The chefs at O'Hana Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar expertly roll dozens of sushi specialties and sizzle meat-centric Japanese entrees atop a hibachi grill. Snag a seat at the bar to watch chefs chop, slice, and wrap the popular Snow Crab Heaven roll, a blend of cream cheese, snow crab, and avocado topped with spicy mayo ($11.95), and other specialty rolls on the menu. Bite into the Hottie Susan’s molten core of spicy tuna, cucumber, and salmon ($12.95), or let daring chopsticks challenge the Dragon ($9.95), a California roll packed with eel and a deep-seated grudge against questing knights. Alternately, chefs can flip fiery portions of steak, chicken, shrimp, or scallops on a traditional Japanese grill to yield four types of hibachi dinners ($12.99–$17.99 each) flanked by onion soup, a house salad, grilled vegetables, and rice. Kid-friendly options, including pint-sized portions of teriyaki chicken ($8.99) and steak ($9.99), keep young mouths busy so they don’t shout out parents’ computer passwords in the middle of dinner.
The chefs and wine experts of 1249 Wine Bar teamed up to present a modern take on the age-old European concept of gathering around a table of good food and drinking great wine. The result was a bistro-style dinner menu that catalogs such upscale cuisine as duck confit and seared, tuna-grade yellowfin tuna. The wine list allows visitors to swill a taste of many varietals before ordering a glass, bottle, or vineyard. Large windows surround the dark, wooden dining room, and an ample outdoor patio offers diners the option of eating al-fresco during warmer months.
Serving the Hartford area with American bistro cuisine, Michael Christophers spruces up standard dishes with stylish preparations and singular sets of flavors. Thrill taste buds and tongues with starters such as grilled cheese sliders ($6.95), chicken parmesan spring rolls ($8.95), or loaded garlic bread, a savory strongman of a plate that hefts artichoke hearts, tomatoes, garlic butter, and four types of cheese with ease ($5.95). Then sink teeth into mouthwatering sandwich-styled main courses, such as the signature Michael Christophers burger topped with crispy onions and Vermont cheddar cheese ($9.95), and the genoa and pepperoni-stuffed grilled hot Italian ($9.95). Other platters include Cajun-spiced blackened salmon, expertly backfloating amidst watermelon salsa ($18.95). Fridays bring an all-you-can-eat fish fry, served with a choice of fries, baked potato, or cole slaw ($15; available during Lent). The bistro also plays home to a full-service bar stirring up a large selection of cocktails, and frequently hosts events, such as beer-paired dinners and readings of Shakespeare’s surf 'n' turf themed sonnets.
Dedicated to bringing the culinary traditions of Peru to Hartford’s diners, Piolin Restaurant II has been serving the signature sizzling meats and sautéed veggies of the region since 1998. Within the bustling kitchen, chefs architect dishes such as Peruvian yellow potatoes, sweet plantains, and fried yucca in addition to hearty meats ranging from grilled chicken to fried red snapper. Along with the re-creation of time-honored recipes, the brightly hued walls and cheery decor of Piolin’s dining room grant guests the feeling that they’ve escaped to Peru without the hassles of answering a TSA officer’s riddles.
Specializing in American Continental and Italian cuisine, chef Oscar Monterroso immerses taste buds into gourmet meals packed with emerging trends and flavors. With nearly a decade of restaurant experience tucked into his apron, Chef Oscar has doled out dishes across the United States. Today, having planted his fork-emblem flag on the East Coast, he showcases his talents by travelling to clients' homes and preparing three- to five-course gourmet meals. Chef Oscar also leads interactive dinner parties, enabling groups of students to chop, dice, and whisk their way to becoming better cooks.
True to its name, San Gennaro Wood Fired Brick Oven Pizza & Ristorante churns out crispy, bubbly, Old World–style pies from a brick-lined, wood-fired kiln. Guests gather at wraparound communal benches surrounded by rustic, bare-brick walls, watching chefs toss disks of dough high into the air and cover pizzas in Italian tomatoes, chicken, and shaved prosciutto. Like the Roman empire, San Gennaro's culinary authority extends beyond Italy. Diners can opt for chicken wings with inventive sauces such as buffalo blue, a blend of buffalo sauce and blue cheese.