & Bakery keeps locals full with a menu of homemade offerings that warm hearts via easily accessible stomach ducts. Regulate tongue temperature with hot soups and cold salads, such as the Sweet Harmony salad topped with goat cheese, dried cranberries, and honey-roasted pecans ($9.95). Tasty invaders hurdle mandibular moats in the form of house specialties, such as the homemade mac & cheese ($8.95) or chicken bruschetta ($9.95), and egg eaters storm edible embankments with an oven-baked slice of the quiche of the day ($8.95). Treat sweet teeth to a plethora of palate-pleasing pastries, such as slices of strawberry shortcake ($6.95), extra-large cookies ($2.50), and special daily desserts. On the third Saturday of each month, early risers can enjoy special breakfast items to kick off weekend activities.
The brilliant baristas at Klekolo pour steaming cups of joe and craft specialty drinks in their funky Court Street location. Using beans from a variety of roasters—most of them organic and free trade—the staff brews each cup ($1.30–$2.25) from the drip bar. Expertly made espresso ($1.25) steams in tiny mugs stolen from caffeinated elves, and specialty drinks such as the Witches' Brew transfix taste buds with a spell of caramel, hazelnut, chocolate, and espresso. Combat severe cases of indecision by filling tankards with smooshies ($5.75), a combination smoothie-slushie that dallies in fruit flavors as well as java incarnations. The pastry case houses a rotating selection of scrumptious sweets ($1.80–$4.95); recent offerings have included rich turtle-cheesecake bars and flaky lemon danish. While sipping from mugs, patrons can gaze at the local artwork dotting the richly hued purple walls, use free WiFi to email lonely houseplants, or admire the 10 cents they saved by bringing in their own bean-juice receptacles.
Tempting as it is, wearing a pair of Tschudin Chocolates' high heels on the town wouldn't be a very good idea. That's because the footwear is an example of the custom chocolate sculptures the shop regularly makes for birthdays, weddings, and other special events. Yet Tschudin's chocolatiers don't craft every treat on such a grand scale. Using their stone-ground chocolate and local ingredients such as honey and herbs, they hand-make a rotating lineup of bonbons, truffles, ganaches, and caramels. And that handmade ethos extends into their baked goods as well, especially the doughnuts made from the shop's hand-layered croissant dough.
Rather than hiding their techniques from the world by only working in a vault, Tschudin's chocolatiers invite guests to witness their process firsthand during classes. These behind-the-scenes peeks reveal how the team shapes its treats. Tschudin's experts even conduct chocolate-making classes for those struck with inspiration, allowing students to temper and create their own treats.
K. LaMay's Steamed Cheeseburgers charms taste buds with trademark patties, which have garnered a Best Burger ranking from the Record-Journal in 2009, 2010, and 2011 in addition to hearty press coverage. Slices of sharp cheddar cheese migrate from Wisconsin to roost atop beef slabs fresh from the steamers, creating single ($4.50) or double ($6.50) steamed cheeseburgers engineered by vapor king Kevin LaMay and his jovial staff. Diners can veer jaws and dexterous elbows away from the joint's namesake to nosh on a steak sandwich ($4.99) or a dozen chicken nuggets ($3) and repose their meaty treats on crispy beds of fries or onion rings ($2.50). Patrons can prompt bubbly abdominal sensations with sips of locally made Foxon Park sodas ($1.50), which perch in a cooler alongside hunks of the signature cheese available for purchase.
Mondo's experienced staff of local cooks and servers treat diners to a relaxed or efficient meal from a diverse Italian-inspired menu. Chefs put roving loaves of bread to use in an array of paninis containing grilled chicken pesto and provolone ($9), and chicken, meatball, sausage, or eggplant parmigiana draped in mozzarella ($9.25). Pasta bolognese is built on a foundation of traditional rigatoni ($14), while artisan pizzas such as arugula and prosciutto with truffle oil ($15) elegantly march into mouths. Chefs also test culinary physics by setting red or white thin crust, shrimp pizza with capers and garlic ($15.75–$18.45) to sail on indoor air currents. Wheat or gluten-free crusts convey topping cargos upon request, and an array of draft brews and house wines turn throats into pepperoni water slides.
The flavors of northern and southern Italy can be tasted from across the Atlantic at Stella D'oro. What seems like an impressive feat is actually quite simple: chef Sammy Cecunjanin just follows his family recipes. Dishes include classic pairings such as rigatoni, sausage, and white wine sauce, as well as heartier eats such as rack of lamb with a cognac sauce roasted into the meat. Unsurprisingly, lobster—which is the East Coast's official regional crustacean—finds its way onto the seafood-heavy menu by way of the lobster-filled ravioli, the lobster and pappardelle, and the lobster tail and linguini.