Bertucci’s Restaurant & Lounge evokes a wilderness retreat with log-cabin-style walls, hardwood floors, and a central fireplace on a bed of stone. Exposed rafters teem with greenery and the rising steam of chicken and veal in authentic Italian preparations, in dynamic sauces such as lemon wine and marsala. The open space mingles cozy ambiance with more than enough space for catered banquets that serve up to 100 people. Seafood fillets such as salmon and halibut insulate pasta draped with garlic, olive oil, and marinara. Patrons can venture outside to sip wine or an espresso drink amid the sprawling verandas of Bertucci’s open-air patio, where a fountain stands in a pool of water and falcons swoop down to snag unattended cannoli.
A series of red-and-black awnings leads passersby to Ciao Ristorante, where they step into a massive dining room designed to accommodate large groups and warmhearted family functions. But with its dark wood, French doors, and soft lighting, the space is equally suitable for more intimate evenings out. Over a bottle of wine or a few martinis, guests dig into impeccably Italian pastas, steaks, and seafood. The menu harbors such delicacies as filet mignon in artichoke-mushroom wine sauce, and racks of spring lamb seasoned with garlic and rosemary. Aside from more refined dishes, Ciao’s chefs also find their way into stomach’s hearts with comforting platters of pasta, including old-fashioned gnocchi and pillowy fresh ravioli.
Dance music pulsates through Red Velvet Lounge as party-goers indulge in late-night eats and specialty bar drinks amid a spacious nightclub. Bartenders pours out beverages from a fully stocked bar as guest saunter to the hardwood dance floor illuminated by the sporadic flickers of a colorful lights. Themed parties for Halloween and New Year’s Eve add variety to weekends, and Friday and Saturday nights introduce crowds to special-guest DJs and their finger-puppet entourages. Bites from the Lounge’s Italian-inspired menu fuel evening adventurers, with options including gorgonzola chips, Sicilian tilapia, and lemon-mascarpone torte.
Diners have sidled up to the bar at Durbin's to sip pints and nosh on homestyle Irish- and Italian-inspired eats for more than 25 years. In addition to corned beef sandwiches and house-made ricotta-stuffed ravioli, the diverse menu features butterflied filet mignon and baby back ribs slathered in a signature sauce. The restaurant offers a catering menu for special events, from business meetings to birthdays to block parties celebrating the cool neighbors who just moved here from California.
At Jullianni's, friendly staffers rush mozzarella-strewn pizzas, wings, and nachos to each table and booth in their open dining room, which is furnished with a high ceiling and sleek wood accents. Diners can also sate cravings for subs or idiosyncratic flavors such as crab cakes with banana-pepper tartar.
Sam Buca's is part fine-dining oasis of upscale Southern Italian cuisine and part laid-back sports bar serving casually delicious eats. Pull up a chair at a white-clothed table and open the menu of pasta, seafood, and meat dishes as hearty as a tugboat captain's laugh. Lemon chicken ($14), boneless breasts sautéed in a white wine and lemon butter sauce, lets savory poultry flavors dance on palates, while tilapia Italiano ($16), swimming with green onions and diced tomatoes in a white wine sauce, imbues taste buds with aquatic delight. Sam Buca's cannoli ($4) is homemade. Those who prefer the warm glow of TV screens reflected in their beer mug can head to the restaurant's bar and pick up the menu of more casual fare such as sandwiches ($5-$9), pizza ($10-$11), and wings ($8).