Bolts of sheer fabric dangle from the ceiling of Havana Dulce's dining room, filtering the soft lighting before it hits the burnt-orange walls and mimics the sight of a Caribbean sunset. Meanwhile, the aromas of fried plantains, lemon-marinated ceviche, and roast pork drift throughout the space and tempt diners with their combinations of sweet and savory flavors.
The nightlife at Havana Dulce revolves around the bar's refreshing cocktails and fruit-filled sangria, as well as the spirited dance floor. To help to keep feet stepping and hips swaying, the restaurant features live shows throughout the week, including DJ sets, band performances, and staged readings of colonial Virginia's first tax code.
Chicken Delight is open 363 days a year, closing only on Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's a good thing it's open almost every day, serving locals heaping servings of their golden-fried chicken, mac and cheese, buttery rolls, wings, and homemade coleslaw. Not to mention the cookie-crusted Oreo mousse cake, or the buckets of ribs pulled up daily from the restaurant's sauce well. Family specials stock multiple bellies at once with piles of chicken, ribs, shrimp, and sides, while lunch specials pair favorite foods into hearty single-servings.
Homestyle Italian cooking comes naturally to John Centrella, the owner of Jersey Meatball Company. He grew up amid the hustle and bustle of two pizzerias owned by his Italian-born parents. So when John grew up, he decided to continue the family tradition, and honed in on the family's culinary specialty: hand-rolled meatballs.
The meatballs serve as the cornerstone of the eatery's menu, with chefs incorporating them into hero sandwiches, sliders, pasta dishes, or just serving them ? la carte. The meatballs themselves vary widely, created from pork, beef, chicken, or vegetables. Chefs drizzle meatballs with the restaurant's signature sauces, ranging from classic marinara to spicy pink vodka sauce and pesto. But the chefs really stretch their muscles on Sunday, creating full Italian dinner feasts for families to take home and enjoy.
Chomp down on a forkful of Italy in North Bergen at 90 Park Restaurant, which serves up a traditional menu of Italian favorites. For a light lunch, consider a cup of minestrone and a grilled chicken panini, bolstered by mozzarella, arugula, roasted peppers, and garlic pesto. Come dinnertime, tear into a brick-oven pizza Romana?fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, chopped tomatoes, arugula, and olive oil?or a heaping plate of eggplant rigatoni. For a sweet take on your entree, look no further than the pumpkin ravioli. An international list of wines and classic desserts round out the menu.
The chefs at Pasion Latina aim to pay tribute to Latin American cultures by serving distinctive dishes. Taste buds are engaged with sweet plantains, black beans, and fried cassava, which are nestled beside piquant entrees from Cuba, Colombia, and other nations. Diners can sip BYOB selections on the patio, chat in the intimate, colorful dining room, or feverishly try to hitchhike to Puerto Rico without putting on swimmies.