Steeped in 30 years of experience in Peruvian cuisine, Hats Off Restaurant & Bar’s seasoned chef commands a kitchen stocked with ingredients for favorites that include citrusy mixed-seafood ceviche and succulent sautéed-beef lomo saltado. Red cushioned seats and spirited red walls conjure elements of trendy downbeat lounges, and HD televisions emblazon sporting events across screens. Peruvian imported beers and cocktails, including traditional pisco sours, keep patrons well-watered, and a kids’ menu with chicken fingers and hot dogs offers whippersnappers a welcome diversion from traditional staples such as peanut butter or Elmer’s Glue.
Boulder Creek Steakhouse’s dinner menu serves up deluxe cuts of steak with all the trimmings in a casual atmosphere. Starting with grain-fed meat aged a minimum of 28 days, each sirloin ($17.99), filet mignon ($28.99 for 12 oz./$23.99 for 8 oz.), and beyond is grilled to red-hot perfection and seasoned with a double-secret blend of spices. If you already had steak for lunch, breakfast, and your coworker’s office birthday party, savor the chicken parmesan ($15.99) or the jumbo shrimp scampi ($15.99) instead. Vegetarians, meanwhile, can abide by the terms of their uneasy peace treaty with cows by noshing on a garden fresh salad drizzled with homemade dressing ($4.99–$14.99). Keep a couple stomachs open for the brownie sundae ($5.99), the warm apple tart served over ice cream ($5.99), or both stacked on top of each other. Lighter lunchtime appetites will find that the turkey burger ($10.99), pulled-pork sammie ($11.99), and grilled chicken wrap ($10.99) are all created equal and thus enjoy equal rights to a side dish of onion rings or creamed spinach.
Though masters of classic Italian recipes, the Lucky Duck's cooks don't always adhere to boring tradition. Alongside veal picatta and eggplant rigatoni, they also prepare sole fillets stuffed with shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, and spinach or top pizzas with bleu cheese and buffalo chicken. Inside the restaurant's spacious dining room, paintings of Italian landscapes and flat-screen TVs hang on exposed-brick walls, giving patrons something to gaze at besides the hypnotic swirls hidden in their date's eyes.
Furnished with stately, wood décor and red velvet curtains, Rein puts a regal twist on contemporary American cuisine via its appetizers and entrees. Dining-room architect and designer Robert DiLeonoardi sets the sophisticated scene for a stage bill of well-seasoned stars, starting with Georges Bank sautéed scallops ($17), dressed with Spanish mangaliza ham in a cauliflower vichyssoise and orange-leek confit. Entrees evoke images of men sipping cognac from curvy snifters. Graze with grace on plates of pepper-crusted, Montana-raised rib eyes ($48) or juniper-marinated venison ($38). Braised red cabbage, stuffed lady apples, and star anise complement each venison cut, alongside hot flushes of large, duck-fat-fried fries or smack-down potatoes ($6 each). Lounge postmeal with a fireside digestif, accompanied by a friend, loved one, or FDR's ghost.
Seventh Street Cafe’s dinner menu boasts a bountiful array of Northern Italian cuisine in shades of chicken, veal, seafood, and pasta. Feasting pregamers can start cold with lemon-laden poached jumbo shrimp paired with a spicy cocktail sauce ($10) or warm with the portabella trifolato, a grilled portobello mushroom garnished with caramelized sweet onion and asparagus, then dressed in a dignified balsamic reduction ($10). For the main feature, the pollo valdostana tells the story of prosciutto and mozzarella rooming together inside a lightly breaded boneless chicken breast, and how a flood of wild-mushroom sauce helps them overcome their differences ($21). Vegetarians, however, can abide by their uneasy cease-fire with cows with a heaping plate of rigatoni campagnola dotted with eggplant, zucchini, and fresh ricotta cheese ($13).