Vittoria cofounder Vince Romanelli hearkens back to his hometown of Alvito, Italy, with a menu of modern and Old-World Tuscan dishes. The kitchen crafts tender housemade pastas for traditional eats such as chicken cannelloni and lemon-pepper linguine tossed with shrimp, and veal osso buco simmers in white wine and spices. Beneath the barrel-vaulted ceiling of a large, open dining area, patrons can also dig into updated entrees such as a pistachio-crusted breast of chicken adorned with marsala-caramel sauce. For dessert, chefs fill tarts with lemon curd made from Vittoria's signature limoncello and surround amaretto and white-chocolate napoleons with fluctuating borders of raspberry coulis. Wines and cocktails from behind Vittoria's marble-topped bar pair with dinner or with the musical stylings of local bands nightly.
Aromas from the cuisines of China, Thailand, and Vietnam mingle in the air at Mulan Asian Bistro. Spicy red thai curry, which coats shrimp and chicken, hints at fistfuls of spice, and traditional Chinese Szechuan spicy beef lets steam trickle from USDA Choice flank steak. The pho soup’s Vietnamese noodles swim in clear golden broth at booths with wave-like swooping backs. Beneath the eatery’s wasabi-hued walls, chefs accommodate diets of all types by forging gluten-free options and tailoring the heat of spicy dishes. Patrons looking to eat at home and those who have just spotted a clingy VCR they gave away years ago dash out the door toting carry-out bags laden with fried-rice dishes and kung pao noodles.
Each year, hundreds of people flock to The Bogey Bar and Grill to watch a golf tournament they could easily see on television. And it?s not just the tournament that draws a crowd?it?s the atmosphere, the fresh fare, and the live music. The eatery keeps up this excitement all year long: Each day until at least 11 p.m., the kitchen releases its bounty?a menu of burgers, fish and chips, and baskets of fried pickles to go along with craft beers poured fresh from the bar. The Bogey also fills its huge patio space with frequent live music, spurred on by a lengthy outdoor bar that slings drinks to prevent guests from having to smuggle in flasks of vanilla extract.
Ohio may be in the Midwest, but the menu at Windy City BBQ Ribs aims to transport diners to another part of the country. Chef and pitmaster Brandon Shy lives up to his slogan of “Put some south in your mouth!” with a heaping spread of southern-style barbecue, from smoked ribs and rotisserie chicken to Dixie sides such as and potato salad and collared greens. Guests can sign their name on the eatery’s Wall of Fame after enjoying a meal in the small indoor and outdoor seating areas. The meat emporium shuts down each day when the food is gone, so calling or sending up smoke signals in advance is recommended.
This year’s concert, The Great American Songbook: Opera Meets Big Band, highlights 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s hits, as well as popular American songs in the style of the Gilded Age, New Orleans jazz, and Broadway musicals. The Rick Brunetto Big Band, a 17-piece orchestra, will pump the playful tunes into the park's fresh air, where they'll float into eardrums and make friends with ossicles. Guided by master of ceremonies Cabot Rea, the opera program will feature renowned works of American composers and cereal commercial jingles performed by talented belters such as Mark Baker, Rebecca Keck, Craig Montgomery, and David Weaver. The zoo’s very own Jungle Jack Hanna will serve as honorary chair of the event, while ensuring any ruckus in the monkey cages is kept to a minimum.
The Lost Shepherd herds hungry humans toward its homey interior with a menu of elegant cuisine made from natural, locally reared ingredients. Appetizers such as the flash-fried calamari ($9) and the artichoke-infused Carolina crab dip ($9) give meals a fresh-seafood preamble, and sandwiches such as the Insane B.L.T.C., stacked with NY cheddar and applewood-smoked bacon ($7), offer inventive twists on old favorites to ensure that taste buds don’t get bored and pretend to receive an emergency call mid-meal. Entrees include time-tested fish and chips ($10) and the Shepherd surf and turf ($19), featuring a marriage of shrimp scampi and twin beef fillets so harmonious that the proteins practically finish each other's sentences.