Lori and Matt Sames founded Hannah’s Hope Fund (HHF) in 2008 when their 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with giant axonal neuropathy (GAN). They set up an office at their kitchen table to raise funds to help treat and cure GAN. Over time, HHF expanded into an internationally recognized organization that mobilizes volunteers and sponsors fundraising events that range from lemonade stands to galas. Through their efforts, research into GAN has grown exponentially. Before HHF began, only one doctor worldwide was studying GAN, but now scientists have developed gene-replacement therapy that they believe will save patents’ central nervous systems. They have started human clinical trials to test the treatment and seek a cure.
Even from outside, where the red-orange door and window frames pop against the dark-gray façade, it’s clear that Marotta's takes contemporary eating to a new level. Inside, patrons immediately notice that their traditional menus have been replaced with Apple iPads. And once minds are made up, attentive servers place orders through iPods Touch, feeding tickets immediately into the kitchen. Even credit and debit cards can be conveniently swiped right at the table. Though traditionalists can still pay at the register or place their orders with Old-World Italian robots, owners Chris and Dee Marotta hope the digital options broaden and improve their customers' overall experiences.
To ensure their 50-seat bar-risto is steeped in just as much traditional flavor as technological convenience, Chris and Dee hired Executive Chef Edward Bradt. Chef Bradt brings his culinary experience as the former head chef at The Van Dyck Lounge to classic offerings such as juicy filet mignon, veal, and seafood in a cornucopia of sauces, from a tart, sherry-infused marinara to a peppery madeira demi-glace. A full wine menu assures a complementary pairing with any of the 12-inch red or white pizzas, each slow baked in a wood-fired oven with pancetta, goat cheese, and fresh basil. Patrons can two-hand signature sausage burgers as they attempt to ask muffled questions of Marotta's tech guru, Joe Leverett, about the restaurant's other wireless wonders, including tabletop children's games and iPad-accessible valet service.
Since opening the first location in 2004, the crew behind Hot Harry’s has attracted a slew of press for their Mexican-fusion fare. Chefs marinate six varieties of meat in cilantro, lime, and fresh-squeezed oranges before stuffing them in warm flour tortillas or piñatas designed for a butcher's retirement party. In addition to the classic triad of guacamole, sour cream, and cheese, they can enhance burritos with drizzles of thai-peanut and buffalo sauce.
With three gorgeous and wide-open spaces in which to cultivate the seeds of spiritual well-being, The Center for Nia and Yoga mends the rift between mind and body with a schedule chock-full of Nia dance and yoga classes. Nia is an eclectic fitness and lifestyle program that incorporates dance steps, martial-arts movements, and funky grooves in a soulful expression of spiritual harmony. Trainer Casey Bernstein leads students through the joyful motions, boogying up the foothills of nirvana in classes that emphasize both community and personal restoration. Friendly yoga instructors make sure that wayward chakras stay in line with a litany of athletic and restorative yoga styles that range in intensity from gentle stretching to vigorous flows. Beginners and experts alike can rack up frequent-levitation miles in Vinyasa yoga flow or deep-relaxation classes, and pre-natal courses produce babies that mediate rather than whine. Occasional community dance jams and activities make this premier studio a superb place for students of all ages to practice asanas or train for upcoming Bollywood casting calls.