Crepes on Columbus fills its namesake dish—thin, made-to-order pancakes—with sweet and savory ingredients, imbuing each bite with Franco-Spanish flavors. The quaint café’s crepes adapt to any appetite, brimming with rich infusions such as nutella and strawberries or roasted chicken and ratatouille, and serve as emergency head coverings during freak downpours of jams and preserves. The friendly wait staff serves both breakfast and dinner all day, comingling omelets, juicy cuts of meat, and seafood on tabletops, sided with desserts and smoothies.
Over the course of three courses, A Little Café's chef-owner Marianne Powell leads adventurous forks through a gourmet garden of forking paths with her prix-fixe menu. Start the repast with crab cigarettes—one of the cafe's signature dishes, which rolls crab meat in crispy, thin crêpes paired with a spicy chili sauce. Once you've inhaled your last cigarette and exhaled a cloud of crustacean ghosts, chase it with a soup or salad, such as a spinach salad with gorgonzola or French onion soup. Savory seafoods—such as the Norwegian salmon crusted with walnuts and drizzled in a banana berry brown butter sauce—and redder meats—like Marianne's veal meatloaf stuffed with red peppers, spinach, and provolone cheese in a wild mushroom marsala demiglace—await unsuspecting palates in the third course. For the final course, your server will describe in loving, almost obscene detail the night's assortment of desserts, then bring you the one most likely to keep your belly's sweet tooth from jabbing you in the liver. A Little Café is BYOB, so take the opportunity to show off the homemade wine you fermented out of old baseball cards.
Located along the banks of Farrington Lake, Sir John's Restaurant has immersed visitors into its romantic lakeside scene since 1975. On the outdoor patio, rustling trees and rippling tides create an intimate backdrop as diners sit down to a menu filled with upscale American cuisine. The restaurant places special emphasis on seafood, a fitting trait considering its watery surroundings. The seafood fra diavolo presents a melange of nautical nourishment, including sauteed scallops, shrimp, mussels, and clams. But much like wearing a snorkel while riding the bus, many of Sir John's dishes combine the best of both worlds, such as the surf and turf, which teams up a petite filet with a succulent lobster tail.
With its sloped roof and grand clock tower, Orale Mexican Bistro's facade doesn't fit the bill for a typical Mexican restaurant. But beyond its front doors, chefs cook open-faced chipotle shrimp quesadillas by the heat of a wood-fired brick oven, and they stuff tacos with slow-cooked carnitas. Servers shuttle these south of the border entrees to candlelit tables in the dining room or to an outdoor patio perched beneath the clock tower, which transforms back into a lowly wristwatch at the stroke of midnight. On select evenings, DJs spin house and latinbeat tunes while patrons enjoy specials on margaritas and mixed drinks.
Though they all share the same name, all eight of McLoone's Restaurants' locations have their own interior charm. With dining rooms adjacent to off-track betting facilities, McLoone’s Woodbridge Grille and McLoone’s Bayonne Grille are peppered with an energetic ambiance that fills their brightly colored spaces. Televisions at every table keep diners abreast of the results of each race, and the big screens plastered around the restaurants also broadcast NFL, MLB, and college games. Like an indecisive bride’s wedding, each location’s bistro-style menu includes both casual and elegant dishes, from seasoned thai chicken wings and Black Angus burgers to new york strip steak and mango salmon.
The chefs at Crepe N Grill serve both sweet and savory crepes, thin pancakes crowned with fresh ingredients such as honey-cinnamon apples or braised pork. Freshly blended fruit smoothies, lattes, and cappuccinos from the espresso bar pair up with crisp salads, soups, and paninis.
The cooks at Grille Two 74 maintain a delicate balance between speed and quality. Working quickly, they make all food to order, including half-pound burgers, hearty chili, and grilled chicken sandwiches with homemade chipotle mayo. These eats are served in a sleek, industrial space with exposed brick walls, metal chairs, and track lighting sending out beams in red, blue, and magenta.