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.
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.
In-between layers of stacked noodles lies a blend of ground beef, tomato-basil sauce, and ricotta, mozzarella, and parmigiano cheeses. This oven-baked pasta dish is Nonna's Lasagna, and it is one of many northern Italian dishes that make up Toto Fresco Italian Eatery's menu of dine-in, delivered, and catered cuisine.
In addition to delicious, but heavier dishes, Toto Fresco whips up lighter fare, such as a veggie pizza with steamed broccoli, traditional pizza, and oven-roasted buffalo wings served with caramelized onions and blue-cheese or gorgonzola yogurt dip.