Sofia Karakasidou drew on recipes from her childhood in Thessaloniki to open her Zagat-rated restaurant Kuzina by Sofia. Her second venture, Kuzina Express, brings a more casual take on fresh Mediterranean cuisine to the Moorestown Mall food court. Karakasidou imports many traditional menu items, such as moussaka and housemade dolmades, from her flagship restaurant. But she gives other classics modern twists, stuffing pita burgers with spicy bifteki patties and crowning flatbread pizzas with gyro meat, crumbled feta, and tzatziki sauce. She cooks with fresh, local ingredients when possible, preparing for the winter by freezing enough farmers to provide fresh produce until spring.
By using only high-grade, sustainable ingredients in its tasty, fast-casual fare, Elevation Burger prepares a menu headlined by burgers made from 100% grass-fed and free-range organic beef that’s ground on the premises to ensure quality and safety. Outfit your naked maw and pants-less gullet with the trademark Elevation ($5.99), a double-patty delight that comes topped with real cheddar cheese and your choice of fancy fixings, ranging from tomatoes and lettuce to caramelized onions and balsamic mustard. Any sandwich can be side-kicked with Elevation Burger’s fresh-cut fries ($2.59), which are thin cut from real potatoes and fried in the heart’s smokin’-hot yet healthy girlfriend, olive oil. Lastly, reward your mouth for its bullfighting victory over bull meat with a hand-scooped malted vanilla milkshake ($3.89) topped with chocolate syrup and strawberries or bananas harvested from Hawaii's volcanic cocoa arboretums.
Homemade pastas, hand-formed gnocchi, and meatballs made from a savory blend of beef, veal, and pork proudly showcase Thomas' Ristorante's dedication to Italian culinary traditions. However, the menu also features a handful of dishes that draw more inspiration from the sea in general than the Mediterranean in particular. This is evident in dishes such as the almond-crusted salmon with citrus glaze as well as the crab cakes with homemade cocktail and mustard sauces. The unifying factor amongst all the dishes is the chefs' reliance on locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
Gleaming wooden floorboards and exposed brickwork lend a cozy vibe to the space, making it an inviting spot for people watching out the large front windows. Although the white linen-covered tables are set with crystalline wine glasses entire bunches of chardonnay grapes, Thomas' Ristorante doesn't serve any wines. Instead, the BYOB eatery encourages diners to bring one of their favorite bottles from home.
Penang's menu stamps tongue passports with authentic, spicy Malaysian dishes. Start with the customer-favorite roti-canai appetizer, hot indian pancakes in curry-chicken sauce ($3.95). The Penang satay serves four skewers of tender, marinated chicken or beef with peanut sauce ($7.50), and the mango chicken ignites mouths with a spicy sauce prepared by chefs raised from infancy on a strict diet of only mangos ($13.95). The curry dishes at Penang offer a refreshing take on this standard Asian spice—more subtle than Indian curries, heartier than Thai versions, and more existent than German recipes. Try the kari ayam, dark-meat chicken and potatoes with red curry in coconut-milk gravy ($12.95).
For more than 35 years, Sea-Lect Seafood has curated an ample selection of fresh wild Alaskan salmon, sushi-grade tuna, wild-caught shrimp, and other sea-caught treasures. Each day, the staff crowds a case with crab cakes and prepares other foods—homemade soups and creamy chowders—to be savored at home. At the Maple Shade location, chefs craft hot dishes for diners who devour steaming meals in the cozy dining space rather than at home to avoid offending the family goldfish. Owner George Gladden first started working at Sea-Lect Seafood at the age of 15 as a dishwasher, then climbed his way to the top through his love of cooking fresh seafood, desire to please customers, and ability to speak lobster.
At Kampachi Hibachi Steak House & Sushi Bar, visual flair is just as important as flavor. Behind a traditional hibachi grill, chefs theatrically chop, dice, and cook succulent morsels of premium ingredients—such as scallops, sirloin steak, and lobster—right in front of diners. Once they finish showcasing their cooking tricks or all-shrimp productions of Hamlet, they'll scoop up rice and flip meats onto plates just a few feet away.
While some of the chefs put on a show for visitors, others put all their artistry into plating beautiful sushi rolls. Servers, meanwhile, help customers choose special sakes and cocktails to pair with their fresh-from-the-grill or totally raw fare.