Twice a week, the owners of La Vera Cucina visit local meat and fish markets. They do this themselves instead of delegating the task, and visitors to their restaurant find this kind of dedication to be delicious. Once these carefully sourced ingredients?like lobster, scallops, veal, and steak?hit kitchen cutting boards, chefs pair them with heaps of linguine and fettuccine. Once they're prepared, meals enter the dining room, sailing past gold, sponge-painted walls to land on white tablecloths that make the ingredients' colors sing. Sun-dried tomatoes glisten like rubies, pink prosciutto and bright green peas surround chicken Florentine, and mussels occupy bowls of red or white sauce.
Diwani Indian Restaurant sticks to traditional Indian dishes?not that there's anything particularly restrictive about that. The product of thousands of years of history and myriad regional influences, Indian cuisine contains everything from rice-based biryanis to tandoori-grilled meats.
Given all the dishes on the menu, it's safe to say the clay oven at Diwani is no slouch. It works overtime to grill chicken tikka masala and cuts of halibut that showcase the power of a good yogurt marinade. Speaking of yogurt, you can cool off after dinner by drinking or dunking your head into a refreshing lassi, a yogurt-based drink that counterbalances spiciness.
Ravi Continental Cuisine’s website encourages guests to “come comfortably, with an open mind.” Although this implies a casual dress code, Executive Chef Miguel DeBride’s food hasn't gotten the memo. His plates dress to the nines with colorful bursts of pink tuna tartare, green fennel, delicately drizzled sauces, and calamari rings each sporting its own bowtie. A Brazil native who grew up in Belize, DeBride’s well-traveled background manifests itself in his creative recipes. His work in New Orleans with Emeril Lagasse shines through in his bayou crab cakes, and his time spent working with Florida’s freshest seafood ensures his seared scallops with wild mushrooms and herb polenta are buttery soft. DeBride’s recipe repertoire also draws on Mediterranean delights, such as cabbage stew; Asian influences, including a thai chicken in coconut-curry sauce; and French techniques, apparent in the brandy-cream sauce that bastes his filet mignon.
Inside the kitchen of Marcello’s, teardrop chandeliers cast their warm gaze over copper cookware and a dining table that wraps around the stove. Here, Chef Marcello sheds light on the techniques of preparing Italian cuisine during cooking classes and private parties. In such events, up to 12 guests can sip wine while he picks recipes secretly stored in his chef’s hat and demonstrates how to assemble artful dishes, which may include risotto with chicken and spinach or pasta with fresh tomato mozzarella and basil. Although the private dining experience is the easiest way to witness Chef Marcello’s passion for sharing the cuisine of his native Italy, guests can also enjoy his dynamic entrees without front-row seats at the chef’s table. In the restaurant’s dining room, floor-to-ceiling murals depict the Tuscan countryside and ferns adorn honey-colored walls as diners anticipate hearty meals. Atop crisp white tablecloths, servers present platters of housemade pastas and veal prepared seven ways. The knowledgeable staff is also happy to recommend pairings from the vast Italian wine list.