Barber tools are not toys. But even as a child, Dennis Marquez couldn’t resist playing with his father's set of barber tools in the attic, as he told Wellington the Magazine in 2008. This early admiration led Dennis to train at many prestigious hair schools including Vidal Sassoon in London. More than 35 years ago, Dennis and his wife, Kristina, opened the first Pizzazz Hair Design. The venture succeeded: their business has grown to include five separate salons, many of which have gained praise from NBC 5. Each salon’s stylists, armed with Redken and GKhair products, consult with men, women, teens, and children before revamping their manes with cuts, foil highlights, and hair-smoothing treatments. At the adjoining spas in three of the five salons, technicians paint nails with OPI polishes and cleanse skin with botanical-based Pevonia products.
To stay up to date on current hair trends, each salon's beauticians attend continuing-education courses and dissolve fashion magazines older than three months in jars of barbicide. The Pizzazz team also gives back to the community by donating a portion of salon proceeds to the Adopt-A-Family organization.
Although the chefs at Asian Fin Restaurant take Japanese culinary traditions as their starting point, they push their cuisine to a new level by introducing a bit of modern flair. Among their 40 sushi rolls are specialties that incorporate everything from king crab and wild salmon to tempura shrimp, strawberries, and mixed nuts. The chefs also cook inventive entrees, from lamb chops grilled in a stone pot and topped with Asian mustard glaze to Japanese-style tacos filled with smoked salmon and sweet chili-tinged cream cheese.
To accompany this wide array of flavors, Asian Fin Restaurant features an impressive collection of imported sakes. Just as fine wines require special wine grapes and fine microbrews require special beer microwaves, fine sakes require the sort of carefully milled, high-quality rice found in every selection at Asian Fin Restaurant.
With its orange chairs, jet-black floor tiles, and intimate lighting, the eatery's dining room appears to share the menu's modern inclinations. At the same time, a handful of traditional touches ensure the restaurant's Japanese roots remain prominent. Decals of arching tree limbs adorn one entire wall as well as the glass partition dividing the room, and kanji-decorated accents hang above the gleaming bar area.
"It took them five years before they would let me handle the fish," says sushi chef Jo Clark about his extensive training. He began his culinary journey at 13 years old and spent a decade in an apprenticeship at the Japanese restaurant Yama. There, he honed an ability to prep rice and sauces, wield a knife, and select sushi-grade fish while shadowing chefs from different regions of Japan. In his spare time, Jo enjoys paddle-surfing and once skillfully maneuvered alongside a lively school of sharks.
At the restaurant, however, he deftly manages cuts of salmon, flounder, hamachi yellowtail, and shellfish to craft more than 40 inventive sushi rolls. He toys with the traditions of sushi, wrapping some rolls with thin slices of European cucumber and creating a sashimi pizza on a tortilla crust. The aromas of ginger, eggplant, and garlic wander from pots of Thai-style dishes in the kitchen and out into dining rooms. Though each location has distinct decor, diners mingle among elements such as exposed-brick bars, hardwood floors, and hanging Japanese paper lanterns in the exciting bright colors of a furious traffic cop viewed through a kaleidoscope.
When you look at a Philly cheesesteak, "subtle" might be the last word on your mind. But it is, in fact, a sandwich of subtleties?just ask Big Al and his son Adam. When they moved to Florida from Philadelphia, they tried many cheesesteaks that purported to be authentic, but that lacked the small, signature touches of a true Philly creation: ribeye that was sliced and not chopped, for example, or the steak rolls only the East Coast had perfected.
So, the duo started their own cheesesteak restaurant. They sliced the ribeye steak, scheduled weekly deliveries of rolls from Philadelphia, and even put Cheez Whiz on the menu in addition to melted cheeses for added authenticity. This is not to say that they don't branch out?Big Al's also has burgers, hot dogs, and cheesesteak variants, such as the bacon-bleu cheesesteak or the spring-mix salad (it tastes like a cheesesteak if you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough).
At Carmine's Original Ocean Grill & Sushi Bar, restaurateur Carmine Giardini's vision to revive the seafood flair of former restaurant Ocean Grill has come to fruition. While patrons enjoy to stunning views of the Soverel Harbor Marina, they are also treated to a copious variety of locally caught fish, seafood, and steaks grilled on a hardwood charcoal grill by executive chef Alexander Sutherland.
But like a mashed-potato-sculpting class, the restaurant presents plenty of other ways to enjoy your food. In its lounge-style setting, patrons nibble on selections from the raw-sushi bar, choose from entrees such as miso-glazed sea bass and oven-roasted crispy duck, or savor robata grill dishes cooked in an authentic, ancient-style irori—a traditional Japanese charcoal-fired hearth. They also sip wine, sake, and creative cocktails such as the Asian pear martini and the strawberry mule.
At Cool Beans Indoor Playground & Cafe, children frolic in a more than 6,000-square-foot indoor playground among attractions such as a dress-up area, inflatable slides, and an in-floor trampoline. Weekly development classes in arts or music also spur children's mental development. The play center also caters to adults: in a WiFi-connected cafe area, baristas pour coffee and lattes and serve up casual fare, such as fruit-and-chicken salads and Italian-style paninis.