"Sorry, can you hold on a sec?" Jobi's Pizza owner Mark Hinckley attends to a delivery phone. He's efficient and friendly. Upon returning, he graciously apologizes and continues his story. "Well, we all have day jobs. This is something fun to do at night." The "we" Mark is referring to is himself and his two business partners, Joe Kuftack and a man named O'Brien. It was the combination of their names that spawned the restaurant's curious moniker—Jobi's. "We work for engineering companies," Mark explains. "I work for architecture, the other two in military civil service." Maybe it's this background in creating something from nothing that explains the success of the restaurant's hand-tossed pizzas and made-from-scratch wing and pasta sauces. However, Mark believes that it's something more immediate that brings customers in the door. "They're supporting a local business. When regulars come in, sure, it's the quality. But here you can feed a family of four for under $20. It's a tough economy, and we want to help." Through the floor-to-ceiling restaurant windows, night is settling in, and the tables are filling up for dinner. The red-and-white-checkered tablecloths slowly populate with hot sandwiches, gooey specialty pizzas, and whole-grain pastas. Looking around at the wood paneling, smiling faces, and pizza ovens aggressively wagging their tails, there's a palpable feeling of friendliness in the room. Mark believes that comes from a place that larger chains can't access. "One of the people that works here––the one who painted the Jobi's logo on the wall—he's an airbrush artist. Wintertime, he works at the pizza place. The rest of the year, he works airbrush on the ocean," Mark says proudly. "We can do things like that. We're very family oriented."
Much like some of the dishes its chefs create, Bella Monte is a combination of eclectic ingredients. Tables draped in striped cloths gather around artificial Roman ruins, under Asian-style parasols, and around an upside-down Christmas tree—hung from the ceiling, in the European tradition. The 7,000-square-foot indoor market’s varied decor hints at the restaurant, grocery, and delicatessen found within. In the kitchen, Executive Chef Erika Weisflog oversees a seasonally changing menu and designs dishes with ingredients from local producers and Italian importers. Her culinary team draws primarily from Italian and Mediterranean cuisine as they craft classic dishes such as seafood risotto, chicken roulade, veal saltimboca, and bella meatloaf.
Wednesday through Saturday nights, performer Charlie Wiseman plays and cavorts around the 9-foot grand piano during a cabaret-style show that’s filled with music, theater, and comedy. In the marketplace, shelves teem with home decor, international imports from France, Italy, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Japan, as well as goods from small organic producers in the United States. The collection includes rows of international wines, exotic olive oils, international cookware, and gift baskets. At Gourmet to Go, the on-site delicatessen, staff members serve fresh-baked Italian-style bread, artisanal cheeses, imported and housemade meats, and specialty foods such as gourmet butters, marinated artichokes, and dried fruits.
It all started with the wings. When Lendy's opened in 1987, it was the restaurant's fiery buffalo wings that gained it the most attention. Since then Lendy's has not only expanded its selection of sauces, but also become a place to sip a beer and watch the game between trips to the raw bar.
Awards Won at the 2013 War of the Wings
Lendy's signature line of sauces ranges from the habanero-spiced Below Hell to the mild barbecue glaze. In addition to appearing on other menu items, these sauces are available by the bottle, though plans for a 55-gallon barrel have been stymied by the national shortage of qualified coopers.
Whether you sit at one of the 16 chairs lining the bar or the 86 seats at the scattered tables, you're pretty much guaranteed an unobstructed view of a 42-inch HDTV: a dozen of the televisions hang from the walls, playing the biggest college and professional games all year long. If sports aren't your thing, pull on your singing sweater and volunteer for the Saturday night karaoke.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
Rarely a day goes by that Terry Restin and Brenda Tusing don't eat a chocolate. And who could blame them? Terry and Brenda are the imaginative founders of The Royal Chocolate?a cheerful shop abounding with glimmering glass displays of gourmet candy apples, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a sweeping variety of dark, milk, and white chocolates. The duo imports chocolates from around the world and whips up their own line in-store, folding Belgian chocolate into intricate treats such as chocolate cashew clusters and chocolate caramel truffles. They work behind the shop's wooden counter steaming hot chocolates and preparing other beverages. Their guests perch at intimate tabletops by the glowing fire, dipping fresh strawberries, fluffy marshmallows, and crispy apple slices into pots of fondue. The contented smiles on their faces are the reason Terry and Brenda got into the chocolate business in the first place?as Brenda told reporters from Inside Business, "I can't explain how great it is when people come in our door. Even when they have a frown on their face, when they smell the chocolate they smile."
The glint of sunlight off the Empire State Building. The Statue of Liberty's outstretched torch. The crack of another home run echoing within Yankee Stadium. New York City's iconic scenery was built by hard-working people who knew the value of an honest day's work and, more importantly, a hearty sandwich to keep them going. Though it may be a little outside of Manhattan proper, The Route 58 Deli replicates the sights and scents of the borough's traditional delicatessens.
Boasting a recently revamped menu, and new extended hours (Monday?Sunday 10:30 a.m.?8:00 p.m.), the Virginia Beach outpost teems with meaty mainstays, from an overstuffed reuben that earned perfect scores during HamptonRoads.com's reuben taste-test to Sabrett all-beef hot dogs whose natural casings sizzle and split with seared-in flavor. Guests can wash down these gargantuan eats with a real New York egg cream or cans of Dr. Brown's cream soda, or end meals with sweet finales including Carnegie Deli triple-baked cheesecakes.