When the neon lights illuminate the midnight sky of Las Vegas, the cooks at Monte's Pizza Restaurant are still hard at work. They dart about their kitchen, checking on saucepans of marinara and bubbling pots of angel hair pasta before showering dough in creamy ricotta cheese, fresh basil, and plump sausages and loading pies into fiery ovens. Others layer crusty rolls with meatballs, steak, and salami before turning their attention to juicy slabs of baby back ribs sizzling on grills. Throughout the week, this kitchen staff keeps late hours, making its restaurant a popular spot for late-night carousers or sleepwalkers dreaming of enchanted meatballs that will grant them eternal beauty.
Born in Avellino, Italy, and raised in Brooklyn, Pasquale Ciampa and his two brothers shared a love of great fare and culture instilled in them by their parents. All three now exercise that love of Italian cuisine in their own culinary endeavors, with Pasquale bringing authentic Italian recipes to Las Vegas by way of Spaghetti and Company. Homemade beef meatballs, simmered in marinara, and freshly baked italian bread set the tone for the expansive menu, filled with Old World delicacies topped with ricotta and parmesan, alongside New World buffalo wings and New York–style pizzas and cheesecake. A rustic dining room and light-strung terrace surrounds guests as they toast with Sicilian-style pies, and kids clamor to the kitchen to craft their own masterpieces during pizza parties.
At its more than 1,900 U.S. and Canadian locations, Applebee’s transforms each of its outposts into a neighborhood hangout via friendly service and unique atmospheric details. Inside, diners will find each restaurant decorated with relaxing warm tones and personal touches specific to the community, such as hometown sports memorabilia and in-person updates from the local weatherman.
Sourced from across the country, the restaurant's executive culinary team gathers chefs who have cooked at the highest levels, from upscale restaurants to major-league baseball teams. The result is a menu that reinvents traditional American favorites with modern flavors and ingredients. Chefs give many dishes a fun, kid-friendly flavor by turning entrees into finger food such as the quesadilla burger and wonton tacos, but they don’t throw knives and forks to the wind—staying true to classics such as slow-cooked ribs and sizzling cuts of steak.
Jasmine Express’s lighting sets the mood. Neon blue window bulbs evoke scenes of Seoul’s bustling nightlife, and backlit rose canopies mimic the warm hues of a Saigon sunset. Candlelight is also in the mix, painting tablecloths with bouncing shadows as waiters’ arms unload Korean kimchee, boiled Vietnamese soups, and bamboo baskets full of shui mai and shrimp dumplings. Patrons can also illuminate plates of Chinese rice dishes available to-order, on the buffet, or sent directly from Beijing by catapult.
A massive figure with a bushy mustache, red flannel shirt, and axe greets visitors to Lumberjacks Restaurant, a family-friendly eatery that serves portions suitable for Paul Bunyan. Inside, amid a log cabin setting with saws on the wall and issues of Mulch Aficionado on the coffee table, guests can feast on one-pound Big Redwood burgers, 12-ounce rib eye steaks, and, on Friday and Saturday nights, one-pound portions of hand-carved prime rib. The hearty eats share menu space with specials for seniors and kids, as well as breakfast dishes such as omelets, pancakes, and skillets.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.