When restaurateur Pasquale Doriano immigrated to the United States, he brought with him a horde of Old World Italian pasta, pizza, and sandwich recipes to fill up Alessandra's Italian Eatery's dinner menu. In the linguini con cozze, a chorus of mussels harmonizes in red-wine sauce robes from atop a linguine choir stall, serenading diners and luring Greek sailors into the rocks. Though chefs whip up creative specials nightly, indulgent classics remain on hand, such as the mozzarella-laced gnocchi alla sorrentina and penne alla vodka, rife with prosciutto and mushrooms. Before digging into entrees, warm up stomachs with an appetizer of spicy marinated eggplant salad, which lures a herd of buffalo mozzarella to graze the roughly chopped greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Sommeliers can sample glasses of house wines from a list of largely Italian varieties with Napa Valley selections available for fans of the California Raisins’ later work. Alessandra's guests can dine on an outdoor patio, or indoors amid live piano music on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
The herringbone pattern of the bricks on the street just outside Eclectic Chef seems to point wandering feet right in the restaurant’s direction. In warmer months, the eatery’s patio welcomes guests beneath its large, red umbrellas, which offer shade as customers bite into crisp salads tossed with sliced strawberries or wild gathered greens. Guests can also feed on hot or cold sandwiches comprised of warm roast beef and slow-roasted barbecue pork, or paninis filled with barbecue chicken. In addition to the cozy café’s offerings, Eclectic Chef also offers personal-chef and gourmet to-go services, allowing busy diners to feed themselves and their families hearty, healthy meals.
For more than three decades, Oscar's kitchen has filled the dining room with the smoky, peppery aromas of grilled steaks and upscale twists on classic American cuisine. Artful dots and lines of sauce and meticulously placed greens accent braised short ribs, new york strip steaks, and sirloins. Entrees include shrimp and grits, seared fillets of salmon and fried oysters atop wilted spinach, and goat cheese filled ravioli. Beyond serving lunch and dinner amid the main dining room’s vintage posters and the enclosed porch's all-season heat and air, a separate lounge, The O, hosts happy hours and dishes out bar noshes.
Koi Asian Cafe stirs up classic Chinese entrees and ample dinner specials served in a cozy, plum-themed dining room. Chopsticks, fingers, or forks shaped like chopsticks can inaugurate meals by unpacking appetizers of eight pork pan-fried dumplings ($5). The sweet-and-sour-chicken special confounds its rice and egg- or spring-roll cohorts with fair-weather flavors, and meat or tofu morsels skip through forests of stir-fried broccoli. A lengthy roster of beers and wines quells palate fires started by the thai-curry-coconut entree ($8 for a small, $11 for a large), which douses bites of chicken, beef, and shrimp in a tropical spicy sauce. During lunch hours, a parade of $5 specials pairs main courses with rice and an egg roll or spring roll. As they nosh on Asian eats, guests can follow football games and kid-family programs on the café's four TVs, or debate politics with talking heads of lettuce at the salad-and-fruit bar.
Matt and Chris Yaetes grew up together in the Empire State; New York-style pizza's in their blood. It's become their mission to bring a hand-tossed slice of their childhood to South Carolina. At both Pizza Dept. stores, the brothers use a special rotating stone oven to insure even cooking for calzones and the eatery's more than 15 specialty pies. Patrons can also opt for amply-stacked hero sandwiches and zesty wings available in hot, BBQ, or garlic butter.
Our Daily Bread Market's lauded pastry chef, Keith Chinn, served as a member of the 2001 National Pastry Championship Team and combines his sweets savvy with fresh ingredients and top-secret recipes to craft delicious home-cooked pies fit for any windowsill. Coiling cartoon aromas ascend from each pumpkin, apple, and sweet-potato round, which are made-to-order with the arrival of each guest’s phone order or lavender-scented telegraph. Two pounds of fresh granny-smith apples anchor the apple pie’s flaky crust, melding with mounds of raisins and brown sugar beneath a crumbly streusel crown. An age-old southern favorite enhanced by Keith’s special recipe, the sweet-potato pie encases taste buds in a sweet buttery shroud, and homemade pumpkin pies crush appetites inflamed by the harvest moon’s knack for hovering ominously over dessert tables.
Domino's recently reformulated its pizza recipe, which puts the buyer in command of a plentitude of pie-personalizing possibilities. Test the sturdiness of a hand-tossed thin crust with mounds of hearty marinara, ham, chicken, green peppers, black olives, and spinach, or fill a deep-dish foundation with alfredo sauce, bacon, onions, jalapeños, fresh mushrooms, and banana peppers. While delicious design options stretch into infinity like a taffy pull in a black hole, the eatery's specialty pizzas make choosing more manageable. Peruse pies like the MeatZZa Feast, which is piled high with pepperoni, ham, italian sausage, beef, and extra mozzarella, and the Pacific Veggie, a flashy West Coast–concoction of roasted red peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives, feta, mozzarella, and provolone.