Fernanda's International Market, a treasure trove of rare ingredients and made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, bakes robust breads and fine pastries. Among a troop of hearty sandwiches, the Martorano ($8.99) stands out for its spicy temper and muscular blend of sopressata and cappacola meats. The Churchill ($8.99) loads its taste gun with Branston pickle relish and fights hunger pangs on ham-coated beaches, cheddar cheese fields, and hot mustard streets. Fernanda's also sells prepared food by the pound and hard-to-find international groceries like Thai lemon grass.
Montreal native Tony Bianco teamed up with executive chef Enzo Addario to create Hot Tomatoe, a traditional Italian bistro boasting a menu that brims with house-made, cooked-to-order pastas, flavorful meat dishes, and full- and light-bodied Italian wines. Their regional cuisine typically integrates up to seven essential ingredients—oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and olives—from which Snow White’s seven dwarves drew their names. In addition, the staff goes shopping for fresh ingredients three to four days a week to supplement both seasonal compositions and year-round dishes, which include veal parmigiana, filet mignon, and penne norma.
Armed to the eyeteeth with an array of cozy comestibles, Bash Wine Cafe's creative culinarians whip up gourmet fare in an easy-going neighborhood atmosphere. Appetizers such as the black truffle beggar's purse fire-up food engines with toothsome mouthfuls of truffle- and cheese-stuffed pastry ($10), while the hummus offers a trough of tahini-packed taste, perfect for mortaring together a leaning tower of pita ($8). Bash Wine Cafe's dinner menu is packed with hearty helpings such as the tuscan pork loin crusted with japanese breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and regionally dependent pesto ($14), or the doubly sauced bourbon-and-mustard-slathered pecan chicken ($14.50)—both of which come love matched with a choice of side such as mashed potatoes, seasoned rice, or mac 'n' cheese (add $1). Guests can also quell a red-meat craving with the beef short ribs, which soak in sweetness with an hours-long Coca-Cola braise before bowing to the savory secrecy of the house-made barbecue sauce—derived from grill geneticists' patient cross-breeding of various barbeque flower strains ($20).
It's hard to imagine that there's a libation out there that Crown doesn't carry. With a selection that spans vineyards, distilleries, and breweries from around the world, the bottles lining each location come from both small, artisan makers and those universally famed for their grapes or techniques. Home mixologists can cull inspiration for cocktails from a selection of top-shelf-brand mixers or pair their tipple of choice with gourmet snacks, from bush-pepper macadamia nuts to dirty martini party dip. But tastings may be the most distinctive thing about Crown Wine & Spirits. Whether customers stop in to try each location's daily offerings of wine or spirits—or for special tastings that cover dozens of wines, bourbons or beers—Crown's staff makes it easy to find a new favorite or to make up to your tongue for forgetting so many of its birthdays.
TATE'S 6,800-square-foot pop-culture paradise unveils a staggering selection of collectible comic books, graphic novels, toys, and memorabilia, which has earned the shop numerous accolades including the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award in 2009. Leaf through comics chronicling the crusades of Spider Man and the Fantastic Four, as well as Sonic the Hedgehog’s uphill ascent from family pet to Olympic gold medalist ($2.99+). Collectors can adorn empty mantles with inimitable Dr. Who collectibles ($12.99+), or peruse the cases safeguarding Star Wars collectibles, such as vintage action figures ($14+) or a lightsaber signed by star Mark Hamill ($799.99). Nosh on an exotic assortment of Japanese snacks ($0.99–$6.95) while admiring TATE'S selection of plush and vinyl toys, key chains, and figurines crafted by the toy tinkers at Kidrobot ($2.95+).
Chef Esmeralda unites her proud Mediterranean heritage with American touches in each tapas dish her kitchen creates. Iberico Spanish-style cured ham, bruschettas, and fresh seafood—as well as larger entrees—give guests a taste of faraway cuisines as they enjoy their meals amid the trattoria’s wine-colored walls or on the patio. To complement these dishes, Esmeralda’s team of wine experts curates a menu of fine and rare champagnes and global varietals. Bartenders craft sweet sangria and margaritas, and on select nights, hookah smoke twirls upward, diffusing the soft light from the eatery’s crystalline chandeliers.