The chefs at Twain's Chicken & Ribs deep-fry chicken and shrimp and baste slabs of ribs in tangy barbecue sauce to populate a menu of down-home favorites. Diners quell poultry cravings with four pieces of fried chicken ($6.25) or feed a ravenous family with a meal of eight pieces of fried chicken, six fried shrimp, and two large sides, such as macaroni salad and creamed spinach ($24.99). A half-rack of ribs ($10.59) induces salivation with a zesty dry rub, and a basket of popcorn shrimp ($6.95) greatly enhances underwater film screenings.
A resurrection of Al B. White’s 1939’s vaudeville landmark, the “new” Retro Lounge serves up a menu courtesy of executive chef Nilka Hendricks, best known for her work on season seven of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen. Chef Hendricks' diverse array of palette-pleasing dinner dishes ranges from the grilled rib-eye steak rubbed with jamaican jerk seasoning ($23) to the zesty shrimp and crab enchiladas with saffron rice and a lobster bisque sour cream sauce ($14). At lunch, guests can build their own sandwiches from more than 50 different fillings culled from beasts of the land, sea, air, and soil ($4.25–$5.25), or gobble up a slew of salads ($6–$7.50) or gourmet paninis such as the Brooklyn Avenue, with veggies slathered in goat cheese, olive tapenade, and balsamic-honey ($6.75).
When putting together his edible art, Unique Oceanside’s chef Andy Yang uses seafood-preparation methods from around the world, be it for his hot and cold tapas or for his sushi and European-style entrees. “It is hardly the only place around that mixes sushi and Japanese standards with Western dishes. … But Unique does it very well,” says Joanna Starkey in her New York Times review. Starkey particularly praises Yang’s crispy lobster dish, a pairing of Maine lobster with phyllo dough, as a small plate ideal for sharing.
Even main dishes such as duck confit and wasabi-bedecked chilean sea bass cannot escape his creative touches, which also extend to his sushi rolls. Chef Yang’s Monkey Jump roll tucks tuna in with sweet mango and fiery jalapeño and his Scottish Goat roll wraps Scottish salmon with creamy goat cheese for a flavor named after what was once the country’s biggest dance craze.
The savory aroma of grilled chicken lingers in the air of Austin Grilled Chicken as chefs marinate birds in juices, herbs, and spices for 48 hours before tossing them on the grill. They cobble together local ingredients into poultry-based dishes such as chicken pot pies and grilled-chicken salads, and sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, and mashed potatoes, which are all made from scratch daily. Diners can sup at an abundance of tabletops scattered about the vibrant pink-and-yellow, casual eatery, or opt for takeout service to feast within the comforts of home or a kiddie pool filled with dipping sauce.
Cinelli's its menu of traditional Italian eats with an assortment of locally and organically grown ingredients. Broccoli rabe and melted fontina cheese ornament an appetizer of grilled beefsteak tomatoes ($7), piquing appetites and inspiring innovative Christmas-tree-decoration ideas. Chefs cover a plethora of 12-inch piada flatbreads with grilled chicken and fresh mozzarella ($8) or breaded and fried eggplant ($8). Black-tiger shrimp, string beans and sun-dried tomatoes tossed in garlic and oil brodetto slumber on a vegetable-infused risotto bed ($16), and 12-inch thin-crusted artisan pizzas topped with a variety of meats, cheeses, and veggies ($10+) nourish feasters in groups of two or three.
Volcano's Burger and Salads emulates bygone American diners’ swivel seats and milk shakes, but the restaurant’s menu—filled with a draft beer section and allusions to its eponymous topographical feature—embraces modern times too. French fries "erupt" with chili and cheese or dip into Volcanic Chili hot sauce alongside burgers such as the veggie Mt. St Helens, the Mt. Vesuvius with fried tomato and mozzarella, and the Lava burger, whose sauce and gorgonzola cheese cause patrons to lose the game if stepped on. The kitchen also prepares waldorf and caesar salads and blends caramel-peanut-butter shakes for dessert.