Though the chefs at Mandarin revere classically prepared Chinese dishes, they aren’t afraid to add a dash of inventive flair with internationally inspired twists. Hawaiian-style preparations of sweet-and-sour chicken join other Chinese comfort food, such as Chinese- or Singapore-style me fen, a mix of thin rice noodles with vegetables and meats such as pork and beef. Rice and noodle bowls from the Tour of Asia menu cull flavors from Osaka, Seoul, and Hong Kong, and traditional Chinese dishes such as chicken with snow peas and sesame beef round out the menu. Staffers pour martinis into curvy-stemmed glasses or help guests pair wines amid the dining room's mandarin-orange walls, bamboo placemats, and geisha statuettes.
Chefs at Happy Panda use crunchy vegetables, sweet pineapple, and lots of Asian herbs and spices (but never MSG) to create flavorful Szechuan and Hunan dishes. They fry egg rolls, wontons, and origami swans to a crisp in 100% vegetable oils and offer a number of vegetarian dishes in addition to the roast pork, chicken, beef, and seafood options. The restaurant runs a bustling dine-in and carry-out trade, particularly during the lunch rush, when diners can choose from 30 specials served with fried rice and an egg roll or soup.
The Tan brothers grew up in the restaurant industry, as their father was a renowned chef of China. At Rong Tan's, this trio of siblings brings its family traditions to the states with a menu honed overseas. Diners can savor sichuan-spiced lobster stewed with veggies or order the Empress chicken, lightly fried and served on a throne of pure gold. Rice and noodle dishes, house specialties—including the orange-flavored beef—and vegetable options round out a menu with dozens of entrees.
The carved bodies of fierce dragons, their eyes aglow with neon red lights, corkscrew about Magic Wok’s foyer as if awakened by the aromas of Sichuan, Hunan, Mandarin, and Cantonese dishes. In the dining room, lime-green walls come alive with red tapestries, accented by canary-hued Chinese pictograms. After polishing off a Thai-style fish fillet, guests retreat to the bar to sip plum wine, elixirs wrung from apples and pineapple, or champagne with all the bubbles picked out.
Maritime munchers can lounge in the soothing ambience of the Ohio River and passing boats while perusing the tasty sights of the menu. Sun-gazing feasters can grab a table on the expansive summertime outdoor patio to properly enjoy a three cheese burger ($9.50) or one of many sandwiches, including the oven toasted Mediterranean vegetable sandwich with zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, mozzarella and parmesan. Indoor diners can sit in the stone-walled lodge while satiating an appetite with a delicious medley of New York strip steak ($29), glazed salmon ($18) or a platter of fried or broiled cod, shrimp and scallops served with cole slaw and steak fries ($19). Thirsty sailors can cure a dry throat with one of four draft beers or more than 20 bottled selections, as well as a vast listing of white and red wines and specialty cocktails such as Captain's Lemonade, which is shaken up with Three Olives Citron, triple sec, sweet and sour mix and a splash of lemon-lime soda. Captain's Quarters Riverside Grille also regales guests with occasional live musical entertainment and tales of nautical adventures hunting mythical sea creatures such as the Lochness monster and Hulk Hogan.
Succulent aromas and a symphony of sizzling meat emerge from Cast Iron Steak House's kitchen, where sirloin, rib eyes, and T-bone steaks sear inside of cast-iron skillets. For each of these steakhouse favorites, the staff personally ages, cuts, and rubs slabs of USDA beef in house. Though it's their specialty, the chefs expertise extends beyond just steaks and steak-related mythology.