Montreal native Tony Bianco teamed up with executive chef Enzo Addario to create Hot Tomatoe, a traditional Italian bistro boasting a menu that brims with house-made, cooked-to-order pastas, flavorful meat dishes, and full- and light-bodied Italian wines. Their regional cuisine typically integrates up to seven essential ingredients—oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and olives—from which Snow White’s seven dwarves drew their names. In addition, the staff goes shopping for fresh ingredients three to four days a week to supplement both seasonal compositions and year-round dishes, which include veal parmigiana, filet mignon, and penne norma.
Fernanda's International Market, a treasure trove of rare ingredients and made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, bakes robust breads and fine pastries. Among a troop of hearty sandwiches, the Martorano ($8.99) stands out for its spicy temper and muscular blend of sopressata and cappacola meats. The Churchill ($8.99) loads its taste gun with Branston pickle relish and fights hunger pangs on ham-coated beaches, cheddar cheese fields, and hot mustard streets. Fernanda's also sells prepared food by the pound and hard-to-find international groceries like Thai lemon grass.
Prime Cigar & Wine Bar provides classy congregations of stogie lovers a swank atmosphere where they can contentedly puff on a rich cigar while sipping on fine cognac, whiskey, or wine. The lavish lounge features a 300-square-foot walk-in humidor lined with Spanish cedar hardwood and humidity-controlled to ensure each tobacco tube ($5–$30), including Augusta Reyes, Hoyo De Monterrey, and Trinidad Habana, is in prime condition, ready to be lit by flaming 2001: A Space Odyssey scripts. With the taste of Havana in hand, head to the bustling bar with fresh circulating air from its custom-engineered air-quality system. Prime Cigar's knowledgeable staffers can suggest an array of pickings from the full-service bar, including whiskey, cognac, and aperitifs. Fulmination fans can find the ideal pairing in the wine cellar comprised of unique, hand-selected nectars such as MacRostie chardonnay or a Benziger sauvignon blanc. A selection of beers is also available ($4–$10).
Yakitori Sake House's Japanese lounge conjures a modern glimpse of the East with an artful menu of sushi and char-grilled entrees presented amid diffused neon lighting and dark woods. Classic hints of history, such as three samurai swords glimmering on a stand, catch diners' eyes as they settle in near a variegated brick wall rising from a long ebony-hued bench. At a sushi bar underlit with chartreuse light and illuminated from above by primary-colored glass lamps, chefs transform fresh ingredients into works of art with classic and specialty rolls. A moon roll packs tuna, crab, and jalapeño, whereas the pearl roll wraps soy paper around a core of shrimp tempura and salmon. Meanwhile, grills waft aromas of the restaurant’s signature creations, yakitori, which season and spear vegetables and meat such as quail eggs, pork belly, and alligator on bamboo skewers. Libations from a full bar and a lengthy list of sakes meld with the flavors of the fare, letting customers wash down each bite in a more efficient manner than wrapping their mouths around an open fire hydrant.
Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar cajoles the tahini-demanding bellies of vegetarians and omnivores alike with fresh wraps, salads, baguettes, and desserts, as well as a spectrum of Mediterranean specialties. Chef and owner Ilan Cohen slings traditional family meals straight from his native Israel onto the tables of his American bistro haven. Chickpea cheerleaders can form pyramids with one of many hummus-centered dishes, such as the sabih pita sandwich, with roasted eggplant and hard-boiled egg ($8), or the mahi-mahi beet wrap, rolled with sumptuous tiers of garbanzo mash, spinach, and alfalfa ($17).
TATE'S 6,800-square-foot pop-culture paradise unveils a staggering selection of collectible comic books, graphic novels, toys, and memorabilia, which has earned the shop numerous accolades including the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award in 2009. Leaf through comics chronicling the crusades of Spider Man and the Fantastic Four, as well as Sonic the Hedgehog’s uphill ascent from family pet to Olympic gold medalist ($2.99+). Collectors can adorn empty mantles with inimitable Dr. Who collectibles ($12.99+), or peruse the cases safeguarding Star Wars collectibles, such as vintage action figures ($14+) or a lightsaber signed by star Mark Hamill ($799.99). Nosh on an exotic assortment of Japanese snacks ($0.99–$6.95) while admiring TATE'S selection of plush and vinyl toys, key chains, and figurines crafted by the toy tinkers at Kidrobot ($2.95+).