Walls the colors of dijon mustard and acorn squash lend warmth to an environment founded on dark hardwood floors and awash with white linens. The aromas of Mediterranean and Spanish cuisines waft throughout the handsomely dressed, yet unfussy, restaurant, inviting visitors to discover how Bistro Mediterranean and Tapas Bar earned a "Don't Miss" rating by The New York Times.
In the 4,500-square-foot dining space, which seats 150, tables populate with tapas of chorizo, pork, and cod, plus surprising accents of piquillo peppers and quail egg. Entrees include seafood stews and Spanish paella, as well as grilled cuts of meat doused in wine. A breezy patio accommodates outdoor dining in warmer months, and a 45-seat bar enables guests to sip on glasses of wine while they wait for a table or wait for a strange-looking blind date to give up and go home.
At Anastasio’s Steakhouse, stones line the walls from floor to ceiling, gathering to form a giant fireplace. Candles glow atop its wooden mantel, which overlooks a dining room dotted with linen-topped tables, not roving bands of leopards. Genial servers circulate the space, delivering certified Angus steaks of various sizes, from 8-ounce petite filet mignons to 20-ounce porterhouses. In the kitchen, chefs douse lobster ravioli with a tomato-cream sauce and cloak chicken saltimbocca in prosciutto, mozzarella, fresh sage, and a brown cognac sauce. They also build catering orders from classic Italian dishes such as rigatoni bolognese and veal caprese. An outdoor patio invites guests to dine alfresco or practice dance steps during salsa classes on summer Sundays.
Ballou’s Wine Bar revolves around three prized delicacies: chocolate, wine, and coffee. From those staples, dozens of indulgent dishes ensue, including chocolate, Nutella, and peanut-butter-chocolate fondues and homemade truffles developed by Debbie, half of the husband-and-wife team that runs Ballou’s. Her chocolate fondue and homemade truffles are so deliciously decadent that they’ve earned the wine bar a spot on the Best of New Haven Reader’s Poll list for best desserts. In addition to rich desserts and froth-capped cups of cappuccino, guests can order wines from local and international vineyards, as well as a wide selection of pastas, sandwiches, and flat breads.
SBC Restaurant & Brewery lines up an inviting smorgasbord of comfort food to be devoured alongside an arsenal of brewed on-site beers. Take in the expanse of the appetite-assassinating lunch menu (served from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.) and try not to set off the fire alarms while your head smokes with indecision before easing yourself in with the SBC calamari, which comes prepared three ways: crispy with marinara and rémoulade, fried with hot peppers and artichoke hearts, and sticky with a sweet chili Sriracha glaze ($6.99). Follow that up with the crispy chicken salad, festooned with mandarin oranges, grape tomatoes, gorgonzola, and honey white balsamic vinaigrette ($12.99), or the margherita pizza topped with sliced fresh tomatoes, garlic, mozzarella and basil ($10). SBC burgers are 8 ounces of natural custom-quality beef served on a handmade roll and topped with american, provolone, cheddar, swiss, fontina, or mozzarella cheese ($7.99).
La Luna Ristorante sates Tuscan cravings with its homemade pastas, sandwiches, seafood, and more. Midday munchers can anchor incisors to the lunch menu's offerings, such as the veal parmigiana sandwich, which caps a veal cutlet with a jaunty tam of mozzarella and marinara sauce ($9), and calamari alla napolitano, a curly bed of deep-fried calamari adorned with pignoli nuts and cherry peppers ($8). Dinner-craving robbers can abscond with precious dishes of manicotti ($17) and fettuccini a La Luna, which sautées lobster tail and meat with shallots and scallions before setting it afloat in a creamy vodka-sauced sea ($22). Palette-pleasing wines by the glass or bottle make excellent mealtime companions, and live music on weekends keeps ears and eyes occupied from their ongoing feud over facial property lines.