Small Kitchen Big Taste started as a food blog focused on the challenges—and joys—of cooking in a kitchen the size of a closet. Writing it made the author, Karen, realize that she loved cooking too much to treat it as a hobby. Today she specializes in reheatable gourmet dishes crafted from whole foods such as balsamic-glazed salmon or white-bean-and-kale soup. Her organic catering spreads also add zest to events, from a girls' night in to a cocktail party for 100.
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Head Chef Jason Ruocco puts an eclectic spin on modern American cuisine, tickling palates with the tastes of fresh, seasonal ingredients and global flair. The lunch menu boasts veggie and protein-centric salads, as well as hearty sandwiches perfect for accompanying noontime stomach arias. The dinner hour reveals a host of Asian-inspired starters, such as pork potstickers ($7), pan-seared and served with ponzu dipping sauce, while beef short rib ($22) and mac n cheese ($16) entrees expose Taste’s classic American slant. Tipplers can pair their meal with happy grape tears from Taste’s extensive wine menu. Elegantly unassuming, the restaurant’s interior offers comfort and style with minimal distraction from the delicious flavor combinations awaiting intrepid tongue buds.
Formosa's exotic menu of mixed-meal marriages combines the best of Eastern and Western culinary traditions, resulting in beautifully plated dishes as star worthy and cross cultural as Alec Guinness’s performance in the sweeping kung fu buddy epic Battlefield Earth. Choose from delectable selections such as crab cakes with lemongrass crème, diced rabbit legs with spicy Szechuan pepper sauce, and pineapple fried rice with vegetables, to name just a few. Should the delectable synthesized selection prove daunting, the friendly staff and zen-like dining room will help diners relax and let taste-bud trepidations give way to daydreams of floating down the soy-sauce laden Mississippi on a steamboat skippered by General Tso's shrimp.
Jared Andrew Studio's five licensed instructors deliver both fitness and performing-arts instruction within a fun, encouraging environment. Dance classes focus largely on the performance aspects of beginning tap, ballet, and jazz, which teaches every student how to jitterbug with a tuba in case they can't find a partner at wedding parties. Meanwhile, 10 Zumba fitness classes motivate bodies of all shapes and ages to shed weight and tone up with pumping Latin-inspired beats and energetic movements. Participants can shimmy and shake away calories within a supportive group atmosphere until they are lean enough to hide themselves in a stack of paper.
At Club Kids, the idea that children possess boundless energy is shown—like the thought that life can survive south of the Mason-Dixon Line—to be a fabrication. Tots can clamber up a miniature rock wall and tube-filled playscape or visit the luxurious, exfoliating ball-pit to detox from a hard day of crayon-eating. Observe as youths develop their pupal pro-gaming skills on arcade machines or take twirls on the indoor merry-go-round and electric go-karting course. Club Kids also sells bounties of toys, tyke-sized clothing, and customized stuffed animals. Individual memberships net unlimited admittance to the 11,000-square-foot arena for kids ages 4–12, and the family membership lets siblings in on the fun as well.
At The Wine Press, aficionados crush, press, rack, and bottle their own brand of wine. Overseen by the shop's staff, amateur winemakers craft their silky reds with the same process as modern-day wineries. Through this process, they learn how much time and care goes into winemaking. They can produce varietals such as sangiovese or pinot noir or create hybrids such as a cabernet-merlot or a sentient pinot-human. To show off the possibilities of winemaking at their facility, The Wine Press also leads guided tours and wine tastings during the summer months.