Begin your trip down the meatball-lined sidewalks of Ciao Baby with a look at the menu of classic Italian eats. For antipasti, roll a homemade Sicilian rice ball filled with ground meat, peas, and plum-tomato sauce ($14.95) into your jaws. Lunch light with a member of the Wrap Pack, such as the Salsiccia Sammy (Italian sausage, tri-color peppers, and Vidalia onions sautéed in white wine and topped with mozzarella, $10.95), or lend some evening gravitas to your appetite with a dignified order for Nonna's Old World Meat Platter (freshly made meatballs, hot or sweet sausage, and San Marzano tomato sauce atop macaroni; half $23.95, whole $33.95).
Hershey's Ice Cream has been treating customers with scoops of chilly, sweet ice cream made from wholesome ingredients since 1984. Each flavor is created using fresh cream and condensed milk mixed with high-quality cocoa, handpicked frozen fruits, and high-grade nuts. The company's long history is reflected in the nostalgic vibe of its '50s-style ice-cream parlors, which feature classic ice-cream bars with colorful vinyl barstools and festive decorations. Customers can stop in for cones, sundaes, and shakes, or stock up on candy and other sweet novelties.
To characterize Ginza as swanky is a bit of an understatement. In the expansive dining room plush chairs and candlelit tables rest beneath high ceilings, from which thin, golden chains drape beneath studio lighting. Amid Japanese statues and photomurals of pedestrians, the wait staff ferries platefuls of creations made at the sushi bar and the kitchen, including one of 19 specialty rolls or grilled filet mignon. In the lounge, bartenders pour eight signature cocktails, sake flights, or wines from various countries such as California, France, Italy, and Japan.
Cornucopia's Noshery, selected as Newsday's Best Pancakes in Long Island, pelts most of the food pyramid at brunch-goers. With a menu that rotates in tandem with the axis of the Earth, Cornucopia turns out inspired spins on daytime meals. Yolk-swimmers can dive into a pool of three-egg omelettes ($8), such as the Corny Big Boy, an exceptionally large lad dressed snappily in sausage, bacon, and ham. The special pancakes, topped with granola and yogurt or a choice of fruit ($7.50), have been known to sidle up to the toast ($1.50), cheesy hominy, or Irish oatmeal ($3.50 each). Get your own goat with the veggie goat sandwich, grilled veggies, herb goat cheese, mixed greens, and roasted onions living under a focaccia bread bridge ($7.50). An open, sunny eatery that blossomed from the stems of an old flower shop, Cornucopia's supports local farms, organic and fair-trade coffees and teas, and spurring endorphin release with a cascade of comestibles.
When the judges; scores came in, Sugar Rush Bakery's Andrew Mincher finished in second place on Food Network's Cupcake Wars. Going into the competition, he thought, "This is what I do and I thought, I’m going to have fun doing it." His positive attitude—and his recipe for banana-rum cupcakes with peanut-butter buttercream frosting—paid off.
The recognition came as a hefty endorsement for the brand-new owner of the former Di Monda Bakery. Mincher recently bought out the business with his dad and brother so that he could make cupcakes his way. Inside, customers find him doing exactly that, whipping together delicious cupcakes and other sweets such as cookies and fresh-baked breads. He decorates his creations with chunks of chocolate or cheerful frosting faces that seem to ask, "Do I look cute in this foil?"