Gourmet pizzas fly through the air before landing on slabs in Panino's Pizza & Pasta's kitchen, where chefs slather the hand-tossed dough with sauce and toppings that complement pasta dishes, crusty paninis, and other Italian menu selections. Pineapple chunks, crisp bacon, and cherry peppers—just a few of those aforementioned toppings—weigh down slices slapped together according to a list of specialty and build-your-own pizzas. Homemade marinara and meat sauces add a hearty kick to pasta dishes, and a pan-seared sole fillet arrives in the straw hat of the Italian fishermen who caught it. The restaurant's BYOB policy means that diners can arrive with bottles of wine or six-packs of beer from their own collections, and a casual, festive atmosphere inspires conversations that continue long after the last plates are cleared.
The traditional dishes of Japan, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia make their way to Ten Asian Bistro's tables prepared to dazzle any hungry guests who've taken seats inside. Instead of reciting the prologue to Beowulf as they await their meals, diners can watch chefs craft sushi rolls from gourmet cuts of fish and savory accoutrements such as tobiko, scallions, and tempura breading. A panoply of noodle dishes, including pad thai and chow fun, team up with a choice of four meats to sate carnivores, and a steaming wok infuses shrimp and scallops with flavors such as lime, lemongrass, and pineapple. Sake and other spirits inspire toasting before meals, and catering services facilitate noshing in homes, offices, and epicurean mosh pits.
In 1988, Marisa Marini opened Marisa's Ristorante with her two sons. Marisa's son Attilio Marini helms the kitchen which crafts original Italian family recipes alongside high-quality steaks. The eatery?s menu also entertains tongues with dishes such as house-made lasagna, chicken parmigiana smothered in mozzarella cheese, and pizzas topped with fried italian hot peppers, mushrooms, crushed plum-tomato sauce, and clams. The restaurant regales more than taste buds, though. Every Friday night, a high-energy dueling-piano show takes the stage, and on other nights, the stage is occupied by comedians and patrons belting out their favorite karaoke tunes.
MacDaddy’s Macaroni & Cheese Bar elevates elbow noodles to haute cuisine with its 25 varieties of gourmet mac and cheese, which have garnered positive attention from the foodies at The Washington Post. Available in three sizes—the snack, the mac, and the macdaddy—elbow noodles emulate monte cristos with ham and gouda, mimic gumbo with andouille sausage, and impersonate Popeye with spinach, goat cheese, and a keen knowledge of nautical terms. MacDaddy’s also serves dessert in the form of cookies, brownies, and “mac zeppole”—deep-fried noodles tossed with powdered sugar.
Fratello Deli and Catering crafts a diverse menu of meaty bread-bordered concoctions and specialty Italian dishes. Fresh-baked bread—delivered daily from the Bronx—embraces signature sandwiches such as the mettle-testing Monroe's Bravest, topped with spicy soppressata and cappy, or the Fat Sal, which sports prosciutto, soppressata, provolone, red peppers, and a moniker from origins unknown ($6.25 for a roll or a wrap, $7.75 for a grinder). In addition to appetizingly svelte thin-crust pizzas, assorted Italian dishes delight palates with options including chicken marsala ($10.95), eggplant rolatini ($8.95), and meat-disguising stuffed breads ($9.95). Early-rising appetites can fulfill imposed quotas for comestibles that start with the letter B by starting the day with assorted bagels ($1.35–$1.75), breakfast sandwiches ($3), and belgian waffles ($3, Sundays only), and midday-rising appetites can get a late start with assorted lunchtime sandwiches ($4.50–$8).
Sunlight streams through the wall-to-wall windows in Roberto’s Restaurant’s garden room, warming hanging greenery, exposed-brick walls, and platefuls of pasta and grilled steaks. Servers slip among the tables, carrying pizzas with adventurous toppings such as chopped clams and broccoli rabbe. The eatery seats 140 people, the exact number of players on field during a standard soccer game, and was voted Best Family Dining in the county by the readers of Connecticut Magazine.