Restaurant Blog -

Z Cucina di Spirito

Z Cucina di spirito
1368 Grandview Avenue
Grandview Heights, Ohio 43212

Bright, clean setting that is almost lost amid a cluster of charming cafes and wine bars on Grandview Ave. It’s a neighborhood bar with edge. Executive Chef Brian Pawlak does an excellent job of straying away from classic and boring Italian American favorites, while still managing to center in on regional Italian dishes such as the Veal Saltimbocca Alla Romana and duck Breast Piedmontese. The wine list focuses on a few regions of Northern Italy such as Tuscany, Piedmont, Apulia, and Veneto. You can also round off dinner with a Crème Brulee Martini.

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La Scarola

721 W. Grand Ave., 60610, 312-243-1740

You’ll feel like a member of the family at this low-key storefront location in Chicago’s West Loop. Here the air is filled with notes of Frank Sinatra and aromas of your favorite Italian comfort foods. (Think Pasta & Fagiole, Veal Marsala and pastas piled high on plates, just like Mama used to make.) Friendly service and just-right prices make La Scarola a favorite of families and local celebrities alike, but regulars assure the Sausage & Peppers and ricotta-filled Cannolis (voted best in Chicago) are definitely worth any crowd or wait. Who knows – maybe you’ll bump elbows with the mayor while twirling your Linguini & Clams.

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House of Blues

House of Blues
801 Boardwalk at the Showboat, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 236-BLUE

Combine traditional Southern comfort food with Gospel music and you’ve got one of the most unique Sunday brunches in Atlantic City. The ambience in the Music Hall enlivens and envelops while you feast with several of your senses. A different Gospel group performs each week , while you can count on the menu to consistently offer favorites like fried chicken, grits, buttermilk biscuits with country gravy along with crawfish cheesecake, rosemary cornbread muffins, waffles, omelets and a carving station. Try to save room for desserts like old fashioned berry cobbler and white chocolate banana bread pudding with crème anglaise. There are two sittings for this popular Sunday brunch.

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Mary Mac’s Tea Room

224 Ponce De Leon Ave Ne,
Atlanta, GA 30308

Looking for some comfort food? This southern gem has an extensive menu filled with delectable treats. The dining room is large and usually packed. Travelers, businessmen and neighborhood residents all come to eat here. The mac and cheese is out of this world, collard greens, smothered chicken just to name a few. Try the peach cobbler for dessert it will keep you coming back. The service is quick, and prices are reasonable so next time you’re in the Atlanta Metro this is a must try.

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164 St. James Place
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

The Irish Pub is the most popular bar in Atlantic City. And its prices start even lower than Tony’s. Would believe a soup and sandwich lunch special for $1.95? The pricing strategy seems to follow the old free lunch bars that used to count on making their money on beer and liquor. If you really love the atmosphere stay the night. The Irish Pub is a true inn with rooms that start at as little as $25 a night during the week. (Of course if you want a private shower expect to pay more than double that.)

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1529 Piedmont Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30324-5000
(404) 875-7042
2315 Windy Hill Road, SE
Marietta, GA
(770) 933-8315

Turn up the volume in your car, put on a semi-sexy outfit and steel yourself for Atlanta’s loudest sushi scene. Despite a fast food atmosphere, hassled service and a semi-ridiculous menu featuring trademarked items like the “Gone with the Wind” and the “Kamikaze,” Ru-San’s remains freewheeling, cheap and immensely popular. Their one-dollar sushi list is extensive and includes a number of evening specials. Other, dinner-size specials, like a collection of large maki rolls with salmon, cream cheese and a sweet teriyaki sauce, are constantly tasty. For a more exciting dining experience, share the treasure hunt soup with a friend. Floating sushi, a filling broth and the potential for a hidden prize are more than enough to satisfy the hunger and entertainment cravings of two people.

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I Love Sushi

6001 San Mateo NE, Suite F4, Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 883-3618

For chef and owner, Tom Yun, the name says it all. This sushi bar is crowned with tow soothing mood fountains, and the goods are served with fiery wasabi and tart picked ginger. The experience begins with a traditional Japanese greeting at the door. Duely welcomed, you might treat yourself to a chilled squid salad, while the non-sushi eater in your party awaits a taste sensation such as Tonkatsu, a fried breaded pork cutlet served with dipping sauce. Of course, the focus of this eatery is unquestionably the sushi, which will thrill any adventurous diner with its quality and flavor. Lunch for two can be had for around $20.

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Kaz Sushi Bistro

Kaz Sushi Bistro
1915 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
(202) 530-5500

Kaz Okochi was head chef at Sushi-Ko for 10 years before starting up his own restaurant, Kaz Sushi Bistro. At this I Street eatery—bustling with World Bank employees at lunch and Washington foodies at dinner—Chef Okochi offers his unique blend of “Free Style Japanese Cuisine.” More than just your traditional Japanese fare, the sushi at Kaz’s bring Western ingredients and techniques to the table in an “east meets west” menu that has won over nearly every DC food critic. This is the place for adventurous sushi fans who demand top-quality fish, presentation, and sake selection.

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Nobu’s Japanese Restaurant

8643 Olive Blvd
St Louis, MO 63132
(314) 997-2303

Nobu’s Japanese Restaurant is located just west of St. Louis’ Chinatown in what was an abandoned IHOP. While the chain’s signature blue roof remains, no smell of bacon and eggs linger at Nobu’s. Created in 1993 by Noboru Kidera, the sushi chef oversees the longstanding sushi spot, one of St. Louis’ first. While Nobu’s offers sushi favorites such as maguro (tuna), ebi (shrimp) and sake (salmon), those with an adventurous palate may wish to try the awabi (abalone), hirame (fluke) and aoyagi (orange clam). The salmon belly or jaw and mackerel are also highly recommended for those who like more fatty fish.

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By Thomas McCabe

Thrive Restaurant
1026 NE 65th Street
Seattle, Washington 98115
(206) 525-0300

When it comes to raw foods restaurants in the Seattle, Washington area, the most well - known establishment by far, is Thrive Restaurant. Fairly small in size, Thrive offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere and a warm and soothing decor. A true raw foods restaurant, Thrive observes raw and live foods methods and practices, including heating no foods above 118 degrees. No animal products are used in the preparation of any food items here and virtually all of the fresh and organic dishes served here are raw. Whenever available, organic ingredients, except for young coconuts are used at this family - friendly Seattle, Washington eatery.

All of the food products at Thrive are of very high quality and are always creatively - presented. This raw foods restaurant uses and serves both alkaline and purified water and offers a 100% Gluten - Free menu. Prices here are very reasonable and portions are large. Lunch and dinner are served daily at Thrive and all menu items are available for take - out service.

The inventive menu at Thrive offers a range of soups, salads and appetizers that are always great meal - starters. Raw soups here include Sweet Surrender, which is an organic tomato soup made with basil, celery, onion and spices and Oh My Thai, which is a creamy soup made with young coconuts, herbs, vegetables and spices. Appetizers such as Veggie Plate, served with choice of dipping sauces and “Crack - A - Lackin’”, which consists of Baja Dip and Almond Ricotta Dip are very flavorful and well - portioned.

Among the fresh garden salads that are featured at Thrive are the Mighty Thai, with cabbage, carrots, cashews and dates in a peanut - style sauce and Hungry No More with baby greens, spinach and an assortment of fresh vegetables. All salads here can be enjoyed as either side dishes or entrees and are available with tasty dressings such as their House Lemon Tahini or Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Standout menu items at Thrive Restaurant include their unique Warm Grain Bowls, among others. Their “Awaken” bowl features steamed Bhutanese red rice or quinoa, with marinated kale, avocado, toasted nori, scallions and seasonal vegetables in a Sesame - Ginger sauce. The “Thrivalicious” bowl features steamed Bhutanese red rice or quinoa, guacamole, salsa, fresh seasonal vegetables and onion cashew cream.

Just some of the other delicious raw items served at this Seattle restaurant are Chili Con Marvelous, a spicy and healthy homemade chili made with nuts, herbs and fresh veggies, which is served on a bed of greens and topped with Onion Cashew Cream, Oh Pastadoro, which is Angel Hair zucchini, with an organic sweet tomato sauce topped with “Rawmesan” and Teriyaki Noodles, which are kelp noodles in teriyaki sauce, with fresh veggies and cashews.

Thrive Restaurant is also well - known for serving some of the best raw smoothies and healthy beverages in the Seattle area. Some of the outrageously - delicious smoothie varieties served here are Coconut, Almond - Coconut, Green Smoothie, Coconut - Pineapple - Agave, “Berry Delicious” and “Creamsicle”. Other beverages served at Thrive include Almond Milk, Coconut Water, Ginger - Lemon Tea, “Green Goodness” and several types of juices.

Don’t overlook the raw desserts at Thrive. Raw desserts here include Tiramisu Magic, Mocha Latte Heaven, Strawberry Indulgence and Cacao Bliss Pudding. Open seating is offered at this raw foods restaurant, but reservations are accepted for special occasions and / or parties of six or more.

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