At South Fin Grill, the ocean breeze mingles with a menu of upscale seafood and steakhouse dishes praised by New York magazine. Amid what critic Ethan Wolff describes as a "priceless" ocean view, servers roll out lobster, crab, swordfish, and salmon incarnated as pasta, soup, and sushi dishes. The "turf" portion of the menu showcases grilled new york sirloin, filet mignon, and barbecued pork, but the focus once again turns seaside at a raw bar that features clams and oysters kept fresh by pearl-shaped breath mints.
Beams of blue and yellow lighting hover above the interior dining tables, each blanketed with a white tablecloth and centered with a flickering candle. Outside, the ocean deck's sea-blue umbrellas shelter views of the boardwalk, ocean, and seagull beach volleyball tourneys. The restaurant bolsters its elegantly plated cuisine with occasional entertainment acts, which have included DJs.
Named for a type of plane tree with a broad, sprawling crown, Chinar on the Island shelters diners in a space designed to look like a breezy Mediterranean courtyard. Sandstone archways and clusters of palms surround diners as they tuck into appetizers, such as fresh mussels and saffron shrimp, or point out which of the clouds painted on the ceiling are shaped most like fried calamari.
For the main meal, shareable kebab plates skewer grilled meats and veggies, and pilaf dishes steam tender rice with spices and vegetables in a tangine, or earthenware pot. Hearty traditional dishes, such as roast quail or lamb slow-cooked on the bone, can fill bellies or weigh down brass display vessels commandeered for impromptu rounds of shot put.
Over a plate of fresh Maine lobster that they brought back to the city themselves, husband-and-wife duo Ralph Gorham and Susan Povich wondered aloud, “Why doesn’t someone in New York start a fresh-seafood business?” Their destiny as restaurateurs was realized the moment those words were uttered: they opened Red Hook Lobster Pound a mere six months later. Gorham began traveling to Maine every weekend, scoping out catches and making deals with fisherman, choosing only those that partook in environmentally sustainable practices. Meanwhile, Povich experimented with recipes in order to add to an already lengthy repertoire of lobster-based recipes she learned while growing up in the Northeast. Word of mouth helped spark interest in their eatery, and before long, the demand compelled them to expand their storefront to include a picnic-style dining room. They’ve even added a food truck––nicknamed "Big Red"––that brings lobster-based dishes to diners across the city. According to The New York Times, success has had little effect on Red Hook Lobster Pound’s menu: “It tastes as fresh as can be, which matters when you’re dealing with a trend that’s growing so fast.” Their lobster rolls—served on split-top buns and garnished with just enough homemade mayo—have been lauded by Zagat, Bloomberg News, and Gourmet.com. Other popular dishes include lobster bisque, lobster mac-n-cheese, and a lobster dinner, served with homemade coleslaw, potato salad, and fresh, lake-caught corn.
Verde on Smith, like a book without a dust cover, presents a whole world beyond what its simple exterior portrays. Past the restaurant's façade—marked solely by a black canopy—a slew of dark-stained wood tables line up against an exposed brick wall. Small wall sconces light intimate tables for four and an adjacent bar. Behind that bar, backlit bottles of top-shelf liquors and wines sit on glass shelves elegantly framed by wood grain that matches the stain hue of the bar. These tones permeate the rest of the restaurant, from the floor and the chairs to the rich wood of the halo-style chandelier.
The decor as a whole, including the pressed-tin ceiling, creates a pictorial elegance worthy of a Victorian painting—it even extends to the back patio, where sprawling black umbrellas present a paradox: you can go outside and still feel like you're inside. That's because cabin-style wood walls circumscribe the brick patio, and they reach all the way up to the edges of the umbrellas.
The restaurant's menu presents a depth of taste equal to the standard set by the decor. Its three pillars are pasta, seafood, and meat. Servings of gnocchi al dente with sausage and broccoli rabe represent the fresh-pasta part of the food roster. The kitchen staff prepares cuts of filet mignon paired with sautéed mushrooms to showcase the menu's carnivorous merits, whereas their lobster feast includes half a lobster, baked clams, shrimp, and corn on the cob, satisfying the state requirement of serving at least one dish with the word "cob" in it.
A parade of bas-relief pastoral figures cavorts across the entryway of Delia?s Lounge, signaling both the spirit of revelry and the wealth of mesmerizing visual artifacts to be found inside. A fireplace warms a room stuffed to its plush gills with velvet sofas, leopard-print banquettes, wooden sculptures, and a giant reproduction of the Mona Lisa serenely surveying the cozy scene. Until the wee hours of the morning, the kitchen fills the small, candle-topped tables with a variety of appropriately shareable plates such as pan-seared crab-cakes, chicken quesadilla rolls, hamburger sliders, and shrimp cocktail with house-made horseradish sauce.
New York Magazine dubbed Delia?s a Critics? Pick, averring that ?you won't find tastier, or larger, cocktails in Manhattan.? Martinis range from the spare to the sweet: Hendrick's Gin bears a simple slice of cucumber, apple martinis blend liqueurs, vodka, and an apple slice garnish, and the Godiva white-chocolate martini presents vodka, cacao, and white-chocolate liqueur in a glass lined with a chocolate drizzle.
Beebo's expansive selection of daily catches, raw oysters, and gourmet cocktails crowns the tables in its sleek, chandelier-lit dining room. A curved raw bar topped with sparkling chips of ice keeps fresh oysters, jumbo shrimp, and cherrystone clams safe from the clutches of nearby stoves, and fully cooked seafood basks in steamy ravioli, under exotic sesame crusts, and alongside tender steaks. Nearby, mixologists shake top-shelf liquors over ice to craft signature martinis or fill flutes with effervescent champagne behind the bar's iridescent tiling. A wall of banquets upholstered in gold-toned jacquard faces matching chairs beneath the sprawling eatery's soft recessed lighting and exposed stone walls etched with hieroglyphic knock-knock jokes.