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.
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.
Brothers Brent and Brian Pilrain pay homage to the prevalence of the Roman Empire in Europe during its heyday by combining Italian fare with cuisines from France and Germany, using ingredients and premium meats including certified Sterling Silver beef hand-selected by chef Brian himself. Inside the kitchen he gets to work by firing pizzas in the wood-burning brick oven and baking tender beef wellington. Mirroring the chef, the dining area's mural depicts a stone carving of cooks flipping disks of pizza dough in front of fiery ovens, and the nearby bartenders pour glasses of red and white wine, and pass out cold bottles of craft and imported beers. Adjacent to the dining area stands a dark timber archway, which opens to a European deli's glass display cases stocked with Boar's Head–brand gourmet meats and cheeses, lobster cannelloni, and hand-tossed calzones.
The crew at Cobblestone Cafe has manned crackling griddles and grills for more than three decades to forge a menu of time-tested diner fare. Around the forest-green eatery, patrons at outdoor tables feast on egg skillets, pancakes, and breakfast wraps or enjoy fresh air not purchased from corrupt park rangers. As the sun rises higher in the sky, plates clatter with loads of meatloaf, burgers, and french-dip sandwiches.
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).