The gifted cooks at Espo's Trattoria create classic Italian dishes with local seafood and pasta made fresh throughout the week. Gastronomic gladiators duel with handheld tridents and swords over a shared appetizer of succulent mussels or muffle grumbling stomachs with Stevie's buffalo-style meatball. Palates welcome saucy bites of the hearty chicken parmigiana, and Espo's spaghetti and meatballs entree entangles forks with starched vines plucked straight from the pasta garden. Tender, local scallops bob in the scallop marsala's flavorful wine sauce and striated layers of cheese and tomato sauce in the meat lasagna satisfy powerful appetites.
Piles of chopped wood rest below the brick pizza ovens at Sianos, waiting to feed the flames that crisp hand-tossed dough, fresh-cut veggies, and meaty toppings sourced from local butchers and markets. The brick fa?ade extends to the walls, which absorb the soft overhead lights that illuminate wooden tables and booths laden with seafood risottos, soups and chowders, and tomato-sauce-covered chicken. Scrawled in multicolored chalk across a blackboard expanse, the day?s Italian-inspired specials pair with delicious pours from the bar, which range from frosty local brews to European imports and extraterrestrial drafts. Refusing to be typecast as a pizza joint, Sianos also dishes out savory breakfast plates such as eggs benedict, pancakes, french toast, and breakfast pizza made with egg sauce.
As a child, Jason Litalien watched Cheers with his dad; even then, he knew that in the future he wanted to open a neighborhood sports bar inspired by the hit television show's signature watering hole. Duty came first, though; Jason enlisted in the United States Air Force and served for 13 years, keeping his dream alive all the while. Three years ago, he returned from service and opened The Frosty Pint, a friendly pub decorated with Boston sports memorabilia, including a neon Celtics sign and framed Red Sox and Tom Brady jerseys. Cooks curate a menu of American favorites such as chicken wings drenched in teriyaki or thai honey sauce, jalapeño poppers, and deep-fried baseballs. Bartenders, meanwhile, fill glasses with 20 types of draft beer, pour a handful of wines, and mix spirits into cocktails. The Frosty Pint also has an outdoor seating area with umbrellas to protect them from the elements.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
The Galvez family invites guests to taste the vibrant flavors of their homestyle dishes at La Familia, creating hearty dishes with Spanish, Cuban, and Puerto Rican influence. Paella with mussels, clams, and shrimp, a recent addition to the menu, takes a starring role, as do Puerto Rican-style beef empanadas, Cuban sandwiches, and coconut flan. Recognizing that a wealth of culinary riches can be overwhelming, the Galvez family also offers Noche de Locura on Friday and Saturday nights–a chance for families to order five dishes to share as a table.
Born in Bangkok, Pom Boobphachati has spent her career inside Thai restaurants, picking up skills in the kitchen and gathering management expertise with each new eatery she opens. Pom currently oversees a trio of Thai restaurants in Portland, including Pom's Thai Taste. Here, an extensive menu of more than 100 items unfolds before diners' eyes, offering everything from pho, a boat noodle of braised beef short ribs, maine shrimp dishes, vegetarian dishes made with soy nugget and gluten-free sauce, create your own stir-fry dishes, spicy stir-fried bamboo to mango curry and tamarind duck.