In woks at Bangkok Cuisine, snow peas, shrimp, napa cabbage, and scallops snap sizzling drumrolls over the stove. Ingredients indigenous to Southeast Asia mingle in traditional Thai dishes, which also draw on the culinary traditions of the country’s neighbors. Catfish fillets marinate before chefs cover them in breading and garlic sauce, and shrimp, scallops, and squid evoke Thailand’s palm-tree-sprinkled coast. Chefs tailor each dish’s spiciness to individual palates, delighting daring diners with Thai peppers hotter than a fully-suited astronaut in a sauna. Fusion dishes include Chinese staples such as sweet-and-sour sauce.
Before Shawn Randazzo even opened his own pizzeria, he was already an internationally recognized pizza maker. In 2012, Shawn entered the International Pizza Challenge at the International Pizza Expo, a renowned industry trade show that brings together the world's best pizza artisans. There, he was awarded with two honors: Pizza Maker of the Year and Best American-Pan Pizza.
It's not surprising that he claimed the country's best pan pizza considering the meticulous preparation involved. His square steel pans—synonymous with Detroit-style pies—have the same design as the ones mechanics use to catch small parts or the tears of busted carburetors while working on cars. It takes three hours to prepare each pan, as they go through several cycles of being coated in seasoning and then heated in the oven until the flavor is quite literally baked in. The steel construction ensures even heat distribution, leaving the deep-dish crust perfectly baked each time.
It was coming off his Pizza Expo victory that Shawn was inspired to open Detroit Style Pizza Company. Here, he uses the same award-winning recipes and high-quality pans to prepare specialty pies such as the Motor City meatball pizza with mushrooms and red onions. The specific recipe that won Shawn his pan-pizza title was the chicken Caesar, which is topped with white-meat chicken, Applewood-smoked bacon, a two-cheese blend, and Caesar dressing, which caramelizes the onions as the pie bakes.
When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number over 34,000 around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
Though it sports a façade with towering Doric columns, Marco’s Ristorante Italiano's dining area resembles a homey den; wood panels surround family-style tables and, behind a full bar, bottles of wine line exposed bricks that are softly illuminated by the glow of candles and a mounted television. In the kitchen, chefs follow the traditions of authentic Italians, layering pastas and wintertime outfits with warm meats and cheeses. They also drizzle white-wine sauce on succulent morsels of breaded chicken and veal. To add diversity to their Italy-centric menu, they also prepare a smattering of Mexican entrees such as enchiladas and quesadillas.
It's not every day that a dinner with friends risks a murder accusation. That's a good possibility for the guests of The Murder Mystery Company, who find themselves in the middle of a investigation for which any one of them could stand accused by a hapless detective. During each interactive dinner, the company's troupe of professional improv actors ignites the dining room with entertaining outbursts and hilarious one-liners in an effort to divulge clues and redirect guilt. Meanwhile, guests work together to sniff out the real culprit, which is definitely not the school janitor in a mask. Birthday parties, bachelorette celebrations, and corporate events can also get in on the interactive action by scheduling a private murder-mystery dinner.
Hummus Mediterranean Grill recalls traditional Lebanese hospitality with large portions of hummus, veggies, and grilled meats. Staffers squeeze the living bajeebies out of oranges, apples, and carrots at the raw-juice bar, a haven for vitamins and minerals to lounge in liquid form. Appetizers encourage the communal dining experience indicative of Middle Eastern cuisine, and sandwiches stuffed with chicken, lamb, and quail hush chatty stomachs.