At Fraticelli's Italian Grill & Lounge, imported Italian plum tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, and freshly grated cheeses shape a menu of robustly flavored Italian cuisine. Chefs age Angus-beef steaks for 28 days, marinate them in olive oil and herbs, and then sear the succulent cuts Tuscan-style: over high heat on a wood-fired grill. They prepare pastas in multiple styles that reflect regions across Italy, from Sicilian-style seafood pasta to northern egg noodles ladled with slow-cooked meat sauce. Neapolitan-style pizza crusts stay thin by baking quickly in a stone oven at 750 degrees, which adds crispness while maintaining some of the original flavors of toppings such as roasted pickled eggplant.
Every Thursday and Saturday evening, diners can retreat to the piano lounge for live music. In the main dining room, companions nestle into booths separated by gauzy curtain partitions and electric fields.
In keeping with its name, the décor at Day & Night Angus Steak and Raw Bar strikes a graceful balance of light and dark. In the dining room, dark wood walls inset with geometric wine racks revolve around the centerpiece: a 30-foot tall chandelier made up of more than 1,600 glass bubbles. Below lies a 26-foot raw bar with blue accent lights that illuminate Bering Sea king crab legs and imported Japanese sashimi. The star of the bar is perhaps the more than 20 varieties of oysters, which are as pearl-free as a debutante who had to trade her pearls for helicopter fuel during the recession.
In addition to the chilled eats, Day & Night’s menu tempts with creamy lobster bisque and french-onion soup, rack of lamb and moulard duck breast, and nordic seafood rice. The chef hand-picks only a few choice cuts of certified USDA Angus steaks to age for three to four weeks and kiss with flame on an in-house wood grill. These hearty representations of earth and sea pair with a range of drinks, including international wines, sake, house cocktails, and European coffees.
At La Risata Ristorante, fresh, organic ingredients enhance a menu of inventive Italian cuisine. Chefs toss made-from-scratch pastas with housemade sausage, signature sauces, and fresh herbs. These entrees, along with thin-crust pizzas and Argentinian-style, charcoal-grilled meats, are whisked into the dining room, where heavy red drapes and crisp white tablecloths pop against the subdued backdrop of hardwood floors and exposed brick walls. Servers are happy to recommend pairings from La Risata Ristorante’s ample menu of Italian wines or one of six martini varieties.
For more than 48 years, Rosa's Place Ristorante and Banquets has hosted small family dinners and large events alike in a soothing dining room setting. Diners sit down to tables adorned with cream-coloured tablecloths and napkins or visit an adjoining bar, where, on the weekends, the melodies of a grand piano lull guests into a relaxed state. While listening to notes resounding off the ceiling, diners dig into a menu of classic Italian eats ranging from hearty bruschetta to baked lasagna to grilled Atlantic salmon. Mounds of authentic pasta sate culinary cravings, along with an array of pizza, meats, and daily specials.
Many visitors to The Lobster Trap Restaurant find their dinner waiting for them just inside the door. A tank of live lobsters sits by the front desk, ready for selection by head chef Sathiya, who steams or broils them for grandiose dinners served with garlic bread. His fondness for the crustaceans is evident not only in the venue's name, but in a brief glance at the menu. There, you'll find lobster bisque, lobster rolls, lobster thermidor, and Caribbean lobster tail all arranged amid other seafood delicacies. Whole lobsters are priced according to their weight, and while most measure between one and four pounds, 13-pounders are available by request for birthday parties.
Lobster-less dishes, on the other hand, range from tender New York strip steaks to oysters on the half shell. The oysters—exclusively purchased from Rodney's Oyster House—are shucked onsite. Other dishes traverse continental boundaries, such as the Alaskan king crab legs and the New Zealand rack of lamb. The dining room's décor isn't married to a particular ocean, though. Its walls boast hanging nets and mounted ship steering wheels, an homage to all of the seas and cranky ship captains that supply its meals.
Restaurateurs Jeffrey Mak and Kim Fung Mak have won acclaim for Pearl Harbourfront Restaurant, the sleekly modern eatery that Dine.TO proclaimed a "multi-sensual treat" when naming it the city's Best Chinese restaurant in 2011. Now, the pair's new restaurant, Pearl Bayview Chinese Cuisine, prepares a similar feast for the senses. Chef Kwok Foon Mak fashions dim sum such as deep-fried stuffed crab claws, steamed dumplings nested in baskets, or sticky rice delicately wrapped in lotus leaves. Seafood simmers in Szechuan-style hot 'n' sour soup, and black pepper-honey sauce glazes fried beef short ribs. Globe lighting, white tablecloths, and a wine rack that suspends bottles horizontally in midair give the restaurant a subdued, modern ambience.
The complex flavors of the hundreds of vintages on Giorgio D. Ristorante's wine list contrast strikingly with the eatery's simple menu, focused on fresh seafood and authentic Italian cuisine. Since 1976, the restaurant's culinary team has imbued gourmet proteins with Tuscan flavor, working with everything from char-grilled black tiger shrimps and seared Canadian sea scallops to veal cutlets. The staff can also pile plates with fresh pasta, pairing penne with vodka sauce and prosciutto, gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, and risotto with a daily-rotating array of toppings.