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.
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.
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).
Las Bahias Restaurant gives taste buds a master-class on Latin American cuisine. The From the Bay menu plays with Baja Californian coastal traditions for its lobster, shrimp, and seafood dishes, such as Devil Shrimp (sauteed with marinara) and the Bahia dish (shrimp, calamari, clams, and mussels over yellow rice). Moving inland, Las Bahias pays homage to Argentinian asados with an entree menu primarily dedicated to variations on grilled steak and pork chops. Salvadorian pupusas filled with pork and cheese make an appearance, and chicken and corn tamales represent classic Mexican street food. Because Las Bahias casts an improbably wide net, there are plenty of regionally non-specific delights as well, including empanadas, fried plantains, and even hamburgers.
At ZuckerBakers, a team of bakers whips up a menu of kosher, pareve, and nut-free bread and treats under the kosher supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens and the Udvari Rav of Brooklyn. The menu includes seven varieties of challah bread, custom cakes, cookies, and rolls.