Living a healthy, happy lifestyle does not mean that one has to skip dessert, according to the owners of U3C Italian Ice Café. Not one of their confections tops 300 calories, which may explain why their shop is one of the cheeriest on the block. An equally valid explanation stems from an interior that abounds with the bright colors of leaf-green walls and more than 50 varieties of cool and refreshing italian ice. Brimming with natural ingredients, scoops of mango, strawberry, and watermelon ice make for pleasing combinations when stacked, swirled, or used to touch up impressionist paintings. Cupcakes come in luscious flavors such as lemon, red velvet, and vegan strawberry—all of which pair nicely with a steamy mug of loose-leaf Revolution tea. To accommodate dietary restrictions, the shop bakes cakelets without sugar, gluten, or dairy products upon request. The staff also encourages dessert lovers to mingle by hosting family-friendly events such as poetry nights and chess tournaments, in which feuding siblings square off to determine weekly dishwashing duties.
Paul Chabra founded Rajput Indian Cuisine in 1999 to introduce his favorite dishes to the unacquainted. "Indian food is not just curry," he explains on his website, and if you're in Suffolk or Norfolk, you can taste the diversity for yourself at one of the restaurant's two locations. It won a 2013 readers' choice award for Overall Best Restaurant Southside by HamptonRoads Magazine, and the new Suffolk location already boasts gold awards for buffet and Indian cuisine in The Virginia-Pilot's Best of 2014. Here, chefs devise an extensive, and flavorful, menu, using fresh ingredients and classic recipes to make spicy lentils, chewy naan, and tandoori chicken?as well as, yes, seafood, curry goat or lamb, and vegetables.
Seafood reigns supreme at Eddie's Chesapeake Bay Crabhouse. The dinners include shrimp and oyster 6-pieces, while the sandwich roster features lump crab cake and flounder. To complement their formerly swimming entrees, the staff prepares sides such as cornbread, baked beans, and potato salad.
In order to fully relish the Nana Sushi dining experience, one must first sit back and admire the artistic presentation of his or her roll, then quickly resolve to devour it. Behind the sushi bar, chefs add colorful swirls of sauces to plates of freshly rolled maki, such as the spicy mango lobster roll, which is wrapped in pink soy paper before being surrounded by a ring of liquid hearts. The menu includes more than 20 of these specialty rolls, each with an appearance as special as a fireworks show viewed from outer space. In the kitchen, chefs sear scallops, shrimp, and teriyaki-glazed salmon across a blazing grill as well as sauté chicken and pineapple with mounds of fried rice.
The island-fare artists at Jammin Jerk BBQ season meats and stir up curries to produce a savory menu of Caribbean-style barbecue. Jerk cooks rub spice on oxtail ($12–$14) and jerk chicken ($9–$11) to fill dinner plates, and eager fingers grab at sauce-slathered wings ($8–40) spiced with flavors such as ginger mango or sweet garlic chili. Alternatively, a mountain of chicken or pork erupts through the 12-inch hero crust of a filling Jamwich ($8.99; $1.49 extra for both fillings) like a spicy, slow-cooked lava flow.
When Diane founded Stillwater House Tea Room, she named the boutique cafe after her beloved mother's Minnesota hometown. Nestled inside the historic 1859 Townsend House, the cafe is filled with delicate china, lace tablecloths, floral arrangements, and oil paintings?elements that give a nod to Diane's love of tearoom tradition as well as family heritage. Light lunch and high tea feature steaming pots of freshly brewed tea alongside soups, finger sandwiches, and assorted sweets. The tearoom also hosts kids' dress-up parties, where children can adorn themselves in colorful gowns and feather boas.