Bartenders at Austin's Steak and Ale House pair an extensive, international beer selection from far-away locales including Sweden, Belgium, and the Czech Republic with a menu of elegant pub-style comfort fare. Each of the 20 brews on tap boasts individual temperature and pressure controls, helping ensure that sippers experience maximum flavor and can construct sturdy sculptures from the foam heads. In the kitchen, chefs dish up classic pub fare peppered with creative ingredients, such as Black Angus burgers bedecked with garlic-cumin chili, fried egg, and pineapple, as well as entrees that showcase high-quality cuts of beef and fresh seafood. Outdoor seating areas deposit diners in a foliage-filled garden or on a patio covered by umbrellas. Inside, numerous paintings perch atop exposed-brick and dark wood-paneled walls, and dangling lights and flat-screen TVs illuminate the restaurant's dining room, full bar, and unnecessary collection of night-vision goggles.
With a menu originally created by Top Chef alumna Josie Smith-Malave, the cooks at The Speakeasy Brooklyn craft comfort fare from around the world to plate amidst the brick-lined dining room's speakeasy-style glam festooned with gold curtains and candlelight. Dining duos can begin their global sojourn in America's backyard with tender barbecue-glazed baby back ribs, which evoke memories of neighborhood cookouts and hang-gliding on the talons of majestic eagles. Curried shrimp transports taste buds to Thailand with coconut milk and basil, and salmon glazed with citrus maple basks in an eddy of rice pilaf and string beans. Diners can appease warlord sweet teeth with bounteous offerings of flourless chocolate cake or summery peach-and-blueberry cobbler.
As chronicled on Free Williamsburg, the dry-aged and char-grilled steaks at DeStefano's Steakhouse are cut "as thick as the last Harry Potter book" before they're served atop heated plates. Executive chef Alex Golovin approaches the entire menu with an old-school sensibility that highlights classic cuts alongside houses take on chicken cordon bleu and seafood pasta dishes. These plates pair with a compact list of cordials, brandy, and scotch, as well as nearly 100 international red and white wines.
Owner Joey DeStefano is deeply committed to his area's history, courting "more of an old-school neighborhood crowd" than Williamsburg gentrifiers. But wherever you come from, Joey will try his best to make you feel like family. The familial atmosphere comes naturally, due to the fact that the restaurant inhabits the former home of Joey's mother and still houses several of his childhood sleds, each named Rosebud. Outside the brick building, old-fashioned lettering and a neon sign proclaiming "Dee's Corner" welcome guests inside, where family photos line the walls and a fireplace casts its glow on a pressed-tin ceiling.
Colorful lights, live music, and the smell of churrasco beckon passersby into Andres Carne De Tres, where chefs recreate the bold flavors of South America. Appetizers, such as empanadas dunked in a housemade sauce and guacamole made tableside, kick off meals before the real treat: platefuls of pork loin, skirt steak, chicken, ribs and fresh seafood—all cooked Colombian style. Patrons can order their own individual helpings from the menu—which includes items such as paella and chicken-and-mushroom crepes—or share a Tejarrilla Andres platter packed with enough Colombian chorizo and smoked pork ribs for two people or one pet bear. As the night rolls on, the dance floor tempts guests out of their seats with neon lights and live music crooned from a nearby stage.
Though it opened in August 2012, boutique steakhouse S Prime has already earned the attention of the New York Times and Blackbook magazine. That’s largely due to S Prime’s executive chef, Joel Reiss, whose impressive resume boasts names such as The Post House—where he worked immediately prior to S Prime—Smith & Wollensky, and the Park Avenue Cafe. This gastronomical guru draws on his 25 years of experience working with well-known chefs, such as David Burke and Terrance Brennan, to create traditional steakhouse creations with a modern twist.
Inside the elegant two-story eatery, located minutes from Midtown Manhattan in Long Island City, Reiss’s entrees shine alongside the ornate chandeliers. Seafood offerings from the raw bar in the form of clams, oysters, and colossal lump crabmeat mingle with succulent cuts that are dry-aged on premises and include rib eye, sirloin, and a 48-ounce porterhouse steak.
Blackbook magazine seems to sum up the food best: “Joel Reiss strikes a blend of sincerity and not-taking-things-too-seriously that seems to get rarer in this city.”