Aromas of roasted garlic and basil waft from the warm ovens at Cafe Centro as chefs prepare a menu of Northern Italian seafood specialties. Beneath the dining area's rustic timber ceiling, servers deliver plates of fettuccine crowned with lobster and brandy cream sauce or fillets of grilled salmon, yellowtail snapper, and branzino. Other dishes include crusty calzones with soft, melting interiors and housemade desserts such as tiramisu. Wrought-iron chandeliers cast a warm glow over racks of bottles filled with fine wines and rolled parchment notes from the pirate who lives in the cellar.
There's an art to picking a steak. As the chefs at Prime will tell you, a steak should have just the right amount of marbling, which makes the meat retain tenderness and develop more robust flavors during cooking. That's why father-and-son duo Steven Pellegrino Sr. and Jr. insist that every steak be cut from USDA prime beef. They also insist upon fresh seafood, lining up catches such as sea bass and line-caught swordfish for their chefs to transform into flavorful entrees, as well as a roster of sushi and sashimi.
Outfitted with a supper-club atmosphere, Prime dazzles with its decor as much as its menu. A pianist lights up the ivories nightly, each scale undulating through a posh interior of chandeliers, marble floors, and a martini-centric bar. A dedicated butcher's area lets patrons take a hands-on approach to dining by picking out their own cuts of meat—a favorite feature of Zagat and other delighted reviewers. Premium spirits, cigars, and velvet feedbags can also be brought and stored in Prime's inscribed liquor cabinet for enjoyment throughout the evening.
Since they first arrived on the Mayflower in 1620, Linda Bean's family members have only ever lived in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Bean, who is the granddaughter of the famous one—L.L., not the Chicago sculpture—has traveled to four continents but maintains enormous pride in her New England heritage. She names Maine as her favorite place on Earth, and when she started a business in her 60s, she sought to convey this state pride through its tastiest signature export: lobster.
Within just a few years of its inception, Linda Bean's Perfect Maine was in front of QVC cameras, on top of Walmart shelves, and filling a 26-foot "lobstermobile" purchased when Bruce Wayne was rebranding. Of her quintet of proprietary restaurants, only one is outside Maine, but all fill bellies with sea-fresh lunches and dinners. Linda's herbed lobster roll is the star—its two buttered buns hug a quarter pound of meat that's been sprinkled with an herb blend whose classified recipe she refuses to disclose.
Drawing from 35 years of industry experience, Jake Stone Crab's owner David Leschen captains a crew of chefs who whip up gourmet surf 'n' turf dishes that have enticed the taste buds of a Sun Sentinel reporter. The chefs roll out an array of seafood specialties and premium steaks as ovens turn out daily-baked breads and pastries. The crack of the restaurant's signature stone crab claws resounds throughout the place until the season's end on May 15, when lobster and king crab take their place as the restaurant's star entrees.
Seafood feasts are set in the elegant dining room, in which sunlight filters through billowing curtains onto white-clothed tables. Outside, tables stretch out across the expansive patio, shaded by awnings and cloth umbrellas. Cushy, upholstered patio furniture and an absence of sobbing families of crab make for comfortable al fresco dining.
For more than two decades, Ebisu—named for the Japanese god of wealth and fortune—has fostered a passion for fresh seafood. According to the Palm Beach Post, chef Hiro Yamamoto infuses his traditional Japanese specialties with the local catches of the day, which are listed daily on a blackboard alongside several lines of I will not pretend to be avocado written by the wasabi in detention. Beneath the rustic, fish-print art dangling over the sushi bar, guests can watch the chefs as they bundle nigiri, maki, and temaki with fresh ingredients in classic arrangements. From the kitchen, plump udon and soba noodle soups join tempura veggies and teriyaki entrees as a steamy complement to the rice-rolled morsels. Guests savor the restaurant’s house sake or plum wine from wooden booths and floor-level tatami seating, which seems to ignite beneath scarlet walls and hanging paper lanterns.
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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.