The name of So Thai Restaurant is rooted in two meanings: So is the first part of the founding family's last name, and is also indicative of the eatery's degree of authenticity. By ensuring that each dish balances the five fundamental taste senses—spicy, sour, sweet, salty, and sharp—So Thai Restaurant is simply sooo Thai. The theme carries to the menu, where a chili-pepper icon denotes five levels of spice from no spice, which is similar to ketchup, to so spicy, which is similar to burning ketchup. Traditional Thai dishes including pad thai and drunken noodles comprise the majority of options, though chefs also prepare specialties with uncommon ingredients including barbecue pork, red snapper, and kaffir-lime leaves. With nearly a quarter century of experience in the Thai-restaurant business, the Sookthis family expertly prepares dishes that sync flavor and aromatic components.
Inspired by the Italian cafés lining the streets of Europe, the dreamers behind Pizzeria Dolce populate their menu with gourmet specialty pizzas as well as paninis, calzones, and strombolis. Daily-made, fresh dough underlies each traditional or gourmet topping, such as artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and pesto sauce. The staff is consistently friendly and warm, unlike an iceberg grumpy about all those boats aiming for it. Pasta dishes such as lasagna and shrimp-scampi ravioli round out the menu or fill catering platters alongside party trays of veggies and meats. The lunch and children’s menus dole out afternoon feasts and smaller portions, respectively, which can also be carried out or enjoyed by skiers sliding in from the slopes of the nearby Pine Knob Ski Resort.
Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors meet inside Pita Way, a fast-service restaurant focused solely on wraps, salad, and rice dishes. To preserve the authenticity of each dish, owner and general manager Brandon Bahoura enlisted the help of two Middle Eastern master chefs, who imparted their culinary prowess to design a menu of kaftas, shawarmas, and hummus. Marinated chicken, ground lamb, and feta nestle in white or wheat pitas, and sizeable salads, including eggplant or falafel, green up the offerings, each of which can be delivered or picked up by carrier condors.
O’Tooles offers a massive menu of Irish-inspired American fare, sure to please that dashing ex-Emerald Islander in your jazz aerobics class. The juicy beef tenderloin bites ($9.99) are char-grilled to order and served with the house houseradish sauce to properly lubricate the palate for delicious beers and bite to come. Appetized seafarers can dive into the battered and fried calamari ($7.99), with two dipping sauces and lemon wedges. Savory sandwiches and burgers, such as the corned-beef and kraut-or-slaw-stuffed Celtic reuben ($8.49) or the customizable burger ($6.99) with more than 20 available toppings ($0.29¬–$1.29), satisfy diners' desires to hold hands with their meals in public for once. Hearty entrees offer an eclectic selection of plated proteins. Meat enthusiasts should opt for the award-winning ribs ($13.99–$22.99), smothered in tangy barbecue sauce, while pescevores needn't go fishing with a bounty of flavor in each forkful of the lobster mac 'n' cheese ($12.99) or Guinness-battered fish and chips ($9.99–$13.99). Wings, salads, soups, and pizza round out the menu, ensuring each member of your book club or fight club will emerge from the dinner satisfied and fully fed.
The Rib Rack's extensive barbecue menu of hand-held meaty eats will quell carnivorous cravings for any winged, finned, or hoofed beast or vegetable. Opt for a half-rack of its fall-off-the-bone baby-back ribs ($10.95), a 12-piece bucket of chicken ($18.95), or one of its signature ribs and chicken combos like Mark's family style #4, with four pieces of chicken, a half-rack of ribs, and a choice of side ($19.95, serves two to three). Aquaphiles will enjoy the 10-piece shrimp dinner ($8.95) served with choice of potato side and a roll, or the fish 'n' chips ($7.95), while sandwich fans can nosh on a bread-enclosed handful of pulled pork ($4.95) or a blazin' chicken sandwich ($4.95). The Rib Rack's savory side selections feature classic southern specialties such as mac 'n' cheese ($1.95) and collard greens ($2.45), and are sure to evoke memories of childhood picnics or romantic Fourth of July fleeting glances and barbecue-laced first kisses.