Like other Mediterranean cuisines, Portuguese fare incorporates aromatic doses of olive oil, garlic, onions, and wine. But unique to this cuisine is its intercontinental flair; you'll find rice from Asia, hot peppers from Africa, and cinnamon, cloves, and ginger from India, all influenced by the Portuguese colonies once spread across the globe. PortuCale Restaurant & Bar brings all this together in a festive and welcoming space. The seafood-heavy menu features six variations on shrimp, a lobster, clam, and scallop entree doused in the chef's secret hot sauce, and tilapia and salmon filets rubbed in zesty lemon sauces. Specialty meat dishes such as braised Portuguese steak topped with an egg and pork loins with mushrooms, clams, and Spanish potatoes add a robust, meaty element to the proceedings. And dishes like mac and cheese and chicken fingers keep kids from getting cranky and eating their homework.
The space is festive and distinctly Mediterranean?think dark-finished wood furnishings set against light exposed brick. Bartenders make pitchers of Sangria, stock wines from Portugal and Spain, and keep 20-year-old Porto wines on hand. They also sell fine cigars that guests can bring to the outdoor patio?itself a draw for its castle-like stone walls, waterfalls, and faux-moat?and take puffs from between sips of single-malt whisky and cognac from the bar.
The Embankment’s robust menu revolves around the concept of eco-gastronomy, carefully crafting cuisine with sourceable, environment- and animal-treatment-conscious ingredients. Let all the guilt-free goodness melt into your mouth abyss with the cassoulet, a medley of duck confit, house-made sausage, white beans, smoked bacon, and sage ($19). Or indulge in an ocean potion of baked snapper atop a bed of rice, stewed tomatoes, pine nuts, seasonal veggies, and basil ($22). If you're a sandwich lover, the goat-cheese sandwich with red peppers, mushrooms, baby spinach, and a balsamic reduction ($12) is a vegetarian bombshell. The Embankment is open for lunch and dinner six days a week (closed Mondays), as well as for brunch on the weekends.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
The first decision to make at Nino's Coal Fired Pizza is an important one: to share, or not to share? The coal-fired pies come in an individual size or a larger 16-inch ideal for sharing. From there, the decision-making process becomes even more agonizing (in the good way), with creative specialty pies topped with everything from meatballs and cheesesteak to, yes, traditional cheese. Whole-wheat and gluten-free crusts are available, and certain pizzas are sold by the slice throughout the day. None of which is to say that Nino's is exclusively about pizza; the menu also includes homemade pasta dishes, steak and seafood entrees, and hot sandwiches.
The chefs at Muscle Maker Grill put a healthy spin on flavorful dishes inspired by Italian, Asian, American, and southwestern cuisines. The chain was founded in 1995 by Rod Silva, a fitness enthusiast who grew weary of fast-food eateries that bogged customers down with unhealthy morsels and toys sculpted from butter. What began as a smoothie stand has expanded into a successful franchise that slings pastas, burgers, salads, and Tex-Mex–style wraps, and proudly displays the calorie content and relationship status of each dish on the menu.