"If I had a dollar for every time someone said 'What's a riceball?' I wouldn't even need to make 'em," said JohnPaul Perrone on an episode of the Cooking Channel's Eat Street. Since then, JohnPaul has moved from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar restaurant where he continues to create riceballs (known as arancini in Italian) using his grandmother's recipe. At Papa Perrone's Riceball Shoppe, each crisp and golden deep-fried ball protects a tender core of meat and cheese, veggies and cheese, or Nutella-flavored magma. The shop's menu also features other Perrone family recipes as well as Italian specialties, such as artichoke pie, baked or fried calzones, and meatballs.
Burgers N Dogs' comfort-fare menu fills plates with fried hot dogs, half-pound burgers, and piled-on sides. Chefs hand-patty half-pound portions of beef into meaty disks and spin them over an open flame to create each burger, finishing proteins with a dash special seasonings. Before piling on the traditional trimmings of a Chicago-style or chili-cheese dog, quarter-pound hot dogs do laps in the deep fryer to get ripped. Hand-cut french fries or onion rings and sips of soda or water augment the eats, alongside the traditional American takeout garnish, fortune ketchup.
Cuisine Type: Russian-French Fusion
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 5?10
Parking: Free street parking
Delivery / Take-out Available: Unavailable
Outdoor Seating: No
The owner of Verrazano Grill Restaurant describes their specialties as fusion cuisine that blend traditional Russian dishes with French cooking techniques. That description may cover the salmon steak in pepper sauce, but some dishes remain purely Russian. "The soups are made [from] a traditional, secret family ... recipe," says the owner. Alongside soups of the day, the chefs make borscht, kharcho, Pozharsky chicken cutlets, which originated as a popular dish among Russian nobility.
However, Verrazano Grill has a notable story beyond its unique menu. When Hurricane Sandy struck, the eatery was completely leveled. Though heartbreaking, it wasn't entirely a bad thing. It sparked the restaurant's transformation, as the owner rebuilt the entire place from the ground up, outfitting it with new kitchens, striking decor, and a wall of windows that maximize views of the State Island Boardwalk just a few feet beyond the front door.
Drawing on the culinary savvy that gave him the win on Food Network's Cupcake Wars, chef Paul Conti gives pub cuisine an upscale makeover at Bar One30. The contemporary menu includes such luxurious comfort food as pan-fried mac ‘n’ cheese bites laced with truffle oil and crafted with an artisan cheese blend and battered bahamian conch fritters. The Sloppy Joseph prefers to be called by its full name, sporting a gentlemanly combination of braised tenderloin and whiskey-barbecue-tomato reduction. When they aren’t delving into cheddar-topped burgers or sparring with saucy wings, guests sate their entertainment appetites with the bar’s live music and special events.
Darina Restaurant's chefs specialize in Russian cuisine, as well as the artistry of plating it. They don't just serve lamb loin with vegetables and mashed potatoes?they arrange the vegetables into an elegant tower and carefully sculpt the mashed potatoes into the shape of a rose in bloom but without all the prickly potato thorns. Even pasta dishes such as the capellini with shrimp in white sauce feature elegantly placed ingredients that show off the dish's contrasting colors.
Though its menu stars an ensemble of oceanic delicacies, House of Crabs’s specialty is, not surprisingly, crabs. Crab and corn chowder and crab cakes give way to more focused dishes such as the crab combination platter, a behemoth plate of king crab, dungeness crab, and snow crab. Waiters also whirl around plates stacked with other sea fruits, such as lobster and shrimp, and the nautical-inspired space is studded with ships’ wheels, boat ropes, and a functioning wave pool.