Bread Oven French Bakery's bakers strive to bring the flavors of France to Dundee, and they succeed in both sweet and savory ways. Authentically French flavors grace the cold prosciutto sandwich with French butter and the baguette smeared with Nutella and sliced strawberries. Freshly baked baguettes hold together hot, pressed sandwiches filled with ingredients such as crimini mushrooms and gruyere cheese. The eatery's kitchen also concocts house-made soups in flavors such as mushroom brie or butternut squash with herb crème fraîche. The Bread Oven's flavor ambassadors bake breads from scratch while whistling Jacques Brel tunes, adding to the classic French cool of never using preservatives or additives.
The history of Heartland Caf??s building reads like a whirlwind tour through the American psyche. Built in 1919, it's alternately housed a dental office, beauty salon, dance hall, soda fountain, hardware store, and pharmacy. You half expect to find a young George Bailey working behind the counter. Nearly 100 years after the final brick was laid, Heartland Caf? adds modern flair with a smattering of red vinyl and wooden chairs that flank square and round tables. Books tuck into shelving units, and vintage photographs hang on exposed brick walls to give the place a splash of nostalgia. It is an eclectic aesthetic that parallels its eclectic menu?diners can expect to find elk patties, pigs in a blanket, and turkey sandwiches bedecked with cranberry cream cheese sharing page space. And for cafe purists, classic omelets and chicken wraps also star on the menu. During the summer months, Heartland Caf? spills into the outdoors with a Summer Concert Series playing the likes of Lionel Young and Personics.
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.
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.
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.
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).