this restaurant is far from ordinary. The open kitchen brings live entertainment as pizza dough flies in the air. Their hand-tossed, spring-water dough brings new meaning to pizzas and calzones—healthy!! With 20 drafts and an array of microbrews, domestic and import bottles, Mellow Mushroom has an extensive beer list and full bar. Also, check out their lunch specials and variety of sandwiches. Their menu also caters to everyone and offers many vegetarian dishes. Live jazz on Wednesdays. Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm; Sun., 12pm-9pm. 4311 Oleander Drive, (910) 452-3773.
TROLLY STOP Trolly Stop Hot Dogs are family owned with six locations. Since 1976 they specialize in homemade chili, slaw and sauces. Dogs include Smithfield (beef & pork), Southern Dog, Sabrett (all beef), Northern Dog, Carolina Packers Pork Dog (smoked sausage), Oscar Mayer 98% Fat Free Dogs (turkey) and Light Life Veggie Dog (soy). Locations are: 126 N. Front Street Open six days including Thurs., Fri., and Sat. night from 10pm-3am; 343-2999, 94 S. Lumina Ave, Wrightsville Beach 11-5pm 7days a week, 6pm-9pm Sun-Wed, and 6pm-3am Th-Sat. 256-1421; 4502 Fountain Dr., 452-3952. Open at 11am on Sat.; South Howe St. in Southport, 457-7017; 103A Cape Fear Blvd in Carolina Beach, 458-5778. Catering cart available all year from $300. (910) 297-8416.
aSian Big Thai and Big Thai TwO Now with two convenient locations to serve you, Big Thai features authentic Thai cuisine in a fun, relaxing atmosphere. Their delectable menu includes items such as Pineapple Fried Rice with Cashews, Roasted Duck in Red Curry, and several options for vegetarians and vegans. And don’t forget to try their famous Coconut Cake, made fresh in-house. You won’t regret it. Big Thai One (1001 N. 4th St. in the Brooklyn Arts District; 763-3035): Lunch MF, 11-2. Dinner M-Th 5-9, F-Sa 5-10, Closed Sunday. Big Thai Two (1319 Military Cutoff Rd. inside Landfall Center; 256-6588): Lunch M-F 11-2:30, Dinner M-Th 5-9, F-Sa 5-10, Sunday 5-9.
dOuBLe haPPineSS Double Happiness offers the Port City fine Asian dining at reasonable prices. Now under new management, the restaurant will serve flavorful dishes, prepared by the cultural richness of authentic China. Serving items like traditional dim sum and gourmet home-style cooking, Double Happiness is still dedicated to branding the exotic flavors of fresh ingredients and a romantic spice in all of their cooking. Their friendly staff will always go the extra mile to help diners enjoy their experience. Beer and wine is served for lunch and dinner, and Double Happiness is open Monday through Saturday, from 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 10pm; closed Sundays. 4403 Wrighstville Avenue; (910) 313-1088.
SZeChuan 132 Craving expertly prepared Chinese food in an elegant atmosphere? Szechuan 132 Chinese
Restaurant is your destination! Szechuan 132 has earned the reputation as one of the finest contemporary Chinese restaurants in the Port City. Tastefully decorated with an elegant atmosphere, with an exceptional ingenious menu has deemed Szechuan 132 the best Chinese restaurant for years, hands down. 419 South College Road (in University Landing), (910) 799-1426.
hiRO jaPaneSe STeakhOuSe What better way to celebrate a special occasion or liven up a dinner out than to dine in a place where every meal is an exciting presentation. Knowing that a meal should be more than just great food, Hiro adds a taste of theatre and a amazing atmosphere to everyone’s dinning experience. Also serving sushi, Hiro surprises its guests with a new special roll every week and nightly drink specials to complement it. From 4-7pm enjoy half-priced nigiri and halfpriced regular makimono. Nigiri makimono combos are only $7.50, while early-bird specials last from 4-6pm, where diners can choose two: shrimp, chicken or steak. Open Monday thru Thursday 4pm-10pm; Friday and Saturday 4pm-10:30pm; and Sunday 11am-10pm. Located at 222 Old Eastwood Road (910) 7941570. Please visit the Web site at hirojapanesesteakhouse.com.
indOChine ReSTauRanT and LOunge If you’re ready to experience the wonders of the Orient without having to leave Wilmington, join us at Indochine for a truly unique experience. Indochine brings the flavors of the Far East to the Port City, combining the best of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine in an atmosphere that will transport you and your taste buds. Relax in our elegantly decorated dining room, complete with antique Asian decor as well as contemporary artwork and music. Our diverse, friendly and efficient staff will serve you beautifully presented dishes full of enticing aromas and flavors. Be sure to try such signature items as the spicy and savory Roasted Duck with Red Curry, or the beautifully presented and delicious Shrimp and Scallops in a Nest. Be sure to save room for our world famous desert, the banana egg roll! We take pride in using only the freshest ingredients, and our extensive menu suits any taste. After dinner, enjoy specialty drinks by the koi pond in our Asian garden, or be entertained every Friday night with a Balinese dancer. Located at 7 Wayne Drive (beside the Ivy Cottage), (910) 251-9229. Indochinewilmington. com.
euRO FuSiOn PReSS 102 espresso. Panini. Martini. Rome and Paris meet Manhattan and San Francisco in this new Euro-American eatery and martini bar in the heart of historic downtown Wilmington. Nestled inside the Hotel Tarrymore on the corner of Second and Dock streets, Press 102 offers the finest espresso and French press coffee made exclusively from locally roasted beans and more Panini creations this side of Tuscany. Boasting more than a hundred different wine labels and an endless
variety of freshly pressed fruit and herb inspired martini cocktails foodies also enjoy a sophisticated evening menu that includes shrimp and grits made with red-eye gravy and a perfectly grilled New York strip bathed in a basil caramel and white balsamic reduction. Glass tile and eclectic mirrors make for a cozy bar and bistro seating at Press 102 and up to 60 guests can also enjoy outdoor patio seating surrounded by flowers and passersby. Large parties of up to 120 are welcome in the Veranda Room overlooking Dock Street. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner Tuesday through Saturday 7am – close and Sunday brunch from 10am til 2pm. Takeout calls welcome. 399-4438. Press102. com.
FRenCh CaPRiCe BiSTRO Wilmington’s finest French cuisine can be found at Caprice Bistro, a small informal neighborhood restaurant, serving hearty food in generous portions at affordable prices. Simple is the atmosphere in the bistro, as plain white plates and tables dressed in white paper make up the decor. However, the food is far from simple, as a combination of fresh ingredients and innovative preparation delight the taste buds with a plethora of unique appetizers, entrées and desserts. The service is fast, efficient and non-intrusive, and the ambience is friendly and unpretentious. After dinner, be sure to venture upstairs into their cozy and relaxing
sofa bar for an after-dinner martini, or enjoy your meal there, as a light-fare and full menus are served. Art is always on display in the sofa bar, so be sure to inquire frequently about their artist show receptions. Voted “Best French Restaurant” three years in a row! 10 Market Street, downtown Wilmington, (910) 815-0810.
iTaLian eddie ROManeLLi’S Eddie Romanelli’s is a family-friendly, casual Italian American restaurant that’s been a favorite of Wilmington locals for over 16 years. Its diverse menu includes Italian favorites such as Mama Romanelli’s Lasagna, Baked Ziti, Rigatoni a la Vodka and, of course, made-from-scratch pizzas. Its American influences include tasty burgers, the U.S.A. Salad and a 16oz. Marinated Rib Eye Steak. Romanelli’s offers patio dining and flat screen TVs in its bar area. Dine in or take out, Romanelli’s is always a crowd favorite. Large parties welcome. RomanellisRestaurant.com. 503 Olde Waterford Way, Leland. (910) 383.1885.
giORgiO’S iTaLian ReSTauRanT Giorgio’s is a locally owned, one-of-akind restaurant. Offering age-old traditions and timeless recipes, perfection is accomplished by combining the perfect cuisine and atmosphere for a dining experience that is not soon forgotten. With over 50 years
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