Dolce Vita enchants jet-setters and homebodies alike with a where's-where menu of global recipes, a polyglot wine list, and a fully-stocked bar that keeps its stools open late, until all thirsts are sufficiently quenched. Launch your taste tour with the thai shrimp and scallop appetizer soaking in a red curry sauce ($13). The D.V. Chicken ($16), a bone-in bird with a belly full of fresh mozzarella, roma tomatoes, and basil, descends from the heavens into a cozy bed of tomato polenta and parmesan bread crumbs with a basil cream blanket. Daredevil palates plummet chopper-first into Dolce Vita's international menu with the jamaican jerk rack of lamb ($24) hovering over yellow curry couscous and grilled asparagus. Meanwhile, wines (ranging from $21–$100 per bottle) from as far as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Chile vie good-naturedly against homegrown spirits for a spot at the table, each promising its own distinct flavor and keychain souvenir from the motherland.
When Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began perfecting their bagel recipe with the help of a professional NYC bagel maker in 1983, the bagel was still an anomaly in the food world—it was geographically and culturally still isolated in New York City. Fueled by a desire to change that, the duo opened up the first Bruegger's deli with the hope of eventually introducing the rest of the country to the bagel. Brue and Dressell have since realized their dream, sharing their distinctive recipes and culinary traditions at 300 locations spread across 26 states. To this day, they oven-bake their centerless bread rolls every morning and afternoon, populating counter displays that also brim with daily made breads, Vermont cream cheese, and custom-roasted coffee.
Executive Chef Phillip Smith and his network of chefs still use the original five-ingredient recipe for their dough, which they shape into more than 20 bagel varieties. Because they draw from each region's local recipes and from dialogue and Pictionary games with local consumers, certain menu items may vary from store to store across the country. The bagels are often served with Bruegger's eclectic cream cheeses such as bacon scallion or honey walnut, or as sandwiches with meats, cheeses, and veggies often sourced from local or organic produce. Coffee gets just as much attention, with house blends of 100% arabica coffee.
The chefs at Fisher Bay Restaurant curate a classic menu of sandwiches, grilled fare, and seafood at their serene, lakeside eatery. Sink fangs into the chicken parmesan ($13.99) or test taste buds' fortitude for piquant flavors with the spicy steamed shrimp, lightly dusted with Southern spices ($13.99). Share a mozzarella-laden, 16-inch one-topping pizza ($11.99) or scarf down a 12-ounce rib-eye steak forged by grill-savvy ironsmiths ($14.99). Outdoor diners can enjoy tranquil lakeside views and gather on brisk evenings around the fireplace to swap ghost stories and tales of twice-baked potatoes.
Sardo’s dishes up an opulent array of eatables, featuring a wealth of specialty pizzas built from hand-tossed dough and fresh toppings that are prepared daily. The extensive menu sates grumbling stomachs and forgotten geometric taste buds with triangular slices ($1.75 each) or colossal circles, such as a 16-inch Sardo’s Paradise, a twice-baked disk smothered in garlic and tomato sauce and sprinkled with sausage, pepperoni, and a variety of vegetables under a bubbling canopy of mozzarella and ricotta cheese ($18.99). Friday and Saturday nights battered-haddock sandwiches ($5.99) and dinners ($7.99) materialize on menu pages like an edible Brigadoon, delighting palates before vanishing into the misty depths of patrons' stomachs. Pasta dishes lift up orders of chicken or eggplant parmigiana on litters of penne pasta ($7.49) and chicken wings ($6.99 for 10) coat fingers and content grins with your choice from seven sauces.