The cooks at the Classic Diner serve up hefty portions from a menu of American diner fare. The chefs employ organic ingredients, depending on how often Organic Man heroically barrels into town. Hands shake pans at sunrise, sifting egg and veggie skillets ($7.95 each), such as the Denver—a mountain of two basted eggs supporting a rumbling avalanche of potatoes, ham, and onions rolling down its succulent side. A surly pile of roast beef donning a cheddar-cheese hat, armed with jalapeño sharpshooters saunters by a trembling posse of french fries in the Texas roast grill ($8.95). Fingers grab at saucy barbecue-baby-pork ribs braised in lager ($14.95) and blue-cheese crumbles complement the 14-ounce peppercorn steak ($22.95). An extensive list of drinks, including wines, beers, martinis, and cocktails, chase bites down gullets with more velocity than an oiled watermelon blazing down a waterslide.
Every ingredient on a signature burger at Blue Star Burgers is preselected except for the most crucial: the patty. Besides two beef options – 1/4- and 1/2-pound patties, respectively – Blue Star offers chicken breast and portobello burgers. Upon these patties rest the signature burger's tasty toppings, from the Heartburn's smoked bacon and chili to the Health Nut's baby spinach and avocado.
Of course, Blue Star's grill masters happily relinquish all the decision-making to diners with their build-your-own burgers. After picking a patty, it's up to you to choose from four toasted buns, five cheeses, and 20-plus toppings and sauces, including sunny-side-up eggs and brown mustard. Certain toppings, such as truffled mushrooms and jalapeno peppers, can even be "meatloafed," which is Blue Star shorthand for mixing ingredients into raw patty and having a Betty Crocker look-a-like cook it.
Besides burgers, the Blue Star menu includes tasty treats ranging from chicken fingers to sweet potato fries tossed in a house blend of herbs and spices. Burger buns, fries, and sandwiches can even be prepared gluten-free.
Housed within the historic, yet renovated halls of the Clinton Inn Hotel, Palmer's Crossing Restaurant demonstrates a willingness to embrace tradition while incorporating a bit of contemporary flair. The casually refined New American bistro sates diners with reimagined versions of familiar classics, such as meatloaf topped in a hazelnut crust and homemade chicken noodle soup with garden-fresh vegetables. At the same time, the chefs also draw inspiration from international cuisines, including quesadillas stuffed with lobster meat, thin-crust pizzas, falafel burgers with tzatziki sauce, fried chicken and kimchi salad, and Polynesian-style ribs slathered in a Hawaiian barbecue sauce.
Stonework columns, a flickering fireplace, and dark wooden trim all contribute to the dining areas' cozy ambiance. Here, diners sink into high-backed booths or upholstered chairs that surround the tables draped in white linens, which double as sheets for the hotel's ghosts after 2 a.m. A circular bar occupies the main room, creating a casual setting where guests can enjoy eclectic appetizers while sipping wine or cocktails.
On the 100% kosher menu at Tavlin, pan-seared tuna, mango-and-arugula salads, and barbecued salmon stand out amid an array of traditional Mediterranean dishes. Diners can warm up with housemade falafel and hummus or baba ghanouj before moving on to an entree. Chefs spit-roast chicken shawarma and char-grill steak to skewer onto a shish kebab. Gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly options are also available. Diners can settle in for a leisurely meal or take their orders to go.
At Acanto Ristorante, traditional Italian dining borrows from Greek and French cooking for a truly continental culinary experience. Their bold dinner menu features dishes such as the cavatelli alla sarda, a handmade pasta topped with pancetta, radicchio, and ricotta cheese, as well as a Greek-inspired lamb shank braised with orzo. Entrees can be complemented by selections from their international wine list. Guests can enjoy meals in the refined, yet welcoming dining room with a glass walled alcove where natural light streams in, casting geometric shapes and funny shadow puppets across the warm walls.