Montreal native Tony Bianco teamed up with executive chef Enzo Addario to create Hot Tomatoe, a traditional Italian bistro boasting a menu that brims with house-made, cooked-to-order pastas, flavorful meat dishes, and full- and light-bodied Italian wines. Their regional cuisine typically integrates up to seven essential ingredients—oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and olives—from which Snow White’s seven dwarves drew their names. In addition, the staff goes shopping for fresh ingredients three to four days a week to supplement both seasonal compositions and year-round dishes, which include veal parmigiana, filet mignon, and penne norma.
Fernanda's International Market, a treasure trove of rare ingredients and made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, bakes robust breads and fine pastries. Among a troop of hearty sandwiches, the Martorano ($8.99) stands out for its spicy temper and muscular blend of sopressata and cappacola meats. The Churchill ($8.99) loads its taste gun with Branston pickle relish and fights hunger pangs on ham-coated beaches, cheddar cheese fields, and hot mustard streets. Fernanda's also sells prepared food by the pound and hard-to-find international groceries like Thai lemon grass.
It's hard to imagine that there's a libation out there that Crown doesn't carry. With a selection that spans vineyards, distilleries, and breweries from around the world, the bottles lining each location come from both small, artisan makers and those universally famed for their grapes or techniques. Home mixologists can cull inspiration for cocktails from a selection of top-shelf-brand mixers or pair their tipple of choice with gourmet snacks, from bush-pepper macadamia nuts to dirty martini party dip. But tastings may be the most distinctive thing about Crown Wine & Spirits. Whether customers stop in to try each location's daily offerings of wine or spirits—or for special tastings that cover dozens of wines, bourbons or beers—Crown's staff makes it easy to find a new favorite or to make up to your tongue for forgetting so many of its birthdays.
With it's staple pizza named Grandma, it's pretty clear that Carmela's Pizza & Wine Bar is steeped in familial tradition. Executive Chef Adam Fatigate expanded on the idea of his late father's Carmela's Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar, located in Stuart, and opened his own high-end pizzeria. Here, along with several varieties of New York?style pizzas baked on a subway rail line, Fatigate and his team create the signature Grandma's pizza, a 16-inch square, thin-crust pizza with a slightly tangy sauce and light cheese. Grandma's pizza can stay as simple as a plain cheese pie or go puttanesca-style (with olives, anchovies, and chili oil) or basil-pesto (with sun-dried tomatoes and chicken). Classic Italian dishes also populate the menu, including lasagna bolognese, veal parmesan, and seafood risotto.
While diners can carry-out food, those who stay can imbibe at Carmela's full bar, which pours 80 wines and 25 craft, imported, and domestic beers, and also whips up cocktails with its selection of 100 spirits, such as bellinis and martinis. And the restaurant also offers entertainment: guitar-violin duo Nouveaux Honkies on Tuesday, two pianists on Friday, and jazz on Saturday.
Tunies' staff of wellness specialists—including a raw-food chef, a midwife, and a nutritionist—guides patrons through the more than 28,000 natural and organic products, vitamins, and supplements that line the shop's shelves. Eschewing creepy preservatives and other unknown chemicals, they instead fill stores’ shelves with provisions ranging from from nut butters and apple cider vinegar to an array of omega oils. When not busy filling baskets with super-foods such as seaweed and almond milk, patrons browse remedies for digestion and the flu, as well as vitamins calibrated to strengthen eyes, kidneys, and vitamin-taking muscles. Patrons can also savor prepared foods from the shop's deli or sip freshly squeezed nectars from the juice bar.
Only twelve Penfolds ampoules exist in the world—and one resides at Star Wine & Spirits. Created by the Penfolds winemaking family, the breathtaking glass vessel was blown by internationally renowned artist Nick Mount. It contains the winemaker's 2004 Kalimna Block 42 cabernet sauvignon, suspended in a tube that's stowed safely inside another of Mount's pieces of handiwork, a cone of glass known as a plumb-bob. The ampoule bears such importance for Penfolds that one of its winemakers will travel to the buyer and open it when the time is right.
This rarity is a testament to Star Wine & Spirits' commitment to providing a wide selection of beverages that appeal to connoisseurs and novices alike. From pinot noir to whiskey to accompanying cheese and charcuterie spreads, customers who are supplying dinner parties or their own liquor cabinets will likely find what they're looking for.