The menu at Italian Spoon sticks to the classics, presenting eggplant parmigiana and customizable pasta-and-sauce combos such as rigatoni with roasted garlic alfredo. Sharing the stage with Italian meals are gyros, philly cheesesteaks, and fish and chips made with codfish or catfish hand-dipped in house-made cornmeal or English-style batter.
At The Whining Pig, friends and neighbors gather to nibble on cheese and charcuterie or freshly baked cookies while sipping glasses of wine and frosty beer. Guests imbibe the fine wines and beers at a shiny bar top decorated in a varnish of pennies—an ostentatious display of $32.67 in spare change. They can also relax at tables near the tavern's chalkboard wall, pausing every so often to add their own doodles. In the kitchen, the proprietor's dad slices up sausage from Schreiner's, pairing the meats with fresh fruits and savory cheeses for plates that perfectly accompany the vino.
Flavors from Oaxaca, Cuba, and Yucatan add depth to the menus at Fuego Bistro restaurants, three gourmet Mexican oases that pride themselves on their modern culinary touches. Among the warm reds and yellows and inviting black wicker chairs at the original Fuego Bistro, diners dig into ancho-dusted salmon croquettes and a seafood chili relleno with lobster cream-chili sauce.
Meat eaters will not walk away with empty stomachs at Pizza Heaven Bistro, as toppings of housemade lean italian sausage, bacon, and shrimp can be sprinkled atop five sauce bases, such as agave barbecue and chipotle. Even carnivore-friendly pizzas have a healthy touch, however, as all the grease is drained from each topping before it's baked atop the pie, as the owner explained to reporters at My FOX Phoenix.
Still, pizza has long been the food of crowds?but when that crowd contains vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free devotees, it can be hard to keep everyone happy. The food at Pizza Heaven Bistro is like edible crowd control, with options ranging from wheat-less crusts to vegan soy cheese, complemented by more than 40 toppings that make sure pizzas still burst with flavor. A dedicated vegan menu features veggie meatballs dipped in marinara or buffalo sauce and sandwiches stuffed with sauteed vegetables.
Beer and wine can supplement in-house orders, giving groups glasses to raise in triumph when catching sports victories on the restaurant's TV or when the Friday-night house band agrees to play only "Stairway to Heaven" for the rest of the night.
With a name like Cherryblossom, it would be easy to assume this noodle café is all about Japanese cuisine. But the menu actually encompasses an international spread of noodles; Japanese style yakisoba—sautéed with seafood or tofu and veggies—share menu space with Korean egg noodles with spicy beef, ramen flecked with minced pork, and a full selection of Italian pastas. Variation exists within each category too: depending on their mood, diners can dig into a hot bowl of pad thai with bean sprout and egg or chilled buckwheat soba with shrimp. They can also swap the traditional penne in their spicy pasta arrabbiata for low-carb tofu pasta or enjoy it in a bowl of ika mentai to make the rich butter sauce, fresh squid, and spicy cod roe concoction feel a little less indulgent. Those not in the mood for pasta are in luck, too: Cherryblossom’s menu also features a full slate of sushi rolls. Unique variations like the tootsie roll––a crunchy roll with shrimp, crab, cucumber, and avocado––share space with more familiar classics such as a rainbow roll or yellow-blue roll for those with red-green colorblindness.