Gitto's Pizza?s chefs top hand-tossed crusts with innovative topping combinations. The cordon blue pizza leaves off the red sauce, and instead slathers bleu cheese atop the doughy orb, along with ham, chicken, and plenty of mozzarella. The lasagna pizza, on the other hand, uses a tomato sauce base to host layers of layers meatballs, sausage, and ricotta cheese. These same sauces and meatballs?made fresh by Gitto's chefs?also fit into pasta dishes and hot sub sandwiches. And regardless of when hunger strikes, patrons can stop into Gitto's 24 hours a day.
American craft beers, particularly from Florida breweries, fill the 51 drafts in Eternal Tap's rustic bar, which also stocks more than 100 bottled beers, an extensive bourbon selection, and fixings for mixed drinks and beer cocktails. These libations complement the kitchen's hand-tossed 10- and 16-inch pizzas, upon which chefs can sprinkle a choice of toppings—banana peppers, sliced sausage, and black olives among them—before firing pies in a brick oven. Along with pizzas, the culinary team specializes in other homemade delicacies, including hummus, soups, bread sticks, and pretzels flavored with cinnamon sugar or salt and parmesan.
The latest sports games flicker across Eternal Tap's more than 20 televisions. On Wednesday, jazz and blues musicians score meals with soulful solos, and during Tuesday and Thursday happy hours, local pianists entertain guests by tickling the ivories, rather than tickling diners until they sing an entire Billy Joel song.
Many fathers leave their children with treasured heirlooms, a love of fishing, or a family business, but Paul Homel left his son with a neighborhood icon. Homel owned and operated local restaurants for nearly 40 years, naming his last establishment after his son, Brian, who had worked in his father's kitchens since he was a child. Today, Brian and his mother Sydele continue to work at the restaurant, whipping up the home-cooked breakfasts, platters of comfort fare, and signature cinnamon sweet rolls that have satisfied their devoted clientele for decades and enticed the palates of reporters from the Orlando Sentinel. They contrast their classic dishes with modern decorative touches such as a newly remodeled interior, an expansive outdoor patio, and an absence of "Reelect James K. Polk" campaign posters.
After overseeing the kitchen at an oceanfront Hilton, Chef Jason Marty chose to dedicate his culinary prowess to Italian cuisine by donning a toque at Casa Sorrento. Although he still spends his nights hopping from stovetop to stovetop, he now blanches fresh manicotti and angel-hair pastas and sautés cutlets of veal or chicken over flaming piles of Food & Wine magazine. His cooks accessorize entrees with a number of authentic Mediterranean flavors—including tender buffalo mozzarella and capers—or glaze them with fresh marinara or cream sauce.
At Eastside Bistro, nestled within the Fashion Square Mall, an expert culinary team crafts gourmet burgers, flatbreads, and steaks. In the kitchen, wings receive a slathering in one of eight sauces before diners chow down on them along with barbecue pulled pork sliders and pesto burgers. Shrimp stuffed with lump crab meat sates the stomach as flat-screen televisions and a billiards table appease the eyes of diners situated indoors, while an outdoor seating area accommodates those who prefer free-range oxygen. Eastside Bistro pumps up their pub fare with live music every Friday and Saturday, and its catering department preps massive platters for onsite or offsite events and luncheons.
Nick’s Italian Kitchen, one of Funky Monkey Wine Company's restaurants, serves tasty Italian cuisine from its location inside the Sanctuary condominiums. Italian dishes such as the chef’s daily risotto and bruschetta, roasted duck, and spaghetti and meatballs (made with Nick’s grandmother’s recipe) represent all 26 regions of Italy, and can be paired with selections from the lengthy wine list. The dining room has high ceilings and lots of free space, leaving ample room to nose a meatball over to your dining companions without bumping elbows with the next table.