Mad Jacks Sports Cafe serves a spread of eclectic eats amid rustic décor marked by high-tech accents. Diners dig into a regular or gluten-free menu of steaks, cedar-plank-grilled fish, and sandwiches under the glow of LCD screens and individual TVs stationed within every high backed booth. These flickering devices cast light across the log-cabin-themed space and tables filled with freshly spun pizzas and grill-kissed entrees. As they eat, diners can watch flames dance inside the fireplace, lament a dropped pass or an ill-purchased vowel on one of the looming TV screens, or drink in the fresh air on an outdoor patio.
At Macaluso’s Roadhouse, chefs hand-toss dough and simmer house-made tomato sauce before decorating pies with a variety of 16 toppings. Slices piled high with pepperoni, sausage, and bacon bits exercise, and a disk covered with mushrooms and green peppers offers a delicious visual device to teach younger siblings about fractions. A punch card for a fleet of 10 14-inch pizzas lets patrons savor cheesy bites in multiple visits with different groups of friends and family. Mouths munch as hands line up chips on Bar Bingo Tuesdays and shuffle cards on texas hold’em Sundays, and the live musical stylings of Tim Sigler drowns out the sound of chewing in ears on Thursdays.
Inspired by a vacation to Tuscany, executive chef Justin Grecco conducts a symphony of locally sourced ingredients to create authentic Italian fare. After acclimating to the eatery's red walls and checkered tablecloths, diners can begin culinary sojourns with arugula salad ($11) or crispy calamari ($9), the crunchiest thing to emerge from the sea since Poseidon's jam band last toured. Roman Anthony's dinner menu features shapely noodle formations such as the pappardelle pasta, which is tossed with braised beef, wild mushrooms, and basil-infused San Marzano tomato sauce ($25), and the cream-sauce-coated stuffed lobster ravioli ($25). Grilled pork bistecca comes bathed in balsamic reduction and strawberry demi glace, nestled next to a jumble of farm fresh veggies ($22). Roman Anthony's also dispenses an array of fine wines and spirits from behind a granite bar that seats 35 people upright, or 25 if they insist on leaning like their favorite Italian tower.
New Casa Lupita's menu boasts a bounty of authentic south-of-the-border dishes prepared using recipes from the owners' hometown of Guadalajara. Inside the deli-style restaurant, slurp up homemade tortilla soup ($3.50) or plunge into 12 ounces of guacamole dip ($5.49). Patio diners let the breeze sweep through their tresses as they gobble down mammoth tortillas bursting at the flour seams with tender carne asada steak, rice, beans, salsa, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and onions ($6.19).
Behind the sushi bar at Suishin Restaurant, chefs prepare hand rolls from a menu of more than 50 different kinds of sushi for onlookers, positioning each piece of sushi and sashimi in artistic displays inside a glass case. At dark-wood tables with leather chairs, sprays of steam blossom from pots of broth, in which crab meat, beef, and vegetables cook. The communal style of eating fuels chatter, which floats past a full bar with purple lighting and sand-hued brick walls. The modern decor complements sleek bento boxes, whose compartments brim with sushi and shrimp tempura. On an outdoor patio, chopsticks click together with the sound of a tap dancer having a pleasant dream, pulling noodles from bowls of ramen-noodle soup.
Though Little Venetian opened in 2002, the family behind the operation has been treating locals to Italian flavors since 1928, when Mama and Papa Vitale opened a modest vegetable stand. Now, decades later, diners can enjoy their fresh produce whipped up into hearty meals, made in accordance with Vitale family recipes. Pastas and pizzas come coated in slow-cooked marinara or alfredo sauces, and plates of chicken parmigiano and Italian sausage warm forks and souls with homemade flavor.
Guests seated at Osaka Sushi and Hibachi’s teppanyaki tables watch as chefs slice and grill pieces of filet mignon, chicken, scallops, and other fine meats. With skillful spatula flicks or regulation slingshots, the chefs then fling the meaty pieces onto plates along with piles of white rice and colorful veggies. Nearby, sushi chefs also impress diners with their culinary precision. After rolling rice around shrimp tempura and spicy tuna, they can transform the bundle into a Christmas roll by adding red, black, and bright-green tobiko. Miniature piles of tobiko victoriously sit atop lobster salad in the Sumo roll, whereas sliced avocado contrasts the light-pink salmon in the Coon Rapids roll.