The sound of fire. The igniting exhalation before the steady breath of the flame sustains. The heat pulsing steadily outward from the steel grill—you feel it on your glowing face. But the chef looks cool. He’s a master, after all; a flat, metal spatula in one hand and an enormous, sharp knife in the other. Kani House’s teppanyaki tables are no strangers to the action of hibachi, where these chefs entertain their guests before plating seared steak and scallops alongside fresh, sautéed vegetables. The steady sushi masters may not share their compatriots’ outward exuberance, but their work is just as delicious. From behind their long bar, they assemble maki cylinders with tender cuts of fatty tuna and bright salmon, artfully arranging cuts of more than 50 specialty rolls in the shape of gentle caterpillars or fearsome members of the Japanese Diet. Bright bamboo panels and natural stone add to the vibrant ambiance, surrounding diners with dark-wood and nuanced accents that keep the focus on the beauty of excellent cuisine.
Built in 1887, the modest southern-style Foster House retains its 19th-century charm with restored dining rooms and an outdoor brick patio adorned in period furniture and décor. Throughout the charming house, each of the four dining rooms has its own distinct feel. The lavender room's antique silver cake stands and teapots glimmer in built-in hutches; golden frames and delicate figurines bedeck the peach room; and mirrored fireplaces create decadent focal points in both the cheery lime-green room and the lush forest-green room. In each of the rooms, antique tables create intimate vignettes for diners to dig into fried catfish or sip afternoon tea. The shaded patio hosts outdoor dining, nestled among the century-old pecan trees that have dutifully taken care of the home since it was built.
Just three of Miyako's hibachi chefs boast a combined 72 years of collective experience grilling, slicing, and festively tossing Japanese cuisine over teppanyaki grills. Behind the sushi bar, another chef?who himself has 16 years of experience?slices up cuts of fresh fish that drape over hand-formed mounds of rice or line a huge variety of maki rolls. Between them all, the extensive menu ranges from cuts of steak grilled before diners' eyes to beautifully plated sushi and sashimi.
Chefs and servers at Summits Wayside Tavern specialize in pairing pub fare and frothy brews?partnering more than 140 drafts of beer with made-to-order burgers, salads, flatbreads, and sandwiches. Chefs make patties of prime beef, short rib and Kobe among others for made-to-order burgers smothered with add-ons spanning from applewood-smoked bacon to fried calamari. They also prepare fajitas, fish and chips, asian noodle stir fry, traditional ramen, kimchi fries, and buffalo chicken wings. Though the taps may vary from location to location, bartenders have recently poured brews from Pabst, Lagunitas, and Dogfish Head. In addition to their montage of frosty brews, Summits Wayside Tavern pours 20 different wines by the glass and boasts a large collection of spirits.
The Derby Sports Grille Pub's crew of cuisine crafters delivers a capacious menu of pub favorites and beverages. An appetizing arrangement of cheese sticks bathes in a marinara concoction ($6.50), and battered buffalo shrimp inhabit oceans of mild, medium, or hot sauce ($6.95). The deft cooks stack up the Derby Melt, an 8-ounce burger cushioned by marble-rye bread and melted swiss cheese ($8.95), and diners can dollop mounds of barbecue-infused pulled pork and coleslaw on waiting buns ($7.95). Order a mealtime multiplicity of wings engulfed in sauces both classic and inventive, such as teriyaki, lemon-pepper, or sweet and sour⎯all served bone in or out ($6.99 for 6, $7.99 for 10, $13.99 for 20). Any of these meals can be enjoyed with a mug of beer, a glass of wine, or a derby hat filled with cognac.
On the "specialty pizza" section of the menu at Johnny's Pizza you'll find hawaiian pies topped with canadian bacon and pineapple and italian specials with sausage and green peppers. But the restaurant's trademark pizzas were inspired by another region: New York. Thin-crust-style pies like those in the Big Apple come sprinkled with bacon, feta, sliced meatballs, breaded chicken, and dozens of other familiar and novel toppings.