Determined to make the best pizza possible, the chefs of Elsa's Eatery traveled to Italy, New York, and Boston's culture-rich North End in the name of research. Upon returning to Shrewsbury, they went to work crafting the best Neapolitan-style pizza possible, hand-made each day. They top it with ingredients such as pesto-infused mozzarella, sliced meatballs, and grilled chicken, before sliding the pie onto an imported pizza stone and baking it to a perfect crisp. But Elsa's isn't just about pies—they also have an extensive menu with other gourmet Italian specials and steak and seafood entrees. Most recently, they have started to present brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, boldly defying the international ban non-Sunday brunches.
Fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables fill the shelves of Weepin Willies, a local market that stocks produce and meats at two locations. Shoppers can find high quality cuts of beef, chicken, and pork, or opt for Boar’s Head meats and cheeses and prepared soups, salads, and sandwiches from the deli.
Bistro Bakery & Deli's artisanal flour specialists whip up batches of freshly baked goods to stock its hearty breakfast, lunch, bakery, and catering menus. Dive face-first into the gravitational pull of the more than 20 bagel varieties, including asiago cheese, spinach-garlic, and pumpernickel ($0.79 each; $7/dozen). Crying stomachs are serenaded with the savory tunes of the Bistro B.L.T. ($5.59) and the Tuscany salad ($5.99), and lonely hands can temporarily embrace the raspberry-chipotle-chicken wrap ($6.99) or the veggie delight ($5.79), which complements marinated artichoke hearts with roasted red peppers and provolone. The culinary artists at Bistro Bakery & Deli also proffer a selection of custom-designed cakes ($18.99+) crowned in a cappuccino mousse, pistachio buttercream, chocolate ganache, or Vanilla Ice sound bites.
Tavolino is Italian for "little table." Noticing the trend of careless service and cooking that pervaded so many chain restaurants, the folks at Tavolino wanted to create a different kind of space—one where the chefs searched for the freshest local ingredients possible and where each "little table" felt supremely cared for. In addition to making their own breads and pastas, the staff infuses their own alcohols with fruits, herbs, and vegetables. The wine list was curated just as carefully, giving diners plenty of reasons to linger in the contemporary, earth-toned space complete with tile mosaic floors.
The crispy pizzas and artfully sauced pastas back up an entree selection that ranges from grilled lamb loin chops to stuffed italian meatloaf made with sweet sausage and served with housemade tomato-basil ketchup. A separate gluten-free menu ensures diners with special diets feel at home, just as the various seafood dishes on the regular menu ensure mermaids feel at home. In his search for the freshest flavors, executive chef Brian Boudreau frequently mixes up the menu with seasonal offerings; butternut-squash tortellacci, for example, summons the flavors of fall with brown-butter-sage sauce, dried cranberries, and an apple-cider glaze.
Apple Spice Cafe & Juice Bar’s menus spring from a deep love of deli cuisine and a fervent desire to make lunch the standout meal of the day. At the eatery, chefs layer fresh-baked breads with deli meats and cheeses to create more than a dozen types of hearty sandwiches, including sugar-cured virginia ham and a classic pastrami-and-swiss. Patrons who would rather stay inside can order box lunches teeming with dill pickles, desserts, and a choice of pasta, potato salad, or frog-eye salad. Apple Spice Cafe & Juice Bar’s friendly delivery team also directs catering trays toward offices and sets up stations of build-your-own breakfast burritos, baked potatoes, and fajita-themed great helms.
Ingredients pulled from grapevines, olive trees, and scenic fishing harbors shine in many of the dishes at Zem Han Mediterranean Restaurant, an eatery that specializes in fresh, authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Slow-cooked lamb shanks, marinated kebabs, and battered calamari are a few specialties. Brick walls and white tablecloths lend the space a tasteful ambiance, and belly dancers entertain on Thursday nights.