Craig Gandolph entered the deli business in Long Island, making the sandwiches he’d always eaten growing up in New York. When love brought him to Salt Lake City, he missed the flavor of his hometown. So he opened the first Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen and named his sandwiches after the Big Apple locales that he missed. Today, his little sandwich shop has grown to encompass dozens of franchises across the United States, slinging sandwiches from both brick-and-mortar joints and gridlocked food trucks.
The Mission Viejo location, one of four in California, is owned and operated by sisters Yami and Elizabeth Marin, according to a 2009 article in the Orange County Register. Yami's husband grew up in Queens and helped her discover deli food during many East Coast trips to visit his family. Inside the restaurant she shares with her sister, red accent walls, exposed ductwork, hardwood floors, and photographs of New York landmarks work together to transport diners to a New York deli.
Restaurateur Salvatore S. D'Abbusco was born in Naples, but traveled to the United States at the age of 24 to marry a woman from Philadelphia, with whom he'd fallen in love on a cruise. He wanted to bring the tastes of Italy to his new home and founded Salvatore Cucina Italiana more than 20 years ago.
His chefs toss pasta dishes made from traditional Italian recipes with italian cheeses, shellfish, chicken, and lamb. They handcraft tiramisu and blend, cut, and fold their own dough for manicotti. Sommeliers complement the extensive menu with an array of white and red wines from Tuscany, Sicily, and California, for a greater blend of international flavors than UN potluck parties. Each meal begins as servers lay complimentary bruschetta, in lieu of traditional bread, onto white-clothed tables arranged under ornate gilded lamps and pasta-covered walls.
Simply Fondue's intimate, chandelier-lit dining room plays host to tabletop pots that bubble with warm imported cheeses, oils, and broths. The restaurant's cheese fondues from Switzerland, the Mediterranean, and England allow diners to taste the world's flavors without having to lick every country's flag. The eatery also simmers traditional canola and broth fondue using individual "fondue grills," which sear each morsel for lighter munching. For each entree, chefs pair simmering helpings with platters of meat, seafood, or veggies, all of which can be altered upon request.
Many meals conclude with chocolate fondue, which features an impressive coterie of sweets such as pound cake, triple-chunk brownies, peanut-butter balls, and fresh pineapple chunks plucked from the hats of local conga dancers. The dining experience stays casual throughout with plush red booths and upholstered bar stools set against textured stone walls.
Skimmer's beguiles skeptical taste buds with fresh ingredients, artisan breads, and piping-hot paninis. All paninis are served on sourdough bread filled with Boar's Head meats, and grilled on a cast-iron panini press without oil or butter. Hot-sauce connoisseurs can try the "Screaming! Buffalo Chicken" panini ($7.99), packed with buffalo chicken, Tabasco mayo, and Skimmer's own hot-wing sauce, so hot and spicy it smokes hummingbirds out of their cocoons. In between panini savorings, munch on Skimmer's crouton fries ($2.99), served with a chipotle dipping sauce. Salad scarfers get their fill with the big city chef salad ($9.25), with bacon, ham, and turkey politely mingling with veggies, which tops the salad menu. Mission Viejo diners can complete meals with milky house-made Italian gelato, whipped up to a thick, delectable state, just like Italy itself.
Long-grain basmati rice, fragrant herbs, and charbroiled meats are common components of Persian cuisine, the fare found in the kitchens of Iran. The chefs at Hatam Restaurant embrace these ingredients as they whip up traditional dishes such as shish kebabs, savory stews, and ground-meat entrees called koobideh. One of the most popular items on the menu is the broiled lamb shank, which simmers slowly in a homemade sauce before getting cozy on a bed of rice flecked with dill and saffron. Vegetarians need not despair, as all the stews can be prepared sans meat, allowing the flavors of veggies to ring through like a timpani being pelted with eggplants.
Knowing how important it is to keep up with trends, the staff at Illusions Unlimited Salon undergoes regular training to stay updated with the latest techniques in hairstyling. In addition to sculpting flattering looks and cuts, they apply highlights and extensions to add color, heft, and dimension. You can also opt for rejuvenating aesthetic services such as facials and waxing, or browse products from Pureology, Colure True Color Hair Care, and Dermalogica to recreate your look at home.