Good News Cafe's owner and chef Carole Peck strongly believes in supporting her community and proves it with her seasonal, frequently organic dishes and her restaurant's decor. Her handcrafted farm-to-table dishes—which include pork-loin schnitzel served with mustard smashed potatoes and venison medallion and meatloaf—are the result of partnerships with local farmers and businesses. She also backs local artists, letting them showcase their artwork throughout the restaurant.
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company—now owned by the trio of siblings—reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
Karen Doman, the personal chef behind the scenes at Dishin' It, lends her expert hands to clients’ kitchens for a variety of services. As a personal chef, she consults with clients and helps them plan customized menus based on dietary needs and personal preferences. She takes care of all the shopping and cooking, and leaves dishes prepared in clients’ freezers with full instructions for reheating. Karen also plans dinner parties, romantic meals, and private cooking classes, using her knowledge as a French Culinary Institute graduate to teach customers how to prepare mouth-watering dishes such as ratatouille, poached pears in caramel sauce, and halibut with shrimp and scallops served over risotto.
Tazza Café's baristas serve a lively selection of handcrafted coffee drinks alongside light lunch fare and pastries that are baked fresh in-house. Express your support for the international caffeinated beverage of your choice, choosing from the Americano, cappuccino, and café au lait ($3.25+), or remain deliciously neutral with a steamy Belgian sipping chocolate. A refreshing iced tea ($2.25+) staves off summer's sweltering advances and a frozen hot chocolate ($4.35) bombards unsuspecting mouths with the oxymoronic warmth of an unlighted stove. Alternate caffeinated sips with fluffy mouthfuls of freshly baked treats, including scones, croissants, and jumbo muffins, available in flavors such as pistachio-walnut and cappuccino ($2.75).
At Sweetooth Katonah, culinary-institute pastry chefs carefully curate locally sourced, premium ingredients to craft the batter for daily-made cupcakes. Treats rise from the foundation of locally sourced flour, eggs, and cream. Cake flavors range from flourless chocolate to orange essence to traditional licks such as carrot-ginger cake, with most sweets topped with dustings and dollops such as bittersweet chocolate ganache and chai spiced frosting. In addition to whipping up tiny treats, Sweetooth Katonah churns out ambrosial cakes for birthday bashes or retirement cubicle burnings and sates thirst with creamline milk and organic, direct-trade-certified Counter Culture coffee.
In the afternoons, Xenia Fine Foods’ quaint storefront bustles with the activity of cooks who handcraft organic dishes. They tuck traditional Waldorf chicken salad into spinach and honey-wheat wraps, and fill pita pockets or gluten-free pant pockets with roasted eggplant, tomato sauce, and garlic. On a daily basis, they simmer up fresh soups, ranging from mushroom barley to new york cabbage. They cater to the after-work crowd in the evenings, stocking the deli case with ready-made items, such as salmon filets, turkey meatballs, and roasted vegetables.