Whether it be a night out for a couple, a family, friends or a first date, every restaurant has a target crowd. Do you want to dance? Do you want to be able to hear yourself think? Do you want to people watch? These things all set the mood for your night ahead, choose wisely.
Ursino- My view of this place may be skewed because the both times I went were when Ursino had first opened. The restaurant is farm to table. The food has a new age feel and is pretty good. The oysters for instance were half horseradish and vinegar and half a sweeter option. The place is cool looking in a way but it being on a college campus is kind of strange. They have a bar and lounge upstairs and restaurant downstairs, if you want small plates
Rio 22- Brazillian Steakhouse- Cute bar area for a drink, I haven't eaten the Rodizio recently, I hear it's a bit salty. I had a tuna appetizer and salad last time I was here and it was good. The chocolate mousse is spectacular, go even just for that and a glass of wine in the lounge area.
Mario's Tutto Bene - I eat here frequently, the food is probably the best Italian Union has to offer. Creme' Brulee Cheesecake, Rigatoni Vodka, Veal Meatball with fresh Ricotta, it's all fabulous and I love the Seafood Salad and Tuna dish. They also have Karaoke in the bar area on Saturday nights and though I've never participated its a sight to be seen!
Cioffi's - Best Mussels Marinara around, get them spicy! Great Eggplant Parm also. Full Bar. If you have your food delivered from here, be very clear, my order is usually messed up.
UPD - This is my favorite diner around. They are also open all night. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner - The menu is huge, it will take you an hour to read.
Rosie's Wine Bar- Great place to meet the girls for drinks or to go on a date. I have never eaten a full dinner here though the salads, hummus, chick pea salad, cheese plate and chicken skewers are just some of my favorites. There is a full bar available here along with an extensive wine list. If you are a fan of Cabernet, go for a bottle of Demuth Kemos '09, its delicious and very hard to find elsewhere!
Triestina- This is a Italian BYO. Food is Delicious. Small, not much of a scene.
Pairings- I have eaten here once. I can't say I understand why they would call a place that's a BYO "Pairings" but thats beside the point. As soon as you sit down on the very hard wooden chairs ( I'm not kidding) you are treated to a grape covered with goat cheese to tease your tastebuds, not bad at all. The food is good and different and more eclectic than it's surrounding restaurants.
to be continued...