The Talk's owners keep their family recipe book wide open, just like the thick steel bank vault in their dining area, which also boasts a wine bar made of polished granite and wraparound booths that hug tables. Chef Billy Holt and his kitchen staff wrap their hands around fresh ingredients when preparing heirloom dishes, such as veal piccata, eggplant parmesan, and chicken marsala, as well as sea scallops broiled with seasoned bread crumbs and pan-seared trout with sun-dried tomatoes.
Sincere servers dart around the dapper dining area, jotting down orders, balancing trays, and seating private parties behind the vaulted door of the Vault room. In the dining room, guests lounge in beige booths and gaze at black-and-white photos or read the vinyl wall print that reads La Dolce Vita. The Talk also boasts awards such as "Best of the Best" in 2010, 2011, and 2012 from Market Surveys of America, and was voted the number one choice for dinner by Reader's Choice Awards in 2011.
The open flames beneath Molana Restaurant’s grills lend a distinctive smokiness to the restaurant’s signature kabobs, but the closely guarded combinations of imported spices is what gives each dish its true Persian essence. Beginning with halal cuts of chicken, lamb, and beef, the chefs carefully roast meat-laden skewers on the grill tops. Appetizers of housemade pickles and yogurt add a refreshing touch to the savory meals, and fruit-accented sides of basmati rice can feature raisins, sour cherries, or sweet orange peels.
The restaurant occupies two floors, securing ample space for tables and a separate bar area. Wall sconces gently illuminate the dining room’s brickwork to help set the mood and alert guests if their shadows are running away.
Confectioner Deana Martin and the sugar magicians at Wildflour conjure daily-baked desserts from local ingredients, a craft they demonstrate to knowledge-hungry students. Couples or solo apprentices explore the process of creating chocolate treats that run the confectionary gamut from truffle fillings to tempered chocolate to cocoa-dust fog. While dipping and decorating the luxurious spheres, daring digits can indulge an experimental curiosity by coating other sweet treats in chocolate, such as fruit or bags of sugar. Classes run Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. and are limited to a maximum of 15 participants to prevent chocolate bunnies from being munched into extinction.
Healthy eats disguise themselves under the familiar cloak of comfort fare on the comprehensive menu at UFood Grill, which harvests meals from natural and organic ingredients, whole grains, grass-fed meats, and other conscientious recipe components. The huevos rancheros burrito wraps egg whites, three-bean chili, salsa and turkey sausage in a flour tortilla ($3.99), and the Smuuthie menu ($4.99–$5.29) keeps breakfast between 230–490 calories with a stern warning and a selection of nine fat-free yogurt and fresh-fruit blends. Tongues pluck a bushel of flavors with the UFood organic bistro salad, which plants the varied tastes of feta, walnuts, and dried cranberries atop a garden of mixed greens paired with blueberry-pomegranate vinaigrette served on the side ($6.49). Lite jalapeño jack and incendiary chipotle mayo kindle a mild-mannered poultry patty on the chipotle turkey burger ($5.99), and the grilled chicken entree ($9.99) douses tender meat morsels in one of three sauces with two sides that include a choice of sweet-potato mash, seasoned black beans, whole-grain brown rice, and other nutritious dish decorators that are infinitely more edible than plate tinsel.
Ani Take Out's Armenian and Mediterranean menu spotlights wraps, sandwiches, platters, and kebabs. Eggplant-pomegranate salad, laced with cumin and molasses, blends familiar Middle Eastern flavors in an unexpected way. Ground beef and parsley top the Armenian pizza, and pita bread swaddles the likes of falafel, lamb, and feta-bedecked veggies. A distinctly American influence informs the selection of sides, which include fries and onion rings based on John Philip Sousa's famous recipe.
The man behind Savino's Grill is Tom Cutrone, a veteran chef who's pushing three decades in the cooking business. His menu of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine features cured Italian meats, artisanal cheeses, and entrees such as chive pappardelle, lamb loin chop with fried polenta, and pan-roasted salmon served over pasta shells—all of it enhanced by European wines. On Thursday nights, live jazz washes over guests as they enjoy their meals and stack complimentary bread rolls into the shape of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Geoff & Drew's team of talented bakers excite the senses, enliven celebrations, and spoil dinners with rich, chewy gourmet cookies and brownies forged using generations-old recipes. The hardworking cookie crafters place a high value on freshness, shunning preservatives, trans fats, and decade-old play-dough, while only shipping right-out-of-the-oven treats that are made in small batches each day, gaining them national acclaim. Their tempting treats serenade sweet teeth of all kinds with varieties including their double-fudge cookies, which send endorphins rushing throughout bodies with their heavy doses of velvety chocolate. When they're not stuffing still-warm cookies and brownies into colorful, festive boxes, Geoff & Drew's owners and employees give back to the community through their support of nonprofits and charities such as Share Our Strength.