The smell of sizzling Mexican dishes drifts through Chimi's Fresh-Mex's stucco walls, where 15 types of meat, seafood, and vegetarian chimichangas partner with rice and beans. Servers pour 21 premium tequilas into flavored margaritas, and pop bottle caps off of domestic and imported Mexican beers. Vibrant murals surround the bar and dining area's booths and tables, and an Old World fountain doles out water and relationship advice.
Pendant lights and flat-panel TVs cast a warm glow over the festive confines of Wildwood Pub & Grill, where guests convene for a casual dinner and drinks. The cozy spot boasts all the trappings one would expect to find at a neighborhood pub—live sports and a menu of grill-fired eats—along with the novel addition of indoor golf.
Inside the hitting bays of Wildwood's About Golf Simulators, golfers use their own clubs or oversized soupspoons to smash real golf balls into immense screens that vividly replicate 54 world-famous courses, including TPC Sawgrass and the Old Course at St. Andrews. Along with traditional stroke play, the simulators also support competitive scrambles and interactive driving-range practice, where players can compete in games including longest drive, closest to the pin, and most unashamed palm sweating.
Romance is in the air at Cafe Palermo, and not just because it's owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Nick and Julie Nicoletti. In homage to Sicilian caf?s, antique leaded-glass panels accent the room, and green fronds of ivy and other live plants drift from the walls. Diners order from a menu of classic Italian dishes made from family recipes, most cooked to order by the Nicolettis themselves. In a nod to local tastes, they stuff some dishes with creamy provel cheese instead of plating them on Blues hockey pucks. Cheesecakes handcrafted by Julie provide a sweet finish or can be ordered whole to take home. The romantic atmosphere extends onto the patio, where a fountain bubbles and herbs and flowers lend their scents to the breeze.
When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
La Casona Mexican Restaurant invites visitors to feasts of Mexican food and much-loved mainstays of American party fare. Guests kick off meals with plates of spicy chicken wings or fried tilapia bites before tucking in to plates of carne asada burritos or nachos topped with chicken or steak. Margaritas and Mexican beers help wash it all down. On Thursday nights, La Casona hosts karaoke and gives away free drinks for anyone who can out-sing the wizard that conjures the lyrics.
Serving up low-key, classic diner fare across two locations, Slingers invites guests to enjoy American dishes ranging from St. Louis–style pizza to burgers. Stop in at any time of day to chow on breakfast foods, or head in after 11a.m. to dine on plates loaded with dinner rolls, pork chops, and a duet of sides.