This sisterly trio of Greek restaurants delights flavor sensors with traditional and modern Greek cuisine, sharing the same tasty menu and Old World ambience with painted wall murals and faux colonnades. Dive kisser-first into a gooey snack with flaming cheese saganaki, featuring Greek kasseri cheese cooked to a bubbly, golden brown and flamed with brandy ($6.95), or allow dolmades to enter the tongue's abode and snake-charm taste buds with stuffed grape leaves drizzled in lemon sauce, served hot with pita bread ($5.95). Traditional Greek-ophiles can sink their cuspids into a gyro sandwich blended with seasoned beef and lamb, sliced thin, and topped with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and tzatziki sauce on thick pita bread ($7.95), or record the precise melting temperature of tender, braised lamb shank when it enters the mouth, smothered in tomato-based brown gravy ($12.95).
Cooks stoke brick ovens to bake specialty pizzas crowned with roasted red peppers, prosciutto, and gorgonzola cheese in the kitchen at Carmela's Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar. Their darting hands scatter cheese, ladle on sauce, and gently rest sheets of pasta as they craft lasagna. The murmur of conversation drifts from the high-topped tables in the dining room, where glasses clink together making the sound of a knight trying to get out of a Volkswagen. Behind a bar hewn from gleaming wood, bartenders reach up to shelves stacked high with bottles of wine, pairing vinos from the extensive list with lobster ravioli or signature white pizzas topped with mozzarella, ricotta, and garlic.
The open-air Key Lime Café offers a southwestern-style smorgasbord of sandwiches, wraps, and entrees collected on a maw-awakening mosaic of multiple menus. Dinner items such as the lobster quesadilla ($21) and the pineapple-grilled-chicken sandy ($12) keep tongues awake long enough for them to watch the sun melt into a puddle, which is then ladled into an assortment of fresh-squeezed juices. Gourmet sandwiches—such as the Key Largo with italian deli meats and swirls of oil and balsamic vinegar ($8.95)—are served on the choice of bread or wrap, and salads offer leaf lovers a multitude of greens to smooch before an audience of sunny skies, flocks of birds, and wandering bands of paparazzi.
With swinging wood saloon doors, hanging lamps made from cowboy hats, and local ranchers' brands seared into each tabletop, Cowboys' Bar-B-Q & Steak Co.'s three locations make visitors feel as though they've just stumbled in from the Texas lowlands. Many of founder Jim McCoin's self-devised recipes come from years of careful cooking while on the professional barbecue-competition circuit, which regularly led his team "Big Daddy Q" to victory. Wings strut across plates dressed in up to 20 sauce flavors, compelling tongues to quench thirst with 10 draft beers or Western-themed margaritas. Beverages are served in mason jars, carried past decorations such as photographs representing local ranching families. For outside eaters, Cowboys' supplies its hearty grilled fare through take-out and catering each day of the week.
Couched within Pirate's Cove Resort & Marina, Pirate's Loft Restaurant garners fresh seafood daily to shore up its menu of sea-gotten fare. Covered outdoor seating gives diners views of the waterfront and secret seagull choir rehearsals as they dig into plates of crisp-fried fish and shrimp, bowls of shellfish-laden pasta, or specialty seafood fare. Land-faring selections include Angus beef handpicked by the chef for quality, and occasional live music invites guests onto the dance floor while also testing the acoustics of the high wooden rafters and tabletops.