Louie Demirakos devised Clearwater Charlie's in his late father's name, creating an homage to his unfulfilled vision for—in Charlie’s words—an “eat it and beat it” establishment. The menu is scrawled on chalkboards above the kitchen assembly line, and dishes hit the counter on paper plates, which conveniently fold into paper sailboats to float leftovers home. Though the restaurant gives top billing to seafood, Charlie’s specialty, it also incorporates a slew of American dishes such as barbecue chicken and pork, steak, and burgers with a choice of 22 toppings. The restaurant is also entirely nut-free, ensuring that food-sensitive diners can safely savor any dish that emerges from the bustling kitchen.
Grillmasters at jimmyjacks flip and flame a menu of American comfort fare, including burgers that KJOY 98.3 listeners voted Long Island's best. Owners and sustainability advocates Dan and Dave Morris select fresh, unfrozen beef from a local butcher and welcome daily deliveries of locally baked brioche buns while still saving time to volunteer and help passing breezes become naturalized citizens. Hands artfully shape hearty, 5-ounce patties before throwing their creations on the grill, where fiery chisels continue the transformation from raw ingredients into edible sculptures. Each basket of fries is fried to order instead of lazily tanned beneath blazing heat lamps, and a variety of hand-scooped milk-shake flavors delights taste buds with thick slurps of chocolate for the cocoa lover or black-and-white gulps for Charlie Chaplin aficionados.
Teapot takes its inspiration from the Victorian tearooms of old, where tea was equal parts an excuse to nosh mouthwatering sweets and a social engagement that eventually led to common-law marriages. Get into English character with a scone with butter or preserves ($4.50) to complement a hot, steaming pot of Earl Grey or Darjeeling ($6.95). Teapot's steepable leaf selection has more than 30 varieties of white, black, oolong, rooibos, herbal, and green goodness. While a bountiful brew dances upon your tongue, nibble bites of a specialty sandwich such as the Elizabeth, a cucumber and herb-cream sandwich on a toasted baguette, or the William—white cheddar, green apple, and herb mayonnaise on a croissant ($7.95 each). Pastries and salads are also on the menu.
Within a Manhattan-themed dining room or art deco party rooms, diners at Thom Thom Steak & Seafood savor thai curry PEI mussels, house-marinated skirt steak, and seared scottish salmon. The expansive menu encompasses both classic dishes such as filet mignon and refreshing small plates such as kung pao calamari.
Kevin Liebov has labored in the kitchens of high-class restaurants throughout New York—from the Enoteca Toscana in Queens to Andiamo in Manhattan. In 1996, Kevin and his father, Charles, opened Nicholas James Bistro, where the chef continues to draw from years of study, experience, and experimentation to craft his inventive menu of contemporary American bistro fare. His cooking techniques eschew heavy creams and vegetables made out of frosting in favor of organic and whole-wheat ingredients.
Outside Liebov's kitchen, towering mirrors reflect the white-clothed tables of his elegant dining room. A bar stretches across the space—just as galaxies named after candy bars stretch across space—where bartenders dole out fine wines and martinis. Throughout the month, the restaurant hosts live music, featuring many local acoustic, jazz, and rock bands.
For 25 years, Long Island's crew has made bagels using an old-fashioned water-kettle approach, purveying the doughy treats well beyond their breakfast boundaries. A menu of breakfast edibles urges early eaters to slather an assortment of hand-rolled, freshly baked bagels ($0.90)—in varieties including poppy, onion, cinnamon raisin, and oat bran—with their choice of up to 17 creamy toppers ($1.75+) including vegetable, chocolate chip, and roasted garlic and herb. Coffee ($1.45+/12 oz.) gives nerves the jolt that early-morning fire breathing fails to provide, and french toast lightens spirits when drizzled in streams of liquefied giggles ($5.50). Lunch options allow midday munchers to fill their food processors with dishes including the Bubbalicious ($6.79)—made with fried chicken cutlets, melted mozzarella, bacon, and spicy barbecue sauce, all piled on top of a bagel—or the more heart-heartening bagel-embedded tuna fresco salad ($6.49).