After 12 years of manning stovetops and rolling pasta as Focaccia Ristorante's head chef, Disney Oliveira became the restaurant's manager alongside his wife, Viviane. The duo remains faithful to the menu of time-honored Italian specialties, continuing to incorporate homespun touches into the entrees. This hominess stems from the freshly baked focaccia bread, the housemade fettuccine pasta, and the signature tomato-basil sauce, which slowly simmers over a burning pile of rejected family photos. After loading pizza crusts with any of the 20 available toppings—including prosciutto, roasted red peppers, and garlic—the chefs load the pies into a traditional brick oven alongside plates of eggplant parmigiana and ricotta-stuffed eggplant rollatini.
To complement the vivacious cuisine, Focaccia Ristorante hosts live music throughout the week. On Thursday evenings, DJs get pulses racing, while on Fridays and Saturdays, live bands take to the stage until just after midnight, which, as everybody knows, is the hour that all rock musicians turn into imp-like creatures of the dark.
Whether it's the size of a dixie cup or enough to fill the bathtub, at Yeh! Yogurt, customers are in control of their servings. Amid fuchsia walls and bright-green accents, customers pull the levers on self-serve machines as the low-calorie, nonfat delight swirls into their containers. Available flavors rotate monthly and seasonally and include options such as fudge and marshmallow, spicy pumpkin, cake batter, and piña colada. More than 40 toppings such as candies, chocolates, nuts, and farthings cascade over yogurt peaks. Other sweet options include crepes, smoothies, and coffee drinks.
At The Ginger Pad, a casual atmosphere blends with the rich aromas of garlic, thai basil, and chili sauce hanging in the air to help guests forget the world outside. Like a suspension bridge made out of udon noodles, the menu connects distant lands through food, laying out delicious examples of Malaysian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Spring rolls or edamame preempt dives into salty-sweet pad thai or korean beef barbecue. Chopsticks can also lift spicy sichuan shrimp to mouths or gently cradle sushi rolls that combine colorful mango and avocado with fresh tobiko, tuna, salmon, and scallops.
The aroma of simmering beef and baking bread wafts out of Stack-a Burger kitchen all day, as chefs prepare fresh, never frozen, burgers, and pile them high with an array of toppings. Alongside Stack-a Burger, diners can also visit Spike's Junkyard Dogs, where 100% all-beef hot dogs are sandwiched into warm, soft french rolls. Beef links are decorated with banana peppers, barbecue sauce, baked beans, and other hearty toppings that test hand strength like a shadow-puppet performance of Hamlet. Customers can indulge in these towering burgers and sauce-slathered dogs, or opt for a more wholesome feast by ordering low-fat veggie dogs, curly fries dunked in cholesterol-free canola oil, and a collection of fresh salads, soups, and paninis.
The chefs at Bombay Club seem to draw their culinary inspiration from nearly every region of India. Behind the bright colors of the dining room, they're hard at work melding equally bright colors into dishes that draw on coastal recipes or the flavors of North and South provinces. One of their specialties is chaat, or casual street foods, especially vegetable curry served on a bun and samosas that come with zesty chutney. The main menu, though, highlights a rainbow of entrees ranging from chicken or goat curries and stews simmered with garlic and spices to tandoor clay oven-baked dishes featuring paneer, lamb chops, or fish. In true Indian fashion, many of the restaurant's dishes are vegetarian, and some are even vegan.
For centuries, the long arm of The Mughal Empire reached across a huge area of India. Though the Empire has long since disintegrated, the cuisine lives on in fragrant kitchens and dining rooms like that of The Mughals. Here, owners Mohinder and Dharmesh oversee a menu of dishes rendered flavorful by rich, spicy sauces and cooked in traditional clay ovens. Led by Chef Mohinder Pal—who has honed his skills in Indian restaurants for the last 20 years—the kitchen churns out piles of tandoori-baked naan, simmering bowls of goat curry, and sweet mango chutney. The team also has domestic and imported beer on tap and in bottles, which is why genies hide in bottles in the first place.