Visible from the seats bordering Jade Spice's noodle house, chefs handcraft doughy strands in the Lan Zhou style. The history of this technique stretches back 160 years, to when nomadic people of northwest China began serving the pulled noodles in clear, aromatic broth to their honored guests. Jade Spice's own honored guests savor these handmade noodles alongside a broad menu of meat and vegetarian dishes, washing them down with beverages brought from home. Drawing inspiration from 30 years in the restaurant industry, owner Hong Zhang masterfully blends tradition with modernity within Jade Spice. Ceremonial vases and statues make their homes amid a sleek decor of red booths, red walls, red rafters, and bashful greenery.
The chefs at Makiman Sushi believe in keeping their gills and their grills separate, serving both raw-fish fusion sushi and Korean stone-pot bi bim bop. Like the Warren G. Harding White House during Prohibition, the eatery is BYOB and patrons pour their favorite beverages while delving into orders of tuna nachos, a dish of fried wontons topped with raw tuna and a spicy sauce. Guests can kick back at a table or perch at a recently remodeled sushi bar to admire the sushi chefs' handiwork.
Hearty helpings abound at Pirone's, where chefs construct a sizeable menu of steaks, seafood, pizzas, and other traditional Italian specialties. As the dinner curtain rises, feast your eyes and your lips upon an opening number of fried calamari ($11) or mussels marinara ($10) before moving on to sing the praises of a tender, boneless chicken cacciatore ($17) backed by peppers and onions, and simmering in a marinara mushroom sauce. Waiters cart plates of meat- or cheese-tortellini alfredo ($16), chosen from among more than 22 pasta picks that range from traditional spaghetti with meatballs ($22) to an eggplant-topped baked ziti ($16). Meal-goers can appease meaty appetites with a mushroom-infused veal marsala ($19) or a thick-cut steak à la Pirone ($21) topped with mushrooms, provolone, shrimp, sherry sauce, and a miniature model of the restaurant, and those who prefer sliceable sustenance can snack on a sliver of spinach-and-ricotta pizza ($8–$17) or divide a mini calzone ($7) into five mini-er calzones.
Owner and executive chef Janet Davis wields extensive culinary experience, paying homage to her Jamaican heritage with a menu brimming with jerk meats and seafood with Caribbean flavors. Diners can share appetizers from the sit-down menu, such as pan-seared Caribbean crab cakes ($10) or the jam-down jerk wings ($7), which the chef coats in jerk seasoning before baking and grilling to even out tan lines. A bevy of richly seasoned entrées bursts from the kitchen with the passion of a scorned soap-opera character, with options that include Ocho Rios oxtails simmered in piquant spices and piled with scallions and scotch-bonnet peppers ($18). Rasta Man roast fish teems with callaloo, okra, and water crackers ($22), before dulcet desserts—such as coconut-encrusted rum cake ($6)—occupy needy sweet teeth. Tangerine walls with bright green accents border Scotch Bonnets’ interior as ivory tablecloths shimmy to syncopated calypso beats.
Behind stone countertops lit by orange pendant lights, staff members slice up thin-crust pizza, fill plates with pasta, and pile Angus beef burgers with toppings and condiments. Chefs slide over plates of Italian specialties such as veal parmigiana and penne alfredo as well as American-style fare such as wraps and chicken wings. Soft drinks from the soda fountain splash into ice-filled cups to accompany dinners, and the restaurant's BYOB policy encourages diners to bring in a bottle of their favorite libation, such as red wine or smoothies made from bottled ships, to accompany all-you-can eat pasta and signature angel pizza with fresh greens and bruschetta tomatoes. For offsite events, the catering menu offers trays of chicken parmigiana, baked ziti, and antipasto to fuel holiday parties and family gatherings.
Since the first Friendly's opened in 1935, staff members have been serving up hand-crafted ice cream in scoops, cones, and sundaes alongside juicy beef burgers crowned with crisp lettuce and tomatoes. Now with locations spanning the United States, Friendly's has come a long way from its first modest shop in Massachusetts, which sold double-dip cones for 5 cents. Today, servers scoop ice cream in classic flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry and dish out new twists on the favorites, including Fribble soft-serve shakes and Friend-z ice-cream desserts whipped with toppings such as Oreos, Butterfingers, and Reese's peanut-butter cups. They also top crisp belgian waffles with scoops of ice cream and hot caramel and fill dishes with new ice-cream flavors such as Vienna Mocha Chunk and Rockin' Poppin' Cotton Candy.
Behind the grills, cooks build big beef burgers such as the Vermonter with melted vermont white cheddar and maple-pepper bacon on a toasted ciabatta roll. Healthier options include meals under 555 calories, such as the sweet and spicy grilled shrimp over rice pilaf and the chicken-caprese sandwich.