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.
When chef Isaac Asare and his wife, Gloria, came to the US from Ghana, they brought more than just suitcases. After toting several of their favorite West African recipes, the duo founded Taste of Africa, whose full name—The Ellas Food & Pizza - Taste of Africa—is a loving homage to daughters Isabella, Gabriella, and Daniela. At the BYOB restaurant, Isaac cooks up lamb and spicy beef, but those seeking vegan, vegetarian, or health-focused dishes are in luck too: the menu flourishes with hearty, plant-based dishes like yam-spinach stew and cooked plantains.
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.
Bella's Pizzeria's chefs take their time to make every dish special, from the utterly familiar pepperoni pizza slice to the unusually tasty veal francese. Their pizza dough is made from scratch daily, and the chefs top each disk with homemade sauce and fresh toppings. The chefs imbue pasta dishes with secret spice combinations, and they bake up a few special treats, like buttery garlic knots to warm up the appetite, or nutella-filled calzones.