Mara Cucina Italiana, which opened at the Mall at Wellington Green in May 2013, is the latest addition to Lirim Jacobi's restaurant group. Chef Joshua Flores curates the eatery’s menu of gourmet Italian classics, tossing pastas with housemade sauces and layering pizzas with specialty toppings. There are lighter options, too, like grilled salmon served over mixed greens with fresh lemon. Diners can sip cappuccinos or drinks from a full bar while talking or gazing at flat-screen televisions.
The airiness of pale exposed brick and blond wood contrast with the heartiness of the traditional Italian fare at Vic & Angelo?s, helping explain why Zagat rated the Delray Beach and Palm Beach Gardens locations highly for both food and d?cor. In the kitchen, chefs douse pastas with rich toppings such as crab meat and white-wine sauce or slow-cooked beef ragu. The coal oven blasts pizzas with 900 degrees of heat, and all-natural steaks arrive from Chicago after being dry-aged for 21 days. To accompany meals, diners can choose from a long list of mostly Italian wines, or venture onto an outdoor patio to fill glasses with complimentary moonbeams.
Brick walls, wooden shutters, and a color scheme as warm and red as the homemade tomato sauce—Buongiorno Pizza & Pasta’s decor really sets the stage for a homey Italian meal. The home-style approach extends well into the kitchen, where chefs craft gourmet pizzas from scratch in both New York and Sicilian styles. They toss and top them to order, strewing them with a medley of guests’ favorite toppings or whipping up one of their inventive signature pies, such as a pizza topped with a penne à la vodka sauce. Wines culled from Italy and California pair well with Mediterranean-inspired entrees such as chicken parmigiana heroes and veal marsala, while also facilitating conversation between a couple on their first date or a poet and his muse.
The tingle of Nioxin shampoo on the scalp. The comforting heat of Campbell's lather. The gentle, yet exhilarating scrape of a straight razor against the face's contours. At GoodFella's Barbershop, financier John Young and barber Jeremy Forshee immerse guests in old-fashioned care along with an Italian mob–inspired theme. The co-owners let their love of vintage barbering and gangster films shine through across the shop's two levels, whose walls bear black-and-white mobster photos and exposed-brick details, and whose wood-grain workstations provide ideal backdrops for mustache-flexing competitions.
Services take guests on treks from traditional shampoo bowls to leather-bound swivel chairs, where verbal consultations help barbers to understand each client's desired look. Lather and steaming towels prepare skin for traditional shaves, and complimentary water bottles slake midsession thirst. Each station also features its own air compressor, whose hoses gently sweep fallen hair from even the most staticky polar-bear costume.