When a popular steakhouse chain withdrew from the valley, leaving more than 100 workers unemployed, former district manager Arthur Church decided to follow his dream of running his own steakhouse. Hiring many of his old coworkers, he opened the doors of Dessy B's Steakhouse, where his team eschews the frozen, pre-made dishes of chain restaurants in favor of fresh-made steaks, seafood, and burgers.
The menu anchors plates with hearty, succulent steaks ranging from 8-ounce cuts of sirloin to 20-ounce porterhouses. Cooks grill trout and salmon, steam lobster tails, and build half-pound teriyaki pineapple burgers. The salad bar invites patrons to mix and match more than 50 ingredients that make the bar an ideal witness protection program for romaine lettuce.
PB&J doesn’t mean the same thing to executive chef Gene Villiatora that it does to most folks. At Xtreme Sushi & Asian Tapas Bar, Gene’s PB and J roll is a medley of prawns, bacon, and jalapeno, all rolled with a creamy dash of avocado. He puts a similarly creative spin on his other sushi inventions, whether by incorporating fixings like Cajun albacore and garlic ponzu or deep-frying classic rolls like the California and Philadelphia.
His inspired take on culinary staples isn’t limited to sushi. Gene integrates Japanese and other eastern flavors into original tapas, from miso-glazed kobe burgers to Thai-style salmon with peanut butter curry sauce. On select evenings, he also hosts multi-course dinners centered on steaks aged for 28 days, the maximum amount of time steak can go before it qualifies for retirement benefits.
Modeled after old-fashioned, gaucho-style spit-roasts, Pampas Brazilian Grille sates hungers with premium flame-spun meats, seafood, and veggies. At each table, Pampas's gauchos carve helpings of barbecued pork, Brazilian sausage, brontosaur femur, and other proteins for partakers of the meat rodizio. The servers add fresh seafood of the day for the surf and turf rodizio, or avoid animal products altogether in the veggie version. The large, open dining room has a soft-lit ambiance that proves ideal for all manner of social mealtime rendezvous or dinner dates with imaginary friends. Pampas also lords over a deep vault of wines wrangled from around the globe, ready to grace glasses with flavorful pours and appealing hues.