It’s more than just gooey, melted mozzarella on bubbling pizza. And it’s more than a long list of 29 sandwiches including meatball parmigiana and BBQ grilled chicken. Johns Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant has brought these dishes and more to thousands of events since opening in 1989. For offsite soirées—such as the ones they catered for the New York Police Department and Staten Island University Hospital—Johns can also provide tents, tables, and chairs that make planning a party so easy that some might want to start celebrating their birthday three times a year. Alternately, customers can dine in at their pizzeria, choosing from a menu of nearly 20 salads as well as seafood entrees and crowd-pleasing pizzas.
At first glance, you might miss the small neon sign hanging above a chain-link fence. That glowing pink beacon is all that exists to lead unsuspecting passersby into a barbecue joint that has been consistently rated on Zagat as one of New York's best. Fette Sau, which appropriately means fat pig in German, is the brainchild of owner Joe Carroll, who eschews sauces for a panela-and-espresso-based dry rub to season the restaurant's ever-changing selection of organic and family-farmed heritage breed meats. Once they've been slathered in spices, the cuts slow cook in a massive smoker fueled by both gas and five types of locally sourced wood, which help seal in the spices and make the protein tender and succulent. Built in a repurposed mechanic's shop, the dining area has as distinct industrial vibe. A floor-to-ceiling mural shows various cuts of pork and beef, overlooking bar stools made from John Deere tractor seats and picnic tables topped with bottles of sauce. The beverage selection honors this Americana vibe, as well—between bites of pulled pork and duck breast, patrons sip craft brews from mason jars and sample pours from a lengthy whiskey list.
At Fatty 'Cue, Malaysian cooking and Southern-style barbecue collide under the inventive culinary guidance of Chef Zakary Pelaccio. He and his team place a creative twist on even the simplest of dishes, as the New York Times chronicled with the eatery's Vermont butter—wrapped in smoked maple leaves, soaked in rye whiskey, then "stored to age in a cool place for three months or so, like a fine cheese." This singular approach to cooking also earned plaudits from Grub Street, which crowned the smoked-brisket sandwich one of the 101 Best Sandwiches in New York. Dishes vary in size and complexity, beginning with smaller items such as housemade cheeses and smoky chicken and eggplant with celery, sesame, and pickled jalapeño. More sizable offerings include pork ribs with fish sauce as well as the smoked Brandt beef brisket, which Examiner.com declared, "[stands] up to the best briskets in the city," praising it as "extremely tender with flavorful burnt edges." Further, Fatty 'Cue's meats and fish are humanely raised and often locally sourced, helping the environment by obviating the need to print new maps.
Named after a small Dominican province, Macorix Bar-Restaurant & Grill has been a welcome sight to Central American and Carribean immigrants for some 20 years. Today, second-generation owners Steven Almonte and Elbys Gonzalez retain those familiar traditions amid a modern ambiance. Guests can slide up to the mahogany bar for a refreshing libation, or enjoy their meal on the outdoor patio. Steven and Elbys's chefs create dishes that range from mussels fra diavolo and steak with saffron rice to calamari and grilled pork loin.
Soco’s proprietors had a vision: to create a neighborhood institution that is equal parts restaurant and cocktail bar. With food and drink offerings such as the pecan-crusted pork chop and a caramel martini topped with a toasted marshmallow, it’s hard not to sample both sides of the business on any given visit. Before Soco opened, its owners and executive chef Kingley John all worked together at Negril Village, a West Village Caribbean eatery. That experience inspired the group to shape Soco’s menu into the fusion of southern-American classics and Caribbean influences now on its lunch, brunch, dinner, and cocktail menus. In practice, that combination brings about flavorful plates such as blackened salmon and jambalaya with seared shrimp, Andouille chicken sausage, and dirty rice. Grass-fed beef burgers are accentuated with caramelized onions, red-bean mayonnaise, and parmesan-dusted fries, and at lunch, organic fried chicken tops a red velvet waffle. The wait staff can also recommend food pairings with Boylan’s cane soda, 20 American microbrews, or the bar’s 10 signature cocktails. As an homage to Soco’s home borough, designer Andres Aladin drew up plans for the eatery to look like “the Brooklyn Bridge turned into a restaurant.” To accomplish that feat, he juxtaposed industrial elements such as locally sourced steel with the homey feel of exposed brick, walnut walls, and a rotating staff of mothers who watch until you clean your plate.