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.
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.
With years of experience behind them, the chefs at Mizuno Japanese Cuisine craft traditional dishes with signature accents. They slice top-grade fish for sashimi and specialty sushi rolls such as the Ichiban roll, a combination of tempura rock shrimp, eel, mango, and avocado wrapped in white kelp seaweed. On the warmer side of the menu, diners will find noodle bowls, tempura plates, and vegetable teriyaki.
Saporito Pizzeria and Restaurant’s chefs spin out a menu of traditional Italian favorites and creative pizza pies. Diners can start Old World feasts with appetizers such as a pair of eggplant rollatini ($8.95). Forty-one pasta dishes symbolize each of Mozart’s symphonies, making mouth overtures with penne paesana, a mix of sautéed chicken, potatoes, and zucchini tumbled in brown or red marsala wine sauce ($12.95), and skirt-steak vesuvio—fresh skirt steak in balsamic vinegar and covered with sautéed spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms ($15.25). Panini and wrap options sandwich Italian flavors in freshly baked bread or a tortilla’s tender embrace, and specialty pies include a philly cheesesteak pizza topped with thinly sliced steak, onions, and american cheese ($22.50). A gluten-free menu brims with dozens of options from every menu section, including gluten-free 10-inch pizzettes ($9.95), and pasta dishes can be dressed up with low-carb and multigrain options.