The recipes at Rosie’s Italian Grille have spanned oceans and generations to appeal to present-day senses with aromatic Old World fare. Born in Montelepre, Sicily, Rosie immigrated to the United States in 1924, bundling with her a cache of culinary treasures mapped from mother to daughter. When the first Rosie’s Italian Grille opened on Sylvania Avenue, her three sons asserted that the hardest part of the entire enterprise was “translating her recipes.”
Today, executive chef Eric Kish continues to translate and update Rosie's culinary blueprints, marrying traditional and modern influences in a menu that boasts fine steaks, award-winning pizzas, seafood flown in from the Florida Keys, and fresh-baked desserts lauded for their presentation by the Toledo Blade. In the 27 years since the original Rosie’s opened, guests have delighted in not just the food, but the Tuscan-themed setting illuminated by flickering candlelight, which is more romantic than the flickering of a tableside cardiograph.
Balance Pan-Asian Grille is a grassroots Asian-American restaurant. Their staff believes that every restaurant should be like theirs—one that serves from-scratch, healthy food made from fresh ingredients, noting that if customers wanted a microwaved meal, they wouldn’t go out to eat. The name Balance is a reference to restaurant's flavorful bowls, which contain a balance of proteins, carbs, and vegetables.
In the kitchen, Head Chef Jang, who worked for years at his parents' traditional Chinese restaurant, heats up the wok to create fusion recipes such as sweet butternut squash soup and vegan potstickers. He also cooks vegetarian and vegan dishes built on brown rice, salad greens, and tofu. Jang and his staffers often design their seasonal menus using fresh, farm-to-table ingredients, and they eschew any produce or proteins that are classified as genetically modified organisms or that have been handled by robots at any point during the harvesting process.
Like a camera obscura built around a dinner table, Home Slice Pizza stays forever focused on its cuisine. Within the brick-lined establishment’s kitchen, chefs toss and fire large and extra-large thin-crust pizzas topped with ingredients as classic as pepperoni and anchovies or as original as artichoke hearts, seasoned steak, and A1 sauce. Under this flavor ornamentation lies the pizzas’ true foundation: cheese. Blends of mozzarella, feta, ricotta, cheddar, parmesan, and romano provide a solid base for creative ingredient combinations and add a gooey warmth to every bite. Not content to be confined to pizzas alone, cheese also douses orders of pan-baked cheese bread and supports focaccia subs flecked with herbs and stuffed with hot ham, turkey, bacon, and veggies.
When Lori Jacobs and Dana Iliev first opened all-cupcake bakery Cake in a Cup, they spent more than six months experimenting with flavors; they tried at least one new recipe each day, according to The Blade. Those months of experimentation paid off in 2011 when Jacobs and Iliev won the top prize on an episode of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network Channel.
Their winning cupcake, which wowed judges with its notes of dark chocolate and stout beer and its inventive design, is representative of the creative flavors you'll find inside the bakery. Guinness Black & Tan, white chocolate mandarin, and savory-sweet Millionaire Bacon are a few regulars on the weekly cupcake roster.
Seasoned staffers wheel a small cart directly up to dining room tables, where they smash avocados into a palatable paste of fresh guacamole right before guests' eyes. This appetizer fuels treks through Cinco de Mayo Amigos Cantina's lengthy menu, which spotlights Mexican favorites infused with authentic ingredients such as pork carnitas, carne asada, and spicy mole sauce. The restaurant's exposed brick walls house weeknight karaoke, as well as other weekly events including Salsa Night on Saturday, Ladies' Night on Thursday, and Day Planner Appreciation Night on Tuesday. On the outdoor patio, guests can get their fill of fresh air and sunshine as they sample 20 varieties of margaritas.
From its humble beginnings in 1959, Little Caesars has stretched its cheesy empire from coast to coast, doling out trademark deep-dish pizzas, sauce-drenched wings, and cheesy bread. In keeping with its history as a forward-looking franchise, Little Caesars has cooked up an iPhone application that highlights popular menu items and shoots out piping-hot pies from the phone's port. The pizza purveyor sends its Love Kitchen, a big-rig pizza kitchen on wheels, across the United States and Canada to fill the bellies of homeless people and disaster victims with its daily kneaded dough and freshly shaved mozzarella.