Located at 5203 Leavenworth Street, in the building that formerly housed Wolner’s neighborhood grocery, is J. Coco Restaurant. Opened in March 2012, and named for head chef and owner, Jennifer Coco, the restaurant serves traditional fare using fresh, natural ingredients from local growers. Although the menu is abbreviated, the entree’s are masterfully prepared and there is a robust wine selection. Food plates delivered from the kitchen are artfully organized, tempting diners to photograph their meals rather than disturb them with their forks. The restaurant gets my vote for Omaha’s ”most outstanding meal presentation”.
I especially enjoy the soups and salads at J. Coco. The grilled chicken antipasti salad is delightful. And, fresh french bread is served with the soup of the day.
For a pleasant dining experience, give J. Coco a try when you are in midtown Omaha. The restaurant is typically busy, so I recommend calling ahead for reservations. J. Coco is open for lunch on weekdays, and dinner (Monday through Saturday). Happy Motoring!
Located inside the Mutual of Omaha Bank building at 3333 Farnam Street in the heart of Midtown Crossing is Chick-fil-A Express. In business since 1995, Chick-fil-A, is one of the most recognizable brands in the country – the cows in its commercials encouraging the public to “Eat Mor Chikin”. Now, at the midtown location, Omaha locals can enjoy the signature chicken sandwiches and waffle fries that have appealed to the restaurant’s patrons throughout the U.S. During my visit, I had the nuggets and they were terrific. Having a Starbucks in the same facility makes this place “dope”. There is parking on Farnam for a quick to go order, and plenty of seating if you decide to dine-in instead. Happy Motoring!
Located at 6405 Center Street is Amato’s Cafe and Catering. Owned and operated by 70 years young, Sammy Amato, Amato’s may be THE best place in the midwest to dine for breakfast. Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show, Amato’s continues to get accolades from the television shows host, Guy Fieri, as one of his personal favorites. Here is a link to a short clip from the show. The business at Amato’s is always bustling, and it no wonder. Sammy makes his sausage fresh daily and it is delicious. But it is more than the menu that makes Amato’s a fun dining experience. It is the friendly and gregarious owner and his wait staff. You are made to feel like family. Stop at Amato’s when you are in the midtown area. Tell Sammy that Omaha Driver sent you. Happy Motoring!
Located at 120 S. 31st Ave. in Omaha’s Midtown Crossing neighborhood is Cantina Laredo, a gourmet Mexican restaurant that overlooks the Omaha downtown area skyline and fabulous Turner Park. Cantina Laredo is an international chain with locations in 13 states, the United Arab Emirates and the U.K. Without a doubt, Cantina Laredo is Omaha’s premier fine dining experience for Mexican food. My wife and I think the food is among the most spicy hot; and we love it. The wait staff is attentive, and the chips, salsa and refreshments are never allowed to run out. We like the Enchilada Veracruz entree from their dinner menu. On our very first visit to Cantina Lerado, our waiter recommended a flavored margarita to a member of our group. When they didn’t care for the taste, the waiter replaced it free of charge. It is clear that Cantina Laredo is interested in a great dining experience for each customer and they’ve won our family’s business. Give it a try and Happy Motoring!
Located at 32nd and Farnam Street in Omaha, at Midtown Crossing, is Delice European Bakery and Cafe. Delice serves an assortment of pastries, as well as brunch, lunch and dinner menu items. The cafe is a casual and fun place to relax with friends, and possesses extensive outdoor seating. Read the newspaper and sample their large assortment of flavored coffees. Or, enjoy a cookie, croissant, or torte cake. The mocha torte and the opera desserts are very good; but, the almond croissant really releases the food enjoyment endorphins IMO. The coffee is also noteworthy – always fresh-brewed to my liking. We sampled the quiche selection for breakfast one morning and found them to be excellent. Give Delice a try and enjoy a stroll through the midtown redevelopment. You will be very impressed by the entertainment options available in the rapidly growing community. Happy Motoring!
Located at 120 S. 31st Street, at Midtown Crossing, is Parliament Pub. An English inspired bar with a rock-n-roll theme, Parliament Pub is spacious and relaxed place to lounge and kick-back after a long day or week. Parliament has a large selection of specialty cocktails, beers and wines. It also has an outdoor patio with one of the best views of Turner Park and the downtown Omaha skyline. Sheltered from the Dodge Street and Farnam Street traffic by the Midtown Crossing building designs, Parliament has a casual, enjoyable pace that is hard to find in the heart of the city. Sit on the patio in the evening and watch children play in Turner Park as the sun slips behind the buildings to the West and the beautiful midtown lights flicker on; it’s enchanting. Happy Motoring!
Located at 3201 Farnam Street is Ingredient Restaurant, a recent addition to Midtown Crossing‘s growing list of business tenants. Ingredient serves gourmet pizzas, hot off the grill sandwiches, various wraps and soups. Alternatively, customers can “create their own” salad or pizza. Guests simply complete an order card identifying their desired ingredients, and place their order. Ingredient has several house salad dressings from which to choose. I selected the raspberry basil vinaigrette for my salad creation. All of the toppings were fresh and the portion sizes generous. Salads are served with warm artisan bread rolls – delicious. Ingredient’s service was prompt in spite of a steady stream of lunch time visitors. In my opinion, Ingredient is going to be a stellar performer in the Omaha market. I’ll try the pizza on my next visit, but am happy to report that I now have a “favorite” salad stop in the city. Visit Ingredient on a Thursday evening before attending a Jazz on the Green concert at midtown. Happy Motoring!
Located at 817 N. 40th Street, just north of St. Cecilia’s Cathedral, is Lisa’s Radial Cafe. A family owned business, the Radial Cafe, touts itself as “Omaha’s Oldest Cafe.” My friends and I visited for breakfast. We were initially ushered to a small waiting room, but were seated within 5 minutes. The inside of the diner is small and cozy, with an interesting assortment of Omaha photographs and artwork adorning the walls. The diner was packed, but the customers were diverse and friendly, making the experience enjoyable. I had ”The Works” breakfast that included scrambled eggs, hash browns, toast and bacon. The portion sizes were large and tasty. I had a minor spill, but the wait staff was on-the-spot to clean things up. The Radial Cafe is on the “Omaha’s Best” list, and it easy to understand why. It is an Omaha “must try”. Happy Motoring!
Located at 701 N. 40th in midtown Omaha, is St. Cecelia Cathedral. Begun in 1905 and consecrated in 1959, St. Cecilia Cathedral is one of Omaha’s most historic and recognizable architectural achievements. St. Cecelia’s is also the seat of the Omaha Archdiocese. The church’s website says the architectural style is “Spanish Renaissance Revival”, and it is easy to see the Spanish and Mexican influence in the design. Every winter, St. Cecilia’s hosts one of most spectacular floral displays in the Midwest, that it is open to the public. The 2010 event will be held the weekend of January 30-31; with Saturday hours: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday hours: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is a donation. Mass times may also be found on their website. Happy Motoring!
Located inside the Marcus Midtown Crossing Theatre (3201 Farnam Street), on the fourth level mezzanine, is Vue Lounge. The Vue provides a spectacular, open, lounging space with an unobstructed view of the midtown. It is the ideal place to gather for drinks and conversation before or after a movie. Buy a glass of wine or a drink and carry it wherever you wish inside the Marcus facilities. For a real treat, try the CineDine experience, with private menu and drink service at your movie seat/table inside the theater. You can order your tickets on the web, and pick them up at one of the convenient kiosks in the theatre lobby. We love the Vue, the Glo, and Marcus Theatres. Happy Motoring!