Fresh herbs and local greens, aged parmesan, and handmade pasta. Chefs in Tuscany Flame's kitchen staff draws these items together when crafting dishes from scratch for a menu of Italian cuisine. Forks twirl in plates of pasta doused in housemade sauces with cognac and dill or white wine and lemon. For the steaks, chefs cut aged beef from the Midwest by hand, and an open flame sears chops and chicken and burns secret agents’ bad poetry. Diners enjoy the handcrafted fare in the burgundy-carpeted dining room or outside at umbrella-shaded tables.
The chefs at Sahara Express Hot Grill craft Mediterranean cuisine from fresh, organic meats and vegetables. Diners can visit a salad bar to dress falafel sandwiches with chopped cucumber and tomato in creamy tahini, crisp radish, or rich hummus. Gyro meat roasts on a vertical spit, and morsels of kebab-skewered chicken sear on a grill. Sahara Express Hot Grill's cooks deftly prepare and pack takeout orders, but diners can also take a seat in an inviting dining area with gleaming wood paneling and artwork that embellishes the walls.
With a crêpe-centric menu, Kafe Neo expands on the repertoire of the typical café kitchen with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and snack-time fare. During each visit, diners can look on as crêpes ($2.99–$8.99 each) are cooked to order in a pan, flattened over a copy of the French Constitution, and filled with signature combinations of more than 70 different meat, vegetable, cheese, and fruit fillings. After coffee beans are carefully put through the antique roasters at nearby Dallis Bros. Coffee, they're ground up and brewed onsite to make café mochas ($4.49), lattes ($3.99), and classic cups of joe ($2.49 with refills). Whether you're eyeing something savory, sweet, or simply not caught on fire, the restaurant also serves fresh paninis, omelets, and french toast.
Aptly named Clove III marks the third location of the Clove dynasty in New Jersey?and the local chain's prolific rise is well-earned. That's because its staff focuses on what really makes a meal: fresh, authentic dishes and a good glass of wine. The latter comes from the wine bar, and the former from a menu inspired by northern India's cuisine. Cooked in a traditional clay tandoor oven, slow-broiled shrimp tandoori reigns as one of the specialty dishes. So does the Clove special biryani, saffron rice simmered with boneless chicken and chunks of lamb and beef. Every flavorful entree pairs well with house-made Indian breads that include naan and roti, which are both flat enough to file away and include with next year?s tax deductions.
Old World traditions meet New World sensibilities at Fresco Greek Tavern. Although the chefs stick to Greek flavors by charcoal grilling everything from chopped sirloin to chicken and by crafting iconic appetizers such as hummus and dolmades, they experiment a bit more with the falafel platters. Several of the platters are inspired by the flavors of countries from all seven hemispheres. Examples can include the Italian-inspired falafels in a bed of pesto sauce as well as Japanese-inspired falafels with wasabi-spiked mayonnaise and ginger dressing. With its cerulean-blue ceiling, gilt-framed mirrors, and tables draped in crisp white linens, Fresco Greek Tavern’s dining room embraces a classical aesthetic worthy of the Parthenon.
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.