Arched ceilings with baroque engravings soar above walls decorated with inlaid bricks and the decorative tops of beer barrels. Parting the air between tables, an iron-wrought tower’s rungs cradle weathered kegs. The barrels on display at Ernest & Scott Taproom reflect the founders’ passion for American craft beer, and are emblazoned with images of hops and the restaurant’s logo: a griffin extending its paw to high-five the inventor of beer.Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione curates the restaurant’s extensive American craft-beer list—a combination of standard national brews, rare local crafts, and cask-conditioned libations—which suits food pairings as well as the definition and standards of the Beer Judge Certification Program. This list features names such as Evolution Craft Brewing and Twin Lakes Brewery while keeping the brewers’ high-school nicknames a closely guarded secret. Ernest & Scott’s culinary crew invites guests to sop up drinks with a pub menu focused on regional fare and recipes. Plates tower with arrangements of Atlantic flounder and seabass, crab, and scallops, as well as brisket, short ribs, and Amish chicken.
Chef Windell Lauder spends his days in the Paradise Palms kitchen, grilling jerk chicken and frying up tender whiting fish. He pulls culinary inspiration from the Caribbean islands, pairing authentic dishes such as oxtail and curry goat with sides of sweet potatoes and pea-speckled rice. On Fridays, the skilled chef offers a sweeping buffet, complete with traditional entrees, side dishes, and salad. Windell's lively restaurant also plays host to special events throughout the month, including karaoke nights and live music performances.
Since firing up Café Mezzanotte’s ovens in 2003, chef and owner Sergio Pellegrino has reminded diners of every nation, race, and creed how much they miss the cooking of their Italian great-grandmothers. Specializing in classically prepared Italian cuisine, Chef Pellegrino begins dinner with fresh soups and salads ($6–$12) alongside mozzarella caprese ($11), beef carpaccio with arugula in truffle oil ($12), and other scrumptious starters. Then the lights go down and the entrees roll in, a veritable Miss Mediterranean of proteins from the land, sea, and air, featuring stuffed chicken in a balsamic reduction ($22), tender and flavorful veal saltimbocca ($26), and an ocean-emptying sea bass cioppino ($29).
Now in its third year in business, The Rat Pack Cafe couples classic American fare with an homage to the Rat Pack greats, paying tribute through music, murals, and a hearty menu. Lunchtimers can overwhelm waves of hunger with freshly made specialty sandwiches, ranging from the Political Peter, properly dressed with white tuna, melted american cheese, and a tomato slice woven into a USA tie, to the Chairman of the Board's kaiser roll overflowing with layers of fresh italian roast beef drizzled in handmade bistro sauce. Thwart sandwich stealers with the infamous Copa Room's namesake salad, a lineup of crisp bacon, black olives, hard-boiled egg, and chicken breast lounging on a bed of organic mixed greens. A fountain drink, such as Coke or Sprite, rounds out afternoon meals along with a homemade cookie of choice, served up in black and white, red icing, or danish-shortbread forms. If screaming sweet tooths rebel against lunchtime savories, diners can opt to ditch the main dish and snatch up one dozen jumbo-sized cupcakes baked in one tooth-soothing flavor instead.
The Rat Pack Cafe's red and yellow dining room greets eaters with '60s-esque furnishings and flat-screen TVs. Guests can craft up a cup of joe at the self-service coffee bar backdropped by football-size coffee-bean wallpaper, or tuck away in the corner lounge, filled with black leather couches, plush red carpeting, and a step-by-step mural of the Rat Packers performing secret handshakes.