When Bob Candice opened Candicci's Italian Restaurant in 1980, he wanted to re-create the intimate ambiance and authentic cooking of restaurants he admired in New York's Little Italy. To do this, he hired Chef Rodney Leadbetter to forge a menu of classic and innovative pasta, seafood, chicken, and veal dishes, all enriched with fresh herbs and produce, nutty Italian cheeses, and salty cured meats. As a special treat, Chef Rodney sometimes dishes up his signature risotto, which bursts with so much flavor that the staff declared him the "King of Risotto" despite the Prince of Parmesan being the rightful heir. All of his mouthwatering masterworks find their way to a rustic, butternut-hued dining room, where staffers routinely light votive candles to cast a soft glow on guests' tables and booths.
After honing her baking and decorating skills for more than a decade at a French-pastry shop in the New York City suburbs, Sugar N Spice Creations’ owner, Chris M'Gonigle, started her own cakes, cookies, and pastries business. Along with a team of adept decorators, Chris squeezes colored icing into intricate floral bouquets and coaxes seasonal figures such as turkeys, snowmen, and hearts. She and her staff pass on their baking acumen to visitors in cookie- and cupcake-decorating classes, where they demonstrate how to create icing designs and ancient baker hieroglyphs.
Almost 100 years ago, Peter J. Oberweis found himself with a surplus of milk. Rather than throw it out or freeze it into popsicles, Peter began selling it to his neighbors, an endeavor that was so popular that he began a milk-delivery service in 1927. Fast-forward to today, and Oberweis Dairy still delivers glass bottles of creamy milk to doorsteps. The small family-owned dairies that produce milk exclusively for Oberweis pledge never to use artificial growth hormones, therefore imbuing craft cheeses, super-premium ice cream, and yogurt with fresh, unobstructed taste. Oberweis partners with other like-minded companies to deliver such items as certified-humane Phil’s Fresh Eggs, Chuckanut Bay Foods cheesecake, and Connie’s Pizza to homes or to sell them at the company’s various retail locations.
Authentic Mexican dishes slathered in salsa and mole sauce send up savory wisps of steam from atop Mi Lupita’s casual wooden tabletops. In the kitchen, chefs stuff tortillas with chicken, shrimp, and steak as well as more inventive ingredients such as cactus. Mixologists swirl together 44-ounce margaritas behind a bar outlined in white lights, and monthly mariachi performances enliven nights out with traditional music and maraca-juggling routines.
In addition to 29 types of nigiri and sashimi and more than 70 different maki, Sushi Japan's chefs create specialty rolls with everything from lobster and green onion to banana tempura and kiwi. In the kitchen, the rest of the chefs stick to homestyle Japanese flavors, cooking entrees such as shrimp tempura, stir-fried yakisoba, and hibachi-grilled beef. Although Sushi Japan's shoji screens, kanji-bedecked lanterns, and fabric prints demonstrate a firm commitment to traditional Japanese culture, some aspects of the restaurant's decor—the cozy booths, a chair-lined counter—evince a more modern aesthetic.