Riverside Manor’s cooks craft a menu of upscale Italian dishes, each served to diners in a renovated nineteenth-century silk mill. Just as a trip to the bookie precedes little-league baseball games, so too must first courses such as chicken wings ($7) or clams oreganata ($8 lunch, $10 dinner) clear the way for a festive entrée. Classic dishes such as rigatoni alla vodka ($10 lunch, $12 dinner) and fettuccini carbonara ($12 lunch, $14 dinner) share space with more exotic fare, including a 10-oz. raw filet mignon served on a 750-degree volcanic stone ($24). A lineup of brick-oven pizzas teaches guests that, unlike pi, pies end, and libations such as red ($5–$13) and white ($5–$12) wines, domestic ($4) and imported ($5) beers, and martinis ($7–$11) accompany the succulent eats.
Operated by veteran restaurateur Peter Sideris (who has worked at New York's Smith & Wollensky), Hamilton & Ward Steakhouse serves meticulously prepared cuisine with world-class Kobe beef, prime beef that been dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days, and high-quality seafoods. Hamilton & Ward's dinner menu is loaded with several scrumptious cuts, from its signature 48-ounce porterhouse for two ($79) to the 32-ounce Flintstone ($54), a bone-in rib eye that'll stimulate Stone Age–era taste buds and tip over most foot-powered cars. Disguised bears, meanwhile, can hunch into their trench coats and break into a few fresh Maine lobsters (market price) or savor the restaurant's grilled Atlantic salmon ($25). Keep first-date conversations lubricated with any of the 400 wines in Hamilton & Ward's exquisite Mediterranean wine cellar, or guarantee a second with a glamorous glass of Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac, the only liquor to have been elected president of a Micronesian island.
At tables around Grill House, kebabs hang down from hooks above plates, laden with succulent chunks of meat. Around the earth-toned dining room, tables covered with tan linens support plates of shawarma, quail, or ravioli. Elsewhere, diners can exhale hookah smoke redolent of fresh fruit, blowing languid smoke rings and then coaxing smoke tigers to jump through them.
Fresh herbs and local greens, aged parmesan, and handmade pasta. Chefs in Tuscany Flame's kitchen staff draws these items together when crafting dishes from scratch for a menu of Italian cuisine. Forks twirl in plates of pasta doused in housemade sauces with cognac and dill or white wine and lemon. For the steaks, chefs cut aged beef from the Midwest by hand, and an open flame sears chops and chicken and burns secret agents’ bad poetry. Diners enjoy the handcrafted fare in the burgundy-carpeted dining room or outside at umbrella-shaded tables.
The chefs at Sahara Express Hot Grill craft Mediterranean cuisine from fresh, organic meats and vegetables. Diners can visit a salad bar to dress falafel sandwiches with chopped cucumber and tomato in creamy tahini, crisp radish, or rich hummus. Gyro meat roasts on a vertical spit, and morsels of kebab-skewered chicken sear on a grill. Sahara Express Hot Grill's cooks deftly prepare and pack takeout orders, but diners can also take a seat in an inviting dining area with gleaming wood paneling and artwork that embellishes the walls.
With a crêpe-centric menu, Kafe Neo expands on the repertoire of the typical café kitchen with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and snack-time fare. During each visit, diners can look on as crêpes ($2.99–$8.99 each) are cooked to order in a pan, flattened over a copy of the French Constitution, and filled with signature combinations of more than 70 different meat, vegetable, cheese, and fruit fillings. After coffee beans are carefully put through the antique roasters at nearby Dallis Bros. Coffee, they're ground up and brewed onsite to make café mochas ($4.49), lattes ($3.99), and classic cups of joe ($2.49 with refills). Whether you're eyeing something savory, sweet, or simply not caught on fire, the restaurant also serves fresh paninis, omelets, and french toast.