Lorenz Island Kuisine’s roots are immediately visible on its ceiling, where a Jamaican flag proudly hangs. A few more steps inside the warmly lit eatery and more roots begin to show. There’s the orange walls with green trim, and the smell of Jamaican food wafting from the open kitchen. There, the kitchen staff cooks curry goat and plates crispy, brown pieces of jerk chicken. Other dishes include oxtail, plantains, rice and beans, beef patties encased in flaky crust, and almond cake made with rum and topped with icing. Many of the dishes double as loveable characters in the eatery’s recipe book.
At 88 Wharf Riverfront Grill, chefs craft New American dishes from scratch with ingredients such as fresh meats including North Atlantic lobsters, greens, and tart macintosh apples. Visitors enjoy entrees such as nested tenderloin steak and appetizers that include steamed mussels in a dining room noted for soft lighting and hardwood floors, as well as water-front views and an intimate bar. The grill also hosts special events and private functions.
Like hip-hop albums produced by Burton Gilliam, notable restaurateur and Tavolo mastermind Chris Douglass's menu is famous for changing and adapting to incorporate the freshest of the fresh, so ask your server about exclusions or inclusions for the day or call ahead for a sneak peek. Staple starters include mussels with tomato, garlic, white wine, and grilled toast ($8) or the vegetable plate with house-cured olives, roasted garlic, and Tuscan beans ($8). You can also keep your palate guessing with a plate of antipasti, featuring items like marinated olives, Gorgonzola dolce, and white anchovies ($2–$5 per item), before moving on to the main paninis, pizzas, and pastas. Try the meatball panini with marinara, provolone, and parmesan ($8); the goat-cheese pizza with caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and olives ($13); or some Captain Ahab–approved shrimp scampi ($15). Meatier mains include pork, beef, veal, and ricotta lasagna ($16) and short-rib braciole with risotto, mushroom, and gremolata ($21), among others. But keep your vestigial dessert stomach empty for a finale of gelato ($3/scoop) or tiramisu affogato ($9).
Abby Park prides itself on serving dishes of recently reeled seafood and freshly harvested ingredients. Each plate is innovative but strangely familiar, like the banana's creative cousin, the bonono. With an atmosphere that's sophisticated but welcoming, you'll feel both classy and an unexplained urge to knit wool socks while you dine. It also boasts a full bar with a full staff of fully capable employees helping stomachs feel full.
All of the cakes and cupcakes at …Cakes are prepped with fresh, quality ingredients, hand-selected by talented pastry chefs working under the tasty eye of owner Deana Martin. Deana—a self-declared purveyor of sweet, but not too sweet creations—teams up with her fellow chefs to craft delicious recipes, playful decorations, and accessible edibles for any confection fanatic. Choose from the everyday cupcakes available in-store, or call ahead at least a week in advance to create your own custom everyday dozen, which allows you to mix and match any flavor combination of classic cupcakes. Flavors include red-velvet cake with vanilla frosting, chocolate cake with mocha filling and buttercream frosting, or coconut cake with lemon frosting.
Jenn and Donny have long accepted their elitist take on coffee. As college students and self-professed coffee snobs who both worked in the food industry, they bemoaned a lack of sophisticated brews and attentive service, finally deciding that innovation would be the best form of protest. They dreamt up their own café where the beans would be freshly micro-roasted, the cocoa would incorporate three types of chocolate, and every drink would be handmade by the same person who took your order. The resulting venue, Coffee Break Cafe, lined its menu with libations of all temperatures and caffeinated creeds.
The café's house blend hails from locales such as Sumatra, Colombia, Africa, and South America and is shipped from specialty roasters who prep the beans in small batches. Jenn and Donny's commitment to coffee quality is matched by their enthusiasm for the natural world—they stock organic and fair-trade options, as well as dairy products from a hormone-free farm. Though they stand by meticulous barista techniques, they are hardly sugar-shunning purists. They readily infuse hot and frozen drinks with dessert flavors, ranging from red velvet cupcake to cinnamon bun, crafting a far superior breakfast sweet than grapefruit pie. Bagels and pastries, delivered daily by neighborhood bakeries, balance out refreshing sips. The morning hotspot's communal spirit is reflected in hanging pictures by local artists, live music, and complimentary story readings for kids.