An island of wooden shelves buds from the dining room's floor, displaying draft-beer taps, glinting rocks glasses, and flat-screen TVs alive with sports. Nearby, plates of grilled paninis, buffalo wings in 15 flavors, and fish ‘n' chips clatter onto a polished bar and lacquered tables, drawing nervous glances from collectors of mint-condition napkins. Clevelands Tap Room's newly revised menu includes time-tested pub fare with a few adventurous accents in the form of pickled ginger and wasabi mayo on ahi-tuna burgers and grilled pineapple on pizzas with homemade sauces. If patrons find themselves in the bar on the right night, they can enjoy NFL Sundays, team trivia, or bean-bag-toss tournaments.
Customers at Caldwell Seafood Market & Cafe can take home morsels of fresh raw seafood handpicked daily from the Fulton Fish Market or sit down to sample the cafe’s menu of chef-prepared gourmet fare. At the market, adopt a fresh pound of plump pink shrimp, a heavy slab of Norwegian salmon, or a gaggle of glistening sea scallops to take home and cook for an evening feast. Prices for raw seafood vary daily depending on each variety’s market value and the number of engagement rings it swallowed before being caught. Then sidle up to the cafe to sample prepared fare such as grilled rainbow trout sprinkled in Cajun seasoning ($17.95) or the combo platter, on which a 4-ounce fillet bundled in breading beds down with three large fried shrimp, three jumbo sea scallops, and a teddy bear named Eddie ($19.95).
With more than 100 flavors of italian ice, ice cream, and gelato offered daily, Gelotti Ice Cream cools picky palates with a refreshing dose of variety. Saccharine, spoon-luring ice cream is available in such tongue-tempting flavors as banana Oreo, cotton candy, and sweet-potato pie ($3.35–$4.65), and italian ice can arrive under the flavor-guise of cantaloupe, pomegranate, or a tiny trench coat ($2.60–$3.70). Sate a sweet craving with a honeyed helping of canolli, espresso chip, or Nutella gelato ($2.79–$5.35), or play flavor roulette with the aid of weekly specials such as vanilla cappuccino or georgia-peach frozen yogurt ($3.35–$4.65). Gelotti also proffers sugar-free options for those who truly believe that they are what they eat and fear transforming into a rain-dissolvable sugar-human.
There's enough brick inside Bella Gente to make even the most ambitious of big bad wolves think twice. Warmly rustic red brick walls enclose the casual trattoria, where intimate tables sit beneath posters and film memorabilia from the classic era of Italian cinema. The most important brick feature, however, is in the kitchen. Here, a wood-fueled brick oven cooks Bella Gente's signature pizzas. Chefs cover their pizza dough in classic toppings, which range from simple fresh basil and mozzarella to more complex combinations of prosciutto, artichokes, olives, and mushrooms.
Beyond the brick-lined trattoria area, Bella Gente also houses a separate formal dining room. The space's white tablecloths and fluted columns provide an elegant backdrop to plates of fettuccini bolognese, veal marsala, and other staples of fine Italian cuisine. Their customer-favorite pizza can be served here, too, and diners aren't even required to raise their pinkies while they pick up each slice.
Don't be fooled by the name—Just Salad supplements their leafy entrees with hearty smoothies, soups, and whole wheat wraps. But salads are the stars of the menu. Designed by head chef Laura Pensiero, the salads range from a straightforward vegetarian Caesar to the sumptuous Pesto Chicken Paradise, with a mix of arugula and mesclun, roasted tomatoes, and kale-pesto vinaigrette. The Immunity Bowl introduces grilled salmon to butternut squash and dried cranberries, and Laura's healthy take on the Cobb salad features roast turkey, egg whites, avocado, and reduced fat Swiss cheese. For her tireless efforts, Laura was named one of the "five most giving and gifted food professionals" by O magazine.
Hola! Mexican Restaurant & Cantina fills its patrons with authentic Mexican food cooked up on mesquite grills and crafted with fresh ingredients. Start lunch with a tostada salad ($7.45), and follow it with a crab enchilada ($8.95) or sope, a corn masa pillow plumped with your choice of meat or cheese and topped with the likely leafy suspects ($8.65). Dinner diners can begin with three quesadillas fritas—corn turnovers filled with cheese, potatoes, and bell peppers ($7.25)—followed by the house specialty, arroz con pollo, a dish of sautéed boneless chicken breast drenched with chile-tomato sauce and served atop Mexican rice ($13.25), then molded into the shape of guests' auras. The bar at each location offers plenty of wines and more than 100 specialty tequilas, which can be conjured into margarita classicas ($8.25) or real fruit margaritas ($8.75) made with strawberry, mango, pineapple, and more, crafted to meet your blood-alcohol level's recommended daily serving of fermented agave juice.