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The menu and daily specials at Teatro are created by one of the region's top chefs. The varied selections feature the best of the predictable and the unusual, including items like risotto of Chanterelle, butternut squash and ruby chard. The Mediterranean-inspired market cuisine is a favorite of the loyal downtown business lunch and pre-concert crowd. The decor still holds a hint of its roots; the building originally housed the old Dominion Bank. By combining the warmth of the original stone walls and wood floors with a few modern touches, a hip and elegant dining atmosphere was created.
Most houses-turned-restaurants hide their origins well, but La Brezza Ristorante still has first-timers wondering whether it is someone's bungalow. The homely feeling is carried indoors, nurtured by an ever-present owner and staff who make every effort to make diners feel welcome. People keep coming back because the prices are reasonable, the portions generous and the food well-prepared and tasty. The house fettuccini is a perennial favorite. The restaurant also offers an array of decadent treats to round off your meal, with classics like tiramisu and Crème Brûlée delighting diners.
There is no shortage of Italian restaurants in this city, but most are rather nondescript. Bonterra Trattoria is an elegant exception. The interior is beautiful with huge iron chandeliers, stonework, fresh flowers, a romantic courtyard and a charming Wine Room for private parties. The menu features fine Italian classics such as antipasti, thin-crust pizzas, pasta, risotto and entrees like osso buco, beef tenderloin and halibut. Each menu item includes wine suggestions and the wine list itself is a joy: extensive, eclectic and full of tasting notes. Bonterra is cellular-free which is another good aspect.
A visit to Mercato is sure to transport you to Italy. Whether you are looking for imported cheeses or olive oil that comes straight from Italy, their market has everything that you would need for an Italian culinary fare. Their restaurant, placed under the very same roof, serves beautiful dishes like white truffle pasta, homemade cannelloni and Bistecca alla Fiorentina along with a vast selection of wines.