Even after slaking thirsts for more than 40 years, Charlotte Tavern remains committed to the timeless spirit of the traditional tavern. This is evident in everything from the plaid wallpaper, wood panelling, and black-and-white photographs on the walls to the fact that the same family has been running it for three generations. Behind the bar, they pour microbrews and mix cocktails throughout the night to fuel games of pool, darts, and shuffleboard.
The menu similarly embraces the classics?but it's far from predictable. In addition to traditional 1-pound burgers, Charlotte Tavern challenges diners with its 3-pound Killer Burger, which is free for anyone who manages to clean their plate or happens to own the bar. Shepherd's pie and beer-battered fish round out the comfort-food selection while surprises such as duck with a homemade black-cherry-bourbon sauce are also available.
With locations scattered throughout Rochester, the locally owned Cordello's serves hearty casual Italian fare to sate appetites of any size. Small, medium, and large pies arrive sliced into fourths, eighths, or twelfths and sport hearty toppings such as breaded chicken, bacon, or steak, while sheet-size pizzas extend to 32 slices to feed hungry party guests or test the division skills of the hungriest three. Plates of homemade Italian specialties perch upon tabletops in Cordello's family-friendly dining rooms, and delivery cars bear toasty boxes across the local area, allowing customers to enjoy the feast without leaving home. Committed to supporting the local community, the restaurant sponsors local schools and organizations, while hosting special events for youth, such as a "Make Your Own Pizza Day."
The Bam roll. The Boss Hog roll. The Prism roll. California Rollin II's Master Sushi Chef, Tom Beaman, Sr., has crafted a menu of sushi rolls with names as inventive as the ingredients they contain. The Leviathan roll towers above tabletops, much of its girth comprised of tempura shrimp and sesame-seaweed salad splashed with eel sauce. Beaman’s other rolls evince the same level of creativity, incorporating bacon, crunchy onions, or barbecue sauce to keep diners on their toes.
Sylvio Pizza's skilled cooks cover tables with hand-tossed thin- and thick-crust pizzas and mouthwatering, custom-sauced jumbo wings. Assemble a crack team of pizza busters and dig in to a large or sheet pizza layered in a choice of one topping. Accessorize pies with meaty fare such as pepperoni or ham, or test the crust's tensile cheese-strength by adding extra mozzarella, ricotta, or cheddar. Customers can pair a slice with sauce-slathered jumbo wings, opting for a spice coating between mild and XXX Hot for traditional buffalo-style wings, or try a more exotic taste such sweet 'n' sour or Cajun. Sylvio Pizza makes its pizzas from house-made sauce and dough, eschewing the flashy labels and luxury limos of store-bought ingredients.
The owners of Greece/Penfield Hots report that at least one customer per day requests the recipe for their house hot sauce. It has even happened at weddings. The sauce has been a guarded family recipe for more than 70 years, and its tongue-tingling blend of spices actually inspired the owners to open their own burger and sandwich joint. Here this peppery concoction serves as an ideal condiment for the eatery's burgers, subs, loaded hot dogs, and gargantuan rubbish plates.
Shogun Palace owners Peter and Kevin Sun place a premium on presentation. Besides bedecking their restaurant with eye-catching décor details—from glowing paper lanterns to an arched wooden bridge—they also hired a chef skilled in style sushi, an inventive method of plating fresh fish. Under his skilled supervision, Shogun's specialty rolls are artistically piled in towers, drizzled in sauces, and transformed into edible art. In addition, hibachi grills located in the center of the restaurant give guests up-close views of chefs flipping utensils and stoking flames as they prepare hot meals from shrimp, scallop, steak, and lobster. Patrons looking to round out meals can ask the fish in the indoor koi pond for recommendations from among Shogun's seven Chinese dishes.