A neon-lit façade shelters an intimate sidewalk patio where patrons chat on warm summer days over fresh seafood, salads, pastas, and meaty Italian specialties. Diners get their fill of bruschetta and mussels any time of year within Aziago's casual interior, which boasts golden-yellow walls, italian-vintage-style posters, and a hardwood bar overlooking a flat-screen TV. Main dishes, such as veal parmesan and ravioli, float to tables on clouds of house-made marinara, and forks cut effortlessly into juicy steak and pork-chop dishes. The promise of Cheesecake Factory desserts leads young ones to gobble their kiddie-sized pastas, and a quick-serve café brings paninis and wraps to the lunchtime masses. Aziago's also hosts private parties and delivers catered feasts to groups too large to sit at double-decker tables.
Glowing sconces line the crimson and cream walls inside Namaste India, where traditional Indian dishes adorn linen-topped tables and fill the air with spiced aromas. Marinated lamb, chicken, and seafood slumber inside a clay tandoor oven until they're mildly smoky and tender throughout, while other proteins and vegetables steep in rich curry sauces, aptly scooped up with fresh-baked naan bread or ladled over delicate basmati rice. Patrons can wash down meals with sweet, salted, or mango-flavored lassi drinks, or snatch a classic dessert such as gulab jamun—deep-fried milk dumplings that are soaked in syrup and delivered to tables via an air gun.
The owners of Vero Pizza chose the name vero, meaning "true" or "real", to reflect their food philosophy. Each pizza, salad, and panini sandwich is prepared with locally farmed produce, all-natural meats, unbleached flours, and artisan-baked breads. Diners may split specialty pizzas such as the Picante with buffalo chicken, blue cheese, and celery while sipping a glass of wine or beer brought from home.
At TD Homer’s Grill, families can enjoy classic American eats on two spacious outdoor patios or seated indoors in booths with private HDTVs. As cooks hand-cut steaks, prepare salads, and grill half-pound burgers, patrons feast eyes on 90 screens primed for watching anything from sports to cartoons.
Southington Wine and Spirits stocks its cellar with an extensive array of reds and whites dispensed to consuming clientele by a brigade of knowledgeable staffers during cranium-packing classes. Taught by Court of Master Sommeliers member Matteo Fagin, Wine 101 classes guide novices through an overview of the evening's sampled wines, bestow pointers on advanced techniques for discerning each concoction's flavors, and disproves the theory that wine is made by tricking raisins into taking a bath. Subsequent tastings pair pours of six wines culled from myriad regions with abundant appetizers. Courses commence at Pagliacci's Restaurant on Monday or Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. or in students’ minds as soon as they master astral projection.
Robin and Steve Andrikis can attest that sometimes a wrong turn can send you in the right direction. Just 28 days after accidentally stumbling upon 81 Whiting Street—the future site of Big Steve's Grill—the pair began planning a business that would change their lives forever. After operating their own grocery store for 18 years, Robin and Steve opened Big Steve's Grill in August 2009, and have been satiating stomachs with fresh, made-to-order casual eats, from hand-pressed Angus burgers and bowls of house-made chili to deep-fried Twinkies drizzled in chocolate, ever since. Vivid orange and yellow walls ensconce guests in the dining room, which offers views of the patio dotted with picnic tables, where diners can enjoy an idyllic dinner beneath the bright blue sky and looming Godzilla shadows.