To replicate the thin-crust pies found in New York's Italian-American neighborhoods, Giovanni's chefs make everything from scratch and bake their five-borough recreations atop a toasted hearthstone. They load their slices with layers of fresh mozzarella and an eclectic mix of toppings. Tables, draped in classic red-and-white checkered cloths, buckle under the weight of the pies, including the Coney Island piled with freshwater clams, garlic, and spices.
In addition to baking circular eats, the cooks marinate Sicilian-style chicken in extra-virgin olive oil and herbs before fire-roasting it on the rotisserie. Forks excavate the lasagna's layers, burrowing through strata of imported pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and housemade tomato sauce, to unearth hearty pieces of meat or veggies.
Aside from the 14 nonfat and no-sugar-added yogurts on hand daily, the Peach Tree Frozen Yogurt’s biggest draw may be a toppings bar that hosts as many as 40 fruit, nut, and candy options. Among the piles of Captain Crunch and gobs of fresh-cut fruit, one can find a bin filled with Peach Tree's signature "bursting bobas"––little balls of sugar that, as their name implies, burst with tangy juice. The shop also blends bubble-tea smoothies that brim with fruit jam and chewy tapioca pearls. These creamy drinks come in 12 flavors, the most popular of which include mango, honeydew, and taro root. In addition to smoothies, Peach Tree now offers hot and iced coffees, lattes, frappes, and cappuccinos.
The colorful yogurts and smoothies feel right at home in a shop that’s decorated with beaded zebra-print curtains and walls of neon green, orange, and pink. A mural of jovial cartoon characters sprawls across one of the walls, welcoming customers with images of smiling deer, sparkling fairies, and stone-faced actuaries.
Dinner and a movie might be a nice night out, but nobody likes it when you try to talk to the characters on screen. At Almost Famous Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, the main event is an interactive experience. Patrons gather round tables, enjoying a hand-crafted three-course meal, as murderous events unfold onstage. Audience members, young and old, are encouraged to do their own sleuthing as they watch, and interaction with the actors is encouraged. These thespians often honor their favorite audience members with a Super Sleuth award or really big smiles that even include eye contact. Kids of all ages are welcome to attend; even though the subject matter is murder, the play itself is a comic farce designed to please the whole family.
Heroes Coffee roasts, blends, and brews gourmet coffees from around the globe, giving back whenever possible by sharing profits with humanitarian organizations. The shop's artisan roasts fill mugs with flavors that range from light, citrusy notes to dark, brooding cowbell solos. Monin syrups and sauces transform lattes into potable sweets, and Dr. Smoothie wares infuse smoothies with luscious fruits, such as pineapples, mangoes, and blackberries. In addition to serving its coffee drinks at its own retail shops, Heroes Coffee fortifies other cafés with Astoria espresso machines, paper cups, and shot-put-ready airpots.
At Mitsu Neko Fusion Cuisine and Sushi Bar, diners savor Japanese delicacies of spicy crab, flavorful albacore tuna, and savory black tobiko. Guests chow down on American sushi-fusion inventions including cream-cheese philadelphia rolls or zesty california rolls. They can also dig in to morsels of black-cod, squid, and smoked-salmon nigiri freshly fished from the ocean or courageously stolen from the paws of nearby bears. Dessert is equally inventive, as the restaurant serves familiar meal cappers from outside the Japanese culinary tradition, such as puffed sugar cookies and crème brûlée.
The enormous menu at Shorty Small's is home to a whole array of Southern-inspired comfort food, but what they're perhaps best known for is barbecue. Piled high with seasoned fries, baked beans, a cheesy biscuit, and slaw, plates crowd with tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs or marinated pulled pork topped with tangy barbecue sauce. Shorty Small's also has a full selection of imported and domestic beers, as well as wine by the glass and nonalcoholic beverages for shorties.