Within the 153-room Holiday Inn, Amici envelops diners in salmon-hued walls as they feast on freshly cut pastas and overflowing paninis. Rob Sigmund of Wild Duck Catering mans the helm of the spacious dining room, where upholstered banquettes, dark woods, and modern lighting fixtures create an atmosphere of contemporary comfort. After excavating a savory strata of lasagna, patrons can search for a wine finale on the outdoor patio or for mermen in the hotel’s swimming pool.
Born and trained in Italy, Maurizio Paparo opened Ciao Pizza as an authentic Italian pizzeria where saucy circulars are built from the dough up, adorned with fresh ingredients, and fire-kissed in a classic wood-burning oven. More popular on plates than extreme close-ups in soap operas, the Diavola pizza dazzles tasters with bold bites of caramelized onions, roasted peppers, spicy italian sausage, and mozzarella (8-inch lunch serving, $8.25; 12-inch dinner serving, $13.95). Ciao’s lunch and dinner menus also boast bountiful salads ($4.75+), crispy calzones ($7.95+), and freshly made artisan pasta dishes served with focaccia bread ($6.95+) to deftly satisfy appetites of all sizes and astrological signs. Conduct a lunchtime fork foray into ravioli carciofi with tender artichokes and a roasted-pepper crème sauce ($7.50/regular, $10.95/large), or sample an evening selection of meat-laden lasagna classica ($13.75). Choreographed by talented pastry chef “Mama” Milka, the Excelsior cheesecake serves as a triumphant finale to a flavorful feast, topped with a red curtain of raspberry sauce ($5.75).
At Camp Putt Adventure Golf Park, colored balls carom along the greens of two 18-hole courses spread across two idyllic acres. Rustling trees and ponds provide the setting for relaxing rounds, during which players must putt their way through logs, around flowerbeds, and past other obstacles to keep their scores low.
Green Papaya Organic Thai Café bequeaths bare dishes and vacant stomachs with gluten-free and dairy-free Thai cuisine using ingredients from local farms and vendors. Nestled within contemporary environs with marble floors and oversized portraits of bodhisattvas, diners can eat up Green Papaya's menu of delectable Thai delicacies. Coax appetites into being with starters such as the porpia sot which snuggles cabbage, carrots, lettuce, mint, cilantro, and basil in a rice-paper sleeping bag alongside a mighty triumvirate of peanut, apricot, and fig sauce ($6.95). Crunchy opaka tops crispy-fried snapper with ginger and tamarind sauce, arriving with an entourage of rice and papaya salad ($8.95 for lunch, $11.95 for dinner). Specialty dishes include thai sausages, slipping pork and thai spices into a swanky sausage-casing overcoat. Try the goon chiang for thai sweet pork sausage ($8.95 for lunch, $11.95 for dinner) or the uer prick gang featuring red-curry pork sausage ($8.95 for lunch, $11.95 for dinner), both escorted by rice and salad. Abate the fiery aftereffects of a spicy meal with coconut ice cream ($3.95), using coconuts plucked at the peak of freshness from Antarctic palm trees.