From the strains of live blues resonating through its walls to the spicy kick of its habañero Voodoo shrimp, Blue Parrot Bar & Grille recreates the freewheeling, vivacious vibe of a New Orleans nightclub. Guests sip colorful mojitos and hurricanes as they dig into Creole and Cajun specialties, including étouffée, red beans and rice, gumbo, and jambalaya. Live bands primarily capture the gazes of diners, although the restaurant’s decor is interesting on its own. Murals, carnival masks, and posters evoke lively Bourbon Street scenes and Mardi Gras celebrations; outside, a brick patio surrounds guests with fountains, canna plants, and a large mural of a French Quarter–style inn.
The bakers at Papa's Pastry whip up decadent desserts fit for special occasions or every day. Their Italian pignoli cookies stand out as best sellers amongst chocolate chips, biscotti, and cinnamon-walnut rugelach. Cakes come in towering tiers of ganache and buttercream or ranch-style ramblers of rich cheesecake. The culinary artists also assemble gluten-free breads, biscuits, and entrees for those with an aversion to wheat and hawk their wares at various farmers' markets from May to October.
Located in downtown Wilmington for more than 15 years, this laid-back pub was named one of the Best Bars in America by Esquire in 2007. Devote the first 100 bites of your administration to an appetizer of irish nachos ($8), which are actually french fries wearing a cunning disguise of chopped bacon, scallions, jalapeños, and shredded cheese. The entrees match the campaign paraphernalia and images of deceased commanders in chief that festoon the restaurant's walls. Teddy Roosevelt groupies can dirty their robust moustaches with the Bull Moose ($12)—a San Juan Hill of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, dried cranberries, and gravy piled high atop toasted sourdough bread. Otherwise, finish meals in disgrace with the criminally tasty chicken Nixon sandwich ($9)—a blackened chicken breast grilled with bourbon barbecue sauce and topped with bacon and melted cheddar. The presidential debates continue through Sunday brunch (11 a.m.–2 p.m.) with the LBJ french toast ($7.50) versus the Garfield omelette ($7.75).
Cafe Scalessa is owned by titular chef Don Scalessa, who serves up authentic Italian cuisine in a sophisticated, lively environment. After 5 p.m. is when the fun really revs up in this cabin of comestibles, as later in the evening, diners are encouraged to dance when the music kicks in and the disco lights oscillate. Opt out of jiggling wildly and alternately dig into a plateful of homemade pasta with chicken, veal, sausage, or meatballs, or take it easy and savor an appetizer of crab dip or calamari. There are plenty of options on Cafe Scalessa's dinner menu, which supports creative sides by encouraging diners to customize dishes to suit their palate and multiple forked tongues. After the hearty meal and before the float down a nearby lazy river, find time to squeeze in a homemade dessert of cannoli, tiramisu, or buttercake.
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.
To get from Paris’ iconic Palais Garnier opera house to the Louvre, it’s easiest to take a half-mile diagonal of road called Avenue de I’Opera. The renowned roadway funnels through an array of shops and cafes, one of which has housed Barclay Paris and its aromatic baked goods and confections since 1918.
Since then, Barclay Paris has expanded its market, shipping its fruity macaroons, chocolate-covered fruits, and gluten-free truffles to cities across the United States. It’s also expanded its menu by incorporating hors d’oeuvres such as foie gras and French croissants that chef Arnaud Nicolas cuts against the backdrop of the crescent moon.