At Maki Sushi Bar, pale yellow walls accented with a crisp, rust-hued stripe surround dark wood tables and a sushi bar where chefs artfully slice up fresh fish into eye-pleasing Japanese dishes. Before diving into main courses, stomachs warm up with a series of calisthenics and bites of starters such as the gyoza's pan-fried pork dumplings. Signature specials blanket plates with bites from the deep blue, seasoned delicately and accented with unexpected ingredients. The seafood martini hosts salmon, tuna, and seaweed salad in an long-stemmed martini glass. To sip more liquid spirits from stemware, patrons select from a full menu of signature cocktails, such as the Crazy Makitini or the Japanese mojito. After exploring a rainbow of nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls, tongues delight in tasting sweet bites of tempura cheesecake à la mode or crafting sweet mouth guards out of mochi ice cream.
The chefs at Tasty Foods compile a smorgasbord of sustenance that showcases fresh, natural ingredients and soups, pita bread, and sub rolls sculpted from scratch. With New York–style pizzas, some crowned with zesty toppings such as chicken and feta, and authentic pastas, the menu exudes a distinctly Italian flavor despite not being written in marinara sauce. But stuffed grape leaves, meat-laden subs and wraps, burgers, and seafood fried to a golden brown also represent Greek fare and other global tastes.
At each of Oliveira's Steakhouse four locations, the crackling sizzle of roasting meat ring’s out like a starter’s pistol, signaling the beginning of Brazilian-style churrasco feasts. Weaving between tables, servers garbed in black shirts and scarlet neckerchiefs trot out flame-kissed chicken, pork, sausage, and rodízio steak presented upon a meat-laden short sword suitable for speedy delivery or elevating a busboy to knighthood. A salad bar supplements meaty mouthfuls with plates of leafy greens, rice, beans, and sauce-laden noodles.
It’s easy to see which of Sugar Cane’s entrées are Chinese and which are Vietnamese, but making a choice among them may be slightly more difficult. The menu—split halfway down the middle according to nationality—pits such Vietnamese entrees as mango shrimp and lemongrass chicken against such Chinese staples as clams in a black bean sauce and Peking duck with flour pancakes. Diners can split the difference with a create-your-own stir fry, where a choice of meat and vegetables bathes in one of five pan-Asian sauces. Despite this dual approach, the menu is single-minded when it comes to drinks. The restaurant features an extensive collection of creative cocktails, frozen drinks, and other alcoholic libations that range from a lychee martini to a 33 beer imported from Vietnam. Intimate pairs or scientists researching a new straw technique can share a scorpion bowl, a juice-filled concoction made with rum, gin, vodka, and Bacardi. The restaurant also features non-alcoholic smoothies, Shirley Temples, and Vietnamese-style coffee.
The roots of Brothers Kouzina can be traced back 40 years to Kalamata, Greece, where the founder opened his first restaurant at the age of 18. In 1972, he brought his chef’s hat and his recipes to American soil, thus laying the foundation for the authentic Boston-based Greek food that still tethers every dish to the Mediterranean. Classics such as pan-fried saganaki, baked lamb, gyro, and spanakopita speak to the founder’s roots, while surprises such as nachos and Cajun burgers spice up the menu like a hula-hooper spices up a tire store. Things take a more entertaining turn on Saturday nights, when Brothers Kouzina transforms into Club Kouzina. As live musicians fill the room with Greek music, patrons can light it up on the dance floor or just absorb the sounds as they sip on a cocktail and snack on a plate of steamed mussels.
It would be no small task to sample all of the frozen yogurt flavors at Frotopia Yogurt. The cheerful shop features more than 16 low-fat and fat-free flavors daily, a selection that is regularly updated with imaginative new concoctions. Amid its bright purple and pink walls, self-service machines churn out swirls of classic tart, peanut butter, and Girl Scout cookie—all made from natural ingredients and packed with probiotics. Beyond the yogurt machines lies a rainbow-like toppings bar, showcasing an array of crunchy nuts, sweet candies, and bright sprinkles. Throughout the shop, a team of cheerful staffers bustles about, doling out smoothies that were blended fresh to order and cookies that were harvested straight from the cookie tree that morning.