The chefs at T.C. Island Restaurant & Lounge fuse big, bold Spanish and Latin American flavors into small plates. Their inventive tapas are sized for sharing, tempting sneaked seconds with vegetarian-friendly options such as the patatas bravas and canoa rellena, hot options such as coconut shrimp in a creamy coconut sauce, and cold edibles accented with creative combinations of spices and sauces. Diners may opt to order larger entrees, many of which feature seafood fresh from the piers of City Island. The festive atmosphere continues in the lounge and bar, which daily features bubbling hookahs and a cheekily named happy hour that runs from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday nights are scored with a soundtrack of karaoke, and Fridays and Saturdays host belly-dance performances.
Surrounded on all sides by the waters of Eastchester Bay, it's no wonder that The Black Whale's chefs add undersea favorites to their menu of homestyle comfort food. Maryland crab cakes with roasted-red-pepper sauce share table space with grilled New York Sirloin with mashed potatoes, and the Starving Artist platter marries orecchiette pasta with white beans and fresh mozzarella. Omelet and belgian-waffle stations serve up sustenance at the Sunday brunch buffet. Meals unfold in nautical-minded dining rooms or the back garden, which flaunts sun-drenched trees and a stone fountain instead of the more traditional sculpture of the patio’s bricklayer.
A staple of the Bronx for more than 40 years, F&J Pine Restaurant boasts a pantheon of menu options, from seafood succulents to traditional Italian fare. Begin an edible excursion with a plate of clams Casino, where mollusks gamble away their pearly life savings while mingling with vinegar peppers and bacon ($12.50). Those looking to dive straight into an entree can anchor incisors in the farfalle rustica, a flavorsome concoction of grilled chicken, roasted peppers, and broccoli in basil-infused olive oil ($14.50 for a regular portion). Much like eating an R. L. Stine novel, omnivores can choose their own delicious adventure with the Milanese pine-style cutlet, where a pan fried slice of chicken, veal, or eggplant, gets into precarious situations with a swath of roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella in a warm balsamic vinaigrette ($11.50–$15.50).
The cuisine curators at Good to Go present a menu of hearty Italian and American cuisine amid a romantic, warmly lit space with walls bedecked by soft pink and yellow hues. Loosen up clenched craws for an appetizer of ricotta-and-mozzarella-stuffed fried rigatoni ($8.50) while lubricating the gullet with a Black Oak chardonnay ($7.95). The chicken ’n’ spinach flatbread ($9.95) demonstrates that cuisine can be enjoyed in three or two dimensions, and the spaghetti bolognese stitches together a quilt of cream and meat sauce with tasty noodles ($12.95).
The seasoned chefs at 900Park concoct an expansive menu of creative Italian cuisine, from brick-oven pizzas to succulent steaks and chops, served up in a relaxed yet refined setting resplendent with white tablecloths and natural lighting. Launch edible expeditions at 900Park's exposed-brick bar with a glass of pinot noir and a plate of calamari alla park, grilled or fried calamari crowned with hot cherry peppers, olives, and a spicy scampi sauce ($11.95). Palate-pleasing entrees include a succulent T-bone steak—marinated in garlic, rosemary, and fresh herbs ($27.95)—that has learned to play nice with a bevy of portobello mushrooms whilst lounging in a red-wine reduction. The decadent vodka pizza intoxicates the senses with a smattering of grilled chicken, a Friday-night-sized portion of vodka sauce, and a Tuesday-afternoon-sized helping of peas ($15–$17). Dive mouth-first into a flavor pond with grilled swordfish and fresh garlic swimming in a balsamic reduction ($18.95), which arrives steaming next to your choice of salad and pasta or a potato croquette.
Founded by a bodybuilding and fitness enthusiast, Muscle Maker Grill supplies nutritious, high-protein dishes that serve as a healthy alternative to traditional fast food. Guests can commence with a bowl of steamed edamame ($3.75) or shake hands with the buffalo wing's well-behaved younger brother, the texas chicken nuggets, served with fat-free sour cream and celery ($4.95). Grilled chicken breast and turkey bacon team up in the MMG signature wrap, backed by romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and onions with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and a zero-carbohydrate signature sauce ($7.95). Pastafarians can peruse the selection of whole-wheat penne (regular penne available as well) in dishes such as the sesame-chicken teriyaki pasta ($9.95).