The cooks at Tito’s whip up a menu of fresh, inventive Mexican fare, customizing dishes to diners' desires for a personalized meal within a colorful, relaxed atmosphere. Giant burritos enswathe savory sustenance, such as grade-A steak ($8.95) and blackened salmon ($8.95), within 12-inch tortillas. Or quell shell cravings without licking a conch's home with an order of twice-wrapped tacos ($3.50+), food satchels that boast both an internally crispy shell and an externally soft covering. Tito's also carries an array of other Mexican staples, including nachos ($6.95), cheesy quesadillas ($6.25), and a taco salad brimming with veggies, salsa, and—for an extra cost—your choice of meat ($6.95+). Conclude Latin American–style feasts by slurping on a nonalcoholic margarita slush ($3.75/small, $7.95/pitcher) or covertly grazing on the tassels of neighboring Mariachi horn players.
It's always flattering when your dessert is the party's favorite. Carousel Cakes—and its bite-size offshoot, Cupcakes by Carousel—knows this feeling well. The bakeries' creative confections have received commendations from every corner of the media, from Time Out New York and InStyle to The View and, perhaps most notably, Oprah, who featured their red-velvet cake in O Magazine and named their blue-velvet cake one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2012. "Gayle fell hard for this blue velvet cake with cream cheese icing and sugar snowflakes," the media icon gushed. "Just add coffee, milk, or a flute of champagne." The treats also sweeten meals at more than 1000 restaurants, including Zabar's and the American Museum of Natural History in New York and Aldo & Gianni Ristorante and Sear Restaurant in Closter, New Jersey.
As a sister company to the family bakery that Martin Lefkowitz opened in 1965, Cupcakes by Carousel specializes in handheld versions of the treats that won all this acclaim. Besides a mini adaptation of the famous red-velvet cake, the staff creates confections such as the Curious George—a vanilla cake filled with banana custard and topped with peanut butter buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache—and its version of Hostess’s Pink Snowball. All the shop's cakes and pies are certified kosher, and staff can even fill up glasses with swirls of their famous frostings and toppings for clients who like their cupcakes sans cake. Cupcakes by Carousel also lends its hand in local communities. Recently, the Englewood shop raised money for girls' education in developing nations through the nonprofit organization She's The First.
Tradition meets innovation at Diwani Indian Restaurant. Some dishes are absolute classics, and the chef is determined to soar past other restaurants' takes on tradition. For instance, every entrée emerging from the clay oven, or tandoor, is consciously designed to be a juicy and vividly flavorful alternative to what Diwani's chef has diagnosed as the sub-par tandoori cuisine found at many establishments. Other chef favorites include fried vegetable fritters and chickpeas prepared with cumin and pomegranate seeds, which rapidly sprout into a tree diners can take home in a to-go pot. And then there are the menu's completely unexpected dishes, like venison and wild boar chops. But what all the dishes have in common is that each is made to order, with heat levels that can raised upon request.
Red velvet cake dipped in dark chocolate, strawberry cake dipped in pink chocolate, chocolate cake dipped then rolled in toasted almonds. The cake-smiths at Cakepops For You never tire of dreaming up new confectionary surprises and delightful flavor combinations for their shop’s eponymous treat. The creativity doesn’t stop there. They’ve handcrafted cakepops in the shape of snowmen, spring flowers, and zoo animals, and their imaginative creations make great centerpieces at showers for upcoming babies, weddings, or mortgage payoffs.
Brothers Jimmy and Remy Qosja named their restaurant for the century-old Italian liqueur, a fragrant drink traditionally crafted from Femminello St. Teresa lemons. The siblings and their chefs make frequent use of limoncello in their kitchen, whether showering it over sweet Italian desserts or combining it with basil and garlic to whip up sauces. The latter seasons pasta dishes and Italian specialties such as the vetello benito veal, lauded by reporters from Eat Drink New Jersey as "scrumptious". The chefs enjoy embellishing their creations with elaborate flourishes before sending them off, topping of plates of pistachio salmon with ornate carrot flowers and decorating cakes in swirls of syrup.
Servers bear the dazzling preparations out to the dining room, where crisp linen napkins sit atop white-cloth tables. In lieu of pop songs or uncomfortable audiobook recordings of Old Yeller, soft Italian music plays over the speakers in the elegant space.