When drinking from a traditional Spanish porrón, diners must precariously funnel a stream of wine into their open mouths through a spout. Fortunately, at Espana, gracious staffers provide the daring drinkers with a glass of soda water to clean any spills from their shirts.
Porrón wine is only one of the Spanish traditions visitors encounter at the authentic Mediterranean restaurant, where more than 40 varieties of hot and cold tapas pair with pitchers of sangria amid the strains of a guitar. In the kitchen, chefs assemble exotic spices, fine meats, seafood, and vegetables onto small plates, drawing inspiration from generations-old Spanish recipes. They also prepare paella, a family-style rice dish that typically includes veggies, saffron, and meats. In 2009, an Omaha World-Herald writer lauded their paella a la tierra for its "earthy and rich, yet light and delicate" snails and "perfectly cooked" rice.
Out in the dining room, tapas plates speckle colorful red and yellow tables beneath the vivid abstract paintings that hang from sea-green walls. Each month, the dining-room stage hosts live cultural performances, which allow guests to enjoy Spanish guitarists, Spanish dance shows, and Spanish renditions of popular scenes from Good Will Hunting.
Founded by twin sisters Denise and Kim, TwoTwins Café satisfies both of the body's stomachs with a menu of fresh, homemade recipes cooked from scratch and a tasty selection of European-style bakery goods. Break fasts with a three-egg omelet with Swiss cheese and smoked ham ($7.95), sidekicked by your choice of breakfast potatoes or signature breakfast rice and a biscuit or toast. Or traverse the towering heights of three fluffy buttermilk pancakes ($5.95), served with TwoTwins' tasty maple syrup. Exhausted existentialists can stir awake soul-searching with a mocha ($4.25) made from fresh-ground coffee beans while also pondering the absurdity that is the universe over a four-inch pecan roll ($2.99). TwoTwins Café also satisfies midday cravings with a lunch menu featuring items such as a Caesar salad ($5.95), moistened by drops of homemade Caesar dressing dew. Or try the Big Red Reuben ($8.25), a marble-rye-sandwiched collection of homemade corned beef, grilled sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, classic Russian dressing, and Husker pride. Beverages anxiously awaiting deglutition include Lipton iced tea ($2), specialty beers ($3.95), and various red and white house wines ($4.50–$5 per glass).
Front Porch Eatery is a community-centric restaurant that helps highlight the local history, food, and arts from Cass County. Customers stepping inside are greeted by both the inviting family atmosphere along with the rich scents of American home-style dishes wafting through the space. In addition to serving food and coffee, the caf? serves as a space for community meetings and special events, and also offers catering services.
Born and raised in France, chef Cedric S. Fichepain carried his family recipes and passion for traditional French fare across the pond in 1997. Four years later, Cedric cut the ribbon at Le Voltaire Restaurant, which serves up classics such as croque madame sandwiches and coq au vin stewed in white wine. The cellar's 1,000-bottle inventory of French wines has earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence eight years in a row, and the eatery was also recognized as one of the city's best French dining experiences in _Omaha Magazine'_s Best of Omaha 2012. The restaurant's lemon-yellow walls and rough-hewn wooden door create a rustic feel, and beneath a unique glass bar top is a display of carefully arranged dried flowers.
Bruegger's bagels are created using fresh, wholesome ingredients and then kettle-boiled in the New York tradition, resulting in chewy centers with crisp outer crusts. Awaken your taste buds with a savory combination such as the rosemary olive oil bagel smothered with onion and chive cream cheese ($2.39). Or, prove yourself to be a sweetie by adopting a family of 13 bagels and washing them up and behind the ears in the two tubs of garden-veggie cream cheese in the Big Bagel Bundle ($13.99). Bruegger's deli menu is flanked by an array of breakfast sandwiches and lunch fare. Bury thoughts of the snarky snooze button with the breakfast bagel bearing an egg, melted cheese, and a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham ($3.99), or wrap your mitts around the Leonardo da Veggie lunchtime sandwich and bite into tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onions, and muenster cheese on an asiago Softwich ($5.49).
Chefs spin classic American dishes with a touch of gourmet flare. The "Americana fusion" technique, which yields such comforting cuisine as smoked-chicken-enhanced gouda mac 'n' cheese, helped Zin Room earn a spot on the Omaha World-Herald's list of Top 8 Restaurants in 2011, as well as ongoing usage in love songs written by foodies.
Located inside the luxurious Hotel Deco, the restaurant features sleek lights and chandeliers that softly illuminate diners' artistically arranged plates and rough-hewn pillars that support two floors of seating. Behind the stocked bar, bartenders mix drinks and use the wine wall's sliding ladder to allude to former lives as librarians.