Fogged-glass light fixtures illuminate the wood-paneled walls and the polished granite bar tops that span the length of Bliss's multileveled dining room. These elegant decorative touches combine with a menu of contemporary American specialties for a sensory experience that led Esquire to praise Bliss as one of the Best New Restaurants of 2004. The magazine noted in its review that, like a schoolyard court drama or a Hawaiian-print tuxedo, the aptly named restaurant strikes "just the right balance between casual and serious." This balance is especially apparent in the Bliss kitchen, where staffers play with flavors to produce entrees such as free-range chicken glazed in honey and sesame-seared salmon with ginger-leek dumplings. Other specialties include pork chop with a fried egg and short ribs braised in balsamic vinegar, both of which pair exquisitely with a freshly milked cocktail from the bar.
Executive Chef Jim Brown whimsically incorporates new ingredients into traditional recipes, creating innovative flavor combinations that manage to make familiar dishes feel surprising. Crab-stuffed salmon explodes with flavor, while Korean flank steak and stacked chicken round out the menu. To accompany the eclectically inspired menu, Luma features an extensive list of internationally sourced wines that highlights the food-friendly vinos of California.
The Italian Stallion, Nude Louie, and Limburger Willie all sound like bad frat boy nicknames. However, these titles—along with Neener Wiener and Oral Arson—are the names of hot dogs created at Lucky Louie's Beer and Wieners. The chefs top Smith Provision Company’s natural-casing wieners with 27 unique ingredient pairings, which range from pineapples and sriracha sauce to cheese whiz and crushed potato chips. And there are more than just creative toppings. The kid’s Octo Dog, is sliced into the shape of an octopus. The chefs even built a breakfast-influenced link that tops a french toast bun with andouille sausage, a fried or scrambled egg, bacon, maple syrup, and powdered sugar.
Hot-dogs are washed down with more than 300 domestic and imported beers, available for carryout in single, six-pack, and twelve-pack quantities. Lucky Louie’s celebrates craft brewers across the country, from local Erie Brewing Company to Oregon’s Rogue Ales. And the selection of bottles is available for patrons to mix and match and purchase as a 6- or 12-pack.
In the back room of Glendye's Quail Nest Restaurant & Bar, Janelle Glendye sits in an armchair facing a broad stone fireplace, evaluating the angle of the stuffed pheasant on the mantle. Her husband, Joe, pours a cocktail at the adjacent bar—crowned with its own pheasant and an 8-point antler rack—and slides it over the counter's gleaming copper surface. This is the heart of the couple's restaurant, where sport shooters visiting Wing Pointe resort rendezvous to swap stories of stunning game with only their tall tales. Up front in the sunlit dining room, they fuel up on hearty American dinners. The dozen or so booths and tables are simple, but brighten up with red plates bearing chipped beef, gooey chocolate-chip pancakes, half-chicken dinners, and hot, open-face sandwiches piled high with meat. The restaurant's location takes full advantage of the breathtaking scenery, constructed entirely by ambitious beavers. Like a blind, the one-story ranch home keeps a low profile on its hillside perch. Shrubs conceal the wide back porch, where skin prickles in the cool night air and eyes roam to the lake below and out over tall grass to the woods beyond.
Since its humble south Philadelphia beginnings in the 1990s, PrimoHoagies has quickly expanded throughout the region and garnered several awards on the strength of its cold-cut sandwiches, made with Thumann's brand of gourmet meats and cheeses. The shop's robust menu features dozens of specialty hoagies, many of which were created in-house rather than underwater, as is the industry norm. Sharp Italian hoagies teem with prosciutto and genoa salami, and pork Diablo hoagies marry Thumann's homestyle roasted pork with a blend of piquant spices.
Heat waves and hot summer days don't stand a chance when faced with HandleBar's selection of chilly frozen yogurt. Each day, the shop's whirring dispensers house a variety of yogurts, in head-turning flavors such as red velvet and mango lassi, that customers swirl into their own cups. These frosty dollops pair well with a variety of do-it-yourself toppings, from candy bits that further satisfy sweet teeth to fresh fruit that keeps nutritionists from reporting a food pyramid violation to the authorities. In addition to cool treats, the shop also whips up a sizzling selection of hand-griddled Belgian-style Liège waffles. Hand-made in the shop from fresh ingredients, including many imported directly from Belgium, the waffles are topped with Belgian pearl sugar prior to being cooked in a cast iron skillet, adding a satisfying, sugary crunch to the waffle, pairing perfectly with toppings such as Nutella, strawberries, and more.