Patrons shouldn't be fooled by the sleek white and grey exterior of Sakura Garden—there's plenty of color inside. Through the doors, blossoming pink cherry trees mark a path to the dining room, where a sea-blue glass ceiling hints at the variety of oceanic fare served up at the all-you-can eat buffet. Here, wall-mounted fish provide pairing suggestions as diners dish up hot items such as steamed snow crab legs and teriyaki salmon, as well as cold options such as shrimp cocktails. Seafood also reigns supreme at the sushi bar, where chefs slice sashimi and create rolls fresh to order. After guests have filled their plates, they continue on to the softly-lit dining room, where red lights cast a glow on murals depicting misty, pastoral vistas.
A full bar offers Japanese beer and a selection of sake, and a private room is available for events and special occasions. The buffet is closed from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and happy hour runs from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
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At Treva Restaurant & Bar, owner and head chef Dorjan Puka emphasizes simple, peasant-style Italian dishes of homemade pasta and rustic prosciutto, earning his restaurant a favorable feature by the New York Times. Northern Italy’s rich culinary traditions dominate his menu with creamy polenta, savory cured pork, and hearty servings of fresh fish and pheasant. In the bustling kitchen, chefs attack their craft with a focus on handmade authenticity, their hands waving as fast as a caffeinated weatherperson’s as they make their own stock and forge ravioli, gnocchi, and tagliatelle by hand.
In the dining room, guests enjoy brunches of panettone french toast with mascarpone cheese or dinners of tender strip steak as they sip smooth Tuscan wines or cocktails and martinis. A contemporary European vibe permeates the decor, with decades-old photographs of pastoral Italian scenes dotting walls the color of whipping cream and butter. Minimalist chandeliers, meanwhile, nod to an industrial aesthetic, with their bare bulbs casting warm light over polished black tabletops and Old World–style wood chairs.
Although it may have fallen out of Top 40 rotation in the 70 years since it was sung by a burger-shop owner’s barbershop quartet, the song “When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)” lives on in the legacy of a Seattle-based burger joint. The Red Robin franchise has spread its wings far and wide, now serving locations throughout North America with sustainably grown, environmentally conscious burgers and sides that marry classic American flavors with savory twists such as onion straws or bruschetta. Most of the shop’s fire-grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, and entrees come with a side of bottomless steak fries, allowing patrons to soak up the juicy Whiskey River barbecue sauce, melted blue cheese, and edible fedoras that top the menu’s varied eats. The staff are happy to help patrons pair their sandwiches with one of the full bar’s microbrews or specialty mixed drinks, keeping glasses filled while athletic superstars battle it out on the eatery's big-screen TVs.
Bruegger's bagels are created using fresh, wholesome ingredients and then kettle-boiled in the New York tradition, resulting in chewy centers with crisp outer crusts. Awaken your taste buds with a savory combination such as the rosemary olive oil bagel smothered with onion and chive cream cheese ($2.39). Or, prove yourself to be a sweetie by adopting a family of 13 bagels and washing them up and behind the ears in the two tubs of garden-veggie cream cheese in the Big Bagel Bundle ($13.99). Bruegger's deli menu is flanked by an array of breakfast sandwiches and lunch fare. Bury thoughts of the snarky snooze button with the breakfast bagel bearing an egg, melted cheese, and a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham ($3.99), or wrap your mitts around the Leonardo da Veggie lunchtime sandwich and bite into tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onions, and muenster cheese on an asiago Softwich ($5.49).
Readers of the Hartford Advocate named Cora Cora Restaurant as the Best Peruvian Restaurant in the 2010 Best of Hartford Readers' Poll. Six Yelpers give the restaurant an average of four stars, and nine Google Mappers give it a five-star average.
Papacelle Ristorante, a Zagat-rated establishment, boasts a menu bursting with house-made breads and pastas crafted from a bevy of locally sourced ingredients. Take flight with fresh antipasti such as prosciutto spek or house-made ricotta ($3.50 each; choose five for $16). A hearty twist on tradition, the beef tenderloin crêpes are filled generously with fresh seasonal veggies under a creamy gorgonzola sauce ($11). Handmade cavatelli pasta with olive-oil-braised rabbit, carrots, and broccoli provides a hearty dose of autumnal sustenance ($21). The free-roaming, grass-fed veal chop is forkibly tender ($32), just like the other protein-rich dishes at Papacelle, which are all made with hormone- and antibiotic-free meat that includes cage-free poultry and grass-fed beef.