According to the New York Times, visitors to Fratelli Trattoria immediately face a culinary decision when they step foot through the eatery's immaculate glass doors. To the left stands a hostess ready to escort diners to a private table inside a modern, two-story dining area. To the right lies the convenience of pizza by the slice flanked by free-for-all seating. Nestling into plush beige chairs, dine-in deciders choose from a slate of pastas swimming in tomato, cream, and cheese sauces alongside juicy cuts of chicken and veal prepared in more than 20 traditional styles. Meanwhile, the fast-paced right side quickly doles out slices of pizza, including crispy neapolitan and thick sicilian varieties slathered in plum-tomato sauce and melty mozzarella, forging transportable and tasty meals for guests with little time or lots of hands. Decked out in gleaming aluminum furnishings, the outdoor dining area lets patrons sate appetites while soaking in sunlight amid the exciting bustle of the Tanger Outlets at the Arches.:m]]
Five-year-old local favorite Ludlow Bistro cooks up innovative, yet simple cuisine and compliments it with modern décor and a friendly, attentive serving staff that will try to meet any request—except for those beginning with "I dare you to…" Diners can dig their claws into artfully arranged appetizers such as the lump crab cakes, whose citrus-marinated fennel and carrots jam harmoniously with chili aioli ($13). Pastas, such as the fresh buccatini, take tongues on a tour of the Tuscan countryside with a merry band of pan-seared chicken, hand-crushed plum tomatoes, and bruchetta goat cheese ($23), along with a sassy 40-year-old divorcée trying to find herself. Savor a whiskered water dweller with the Cajun seared cat fish, paired with a zesty duo of spicy coleslaw and chili cream-corn beurre blanc ($25). Carnivorous connoisseurs, meanwhile, will want to feast on finless finds such as the rib eye with herb gnocchi, caramelized peppers, and a port-wine reduction ($28) or a grilled pork chop, accompanied by braised red swiss chard, gorgonzola mashed potatoes, and caramelized peaches ($26). Oven originals are also on hand, including freshly baked breads and desserts.
With five locations—spanning Brooklyn, Queens, and Deer Park—the restaurant and juice bar fuels patrons with a health-conscious selection of dishes and drinks that are low in both fat and cholesterol. Cooks never fry or cook anything in oil, including the lean burgers, which arrive on wheat pitas or 100-calorie buns. The menu also features a number of fruity or creamy beverages that keep patrons’ health in mind, including the café mocha made with coffee, fat-free chocolate, and skim milk.
A tightly written but well-balanced menu of classic steak, seafood, and pasta dishes emphasize simple recipes and virtuosic preparation. Blue Lagoon's chefs craft familiar dishes—including grilled Atlantic salmon and filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes—that let guests relish the experience of upscale dining. A wine list longer than the dinner menu further heightens the meal as servers recommend bottles and glasses of sparkling whites, pinot noirs, merlots, and other sips to pair with entrees. The chefs also cater events—weddings, birthday parties, and pet-rock-adoption anniversaries—and the staff frequently hosts buffets, music, and special events at the restaurant.
Classic American Restaurant's flame-wielders only grace their grills with freshly ground meat patties, whipping up a selection of succulent burgers and serving them on freshly baked bread. The Classic American burger (up to an $11 value) wears a chic coat of melted farmhouse cheddar, and the turkey burger (up to a $10 value) sports a frock of muenster cheese, arugula, and the condiment double-whammy of cranberry mustard. Midday munchers can lunch on a veggie burger (an $8 value) with red onions, ranch dressing, and honorary vegetable swiss cheese. Like an absconded spoon to a runaway dish, french fries are a time-honored companion to bun-swaddled meat and are included with each burger. Or, for an extra cost, indulge in the sweet-potato fries, derived from tubers crossbred with pixy sticks ($1 extra when regular fries are included with selected burger).
Numerous Irish counties lend their names to Lily Flanagan’s Pub's traditional Irish and internationally influenced meals, such as the Kerry corned beef and cabbage made with locally grown greens. The Galway Bay fish 'n' chips pairs beer-battered cod with chips that are cut by hand rather than lasers, and the Portrush pork chop flirts with the flavors of Italy with accents of sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, goat cheese, and bacon alfredo sauce.
It’s not just the food that transports diners across the pond, but the dark wood wainscoting and furniture topped with kelly-green padding. The bar pours foaming glasses of Guinness and Smithwick’s, perfect for slowly sipping while watching one of the pub's 10 flat-screen TVs.