At Absinthe Restaurant and Lounge, a serene atmosphere blends with the passing wafts of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, embracing guests with the alluring airs of sizzling brunch, lunch, and dinner platters. Diners can corral a small plate of hummus ($7) and use the toasted edges of the grilled flatbread to etch confessions of frequently eating with their elbows on the table into creamy tides before devouring the evidence. Highlighted by roasted duck, grilled steak, and chicken platters, main courses ($16+) sate carnivorous cravings, and pasta fusions feature crabmeat-loaded fettuccine ($20) and linguine tossed with clams and glistening ebbs of olive oil ($18). Desserts conclude mastication sessions with selections such as a zeppoli ($7)—a Sicilian-style donut cloaked in wildflower honey and a miniature Armani suit.
Sports and eats maintain friendly relations at Mulligan’s, where a friendly staff quenches athlete admirers' hunger with a full bar and hearty menu of classic fare. Keep cheese in its proper place anointing freshly made dough with brick-oven pizza, which comes with a choice of 11 toppings and in a range of sizes including 10-inch, 14-inch, 16-inch ($6.95–$19.95), and 20-foot plasma screen. Mulligan’s burgers, served with homemade potato chips, sashay down the runway in seven haute ensembles, such as guacamole and bacon ($8.99) and mushroom swiss ($8.99).
Inspiration comes form many sources at Osetra. By combining these diverse elements, the restaurant manages to create a distinctive environment with widely spread roots.
A Tale of Two Menus
Hailing from Okinawa, Chef Kaoru Saganawa brings his passion for seafood to Osetra's sushi bar. In addition to gingerly slicing everything from salmon to octopus as he creates servings of nigiri, he also assembles more than 15 different maki. Rolls filled with ingredients such as spicy tuna and cucumber demonstrate Chef Saganawa's dedication to familiar flavors; however, he also creates specialty orders that depart from the norm, including a surf-and-turf-inspired roll that incorporates lobster tempura, beef tenderloin, and king crab.
The other standout section of Ostera's menu features a variety of decadent caviars that each showcase their own distinctive flavors, ranging from slightly fruity to profoundly nutty and buttery. These indulgent selections allow guests to add an undeniable dash of refinement to their visit while pairing each chilled bite with a sip of champagne from the restaurant's list of decidedly upscale producers.
Fine Dining Elegance Meets Lounge Nightlife
Sand-hued, low-backed banquettes line one entire wall of Osetra's dining area, which embraces its upscale vibe with the help of a stone-topped sushi bar and a private seating section featuring a massive chandelier fixture made from gleaming glass spheres of all sizes. Abstract artwork lines the walls, adding vibrant splashes of blues and greens amid the space's warm earth tones.
This vibrant spirit becomes even more pronounced on weekend nights as the restaurant fully embraces its lounge-like inclinations. Live music and DJ sets help energize the crowds by performing until as late as 2 a.m., allowing guests to enjoy an elegant night out on the town.
Owner and Chef Tony Newton keeps bellies filled sun-up to sundown with classic American fare, from omelets and waffles to sandwiches, steaks, and pasta. Located near Vanderbilt Beach, Fred’s Food, Fun & Spirits fuels patrons for a day of sandcastle-stomping by cooking a bottomless breakfast buffet as fresh as the alphabet’s 27th letter. A dog-friendly outdoor patio, meanwhile, conveniently allows diners and their best four-legged friends to hang out while patrons nosh on one of the day’s three most important meals. The patio and two full bars also entertain patrons with nightly events, including musical acts, poker, comedy, and Fourier analysis competitions.
5 Brothers specializes in gourmet and specialty pizzas alongside Italian-style subs, wraps, salads, and more. Unfold a menu and an order of garlic knots ($3.50 for six; $5.50 for a dozen) with your tongue to start off a meal. Pizza options range from a single slice (cheese, $2.25 each; combo, $3 each) to 18" pies. Sink your teeth into the gooey goodness of a five-cheese white pizza ($14.95–$18.75), a specialty buffalo chicken ($16.75–$20.75), or the immensely popular Sicilian Supreme ($16.75–$20.75). The stuffed pizza ($16.75–$20.75) comes crammed with mozzarella, spinach, red peppers, meatballs, pepperoni, and roasted garlic and is sprinkled with 5 Brothers' specialty blend of herbs and spices. For the greener eaters, 5 Brothers dishes up seven specialty salads, such as the beach salad, romaine lettuce tossed with turkey, tomatoes, onions, cranberries, and feta (small, $7.25).
Mai Harkness admits that she loves to entertain guests and be the center of attention—she says on her website that it's just her Leo nature. But at Cgrape Chef, she steps back from a 20-year career in front-of-house work and thrusts her food into the spotlight.
Perhaps because of her passion for hospitality, Harkness's menu has something for just about everyone. Her fresh seafood, micro-greens, and organic produce span flavors from Thailand to Vietnam to Italy to meat-and-potatoes America. The Eastern influence is most prominent in entrees such as mongolian beef, pad thai, and pho. Other dishes have a classic supper-club feel, such as seafood risotto and pot roast. Although her menu is full of meats and gourmet glutens, Harkness also makes sure to offer several gluten-free and vegan choices. When the weather's nice, a couple of patio tables bloom behind the hedge that fronts Cgrape Chef's unassuming storefront.