Just beside the Bronx River, an early-1800's stone mill stretches above the water like the Space Shuttle perched hopefully over Cape Canaveral. The Georgian-style fieldstone building currently won't tear off for the cosmos, however. Instead, it plays host to The Olde Stone Mill restaurant, which makes use of the centuries-old timber posts and beams to create a cozy pastoral atmosphere, which is exactly what NASA first imagined to be the scene on the moon. The eatery's staff marries steak-house cuisine with Italian dishes, pairing pastas and veal francese with generous cuts of rib-eye and filet mignon. As a testament to the quality of this cuisine, Westchester Magazine named Olde Stone Mill's truffle ravioli the region's best in 2012 for its aromatic medley of wild mushrooms, cream, and truffle oil.
A goldenrod dining room, containing the building's original stone hearth, sets the scene for linguine twirling or tearing into porterhouse pork chops. Behind the handcrafted bar, bartenders pour glasses of wine and mix martinis, one of which won Westchester Magazine's praise as 2011's best twist on a traditional martini. Antique lanterns accented by spirals of ivy illuminate the bar's surface, and on balmy days, diners can retreat to the stone patio and enjoy their glasses of wine with a spritz of sunshine.
Owned by two native Irishmen, The Wicked Wolf Restaurant combines comforting culinary fare with the warm, welcoming hospitality of the Emerald Isle. Inside the cozy eatery, warm brick walls and rich mahogany woods embrace diners as they peruse the extensive menu. Meals march on hunger pangs with appetizers such as the potato pancakes, paired with applesauce and seared with medieval calligraphy from the Book of Kells. For more traditional pub fare, diners can brace bellies for a bounty of fish ‘n’ chips dipped into homemade tartar sauce. Tongues may also book passage aboard a cruise of more upscale Celtic cuisine, sailing toward succulent New Zealand lamb chops or a piping pot roast paired with red cabbage and potato pancakes and smothered in beef gravy.
Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.
Boulder Creek Steakhouse’s dinner menu serves up deluxe cuts of steak with all the trimmings in a casual atmosphere. Starting with grain-fed meat aged a minimum of 28 days, each sirloin ($17.99), filet mignon ($28.99 for 12 oz./$23.99 for 8 oz.), and beyond is grilled to red-hot perfection and seasoned with a double-secret blend of spices. If you already had steak for lunch, breakfast, and your coworker’s office birthday party, savor the chicken parmesan ($15.99) or the jumbo shrimp scampi ($15.99) instead. Vegetarians, meanwhile, can abide by the terms of their uneasy peace treaty with cows by noshing on a garden fresh salad drizzled with homemade dressing ($4.99–$14.99). Keep a couple stomachs open for the brownie sundae ($5.99), the warm apple tart served over ice cream ($5.99), or both stacked on top of each other. Lighter lunchtime appetites will find that the turkey burger ($10.99), pulled-pork sammie ($11.99), and grilled chicken wrap ($10.99) are all created equal and thus enjoy equal rights to a side dish of onion rings or creamed spinach.
Guests could dine at Park Avenue Bar & Grill multiple times, and yet leave each visit feeling as though they'd never been there before. Behind the restaurant's historic façade of red brick and arched windows await six distinct areas, each welcoming diners into a different experience. Downstairs, bartenders mix drinks at a traditional wooden bar, and upstairs, a modern lounge fills glasses amid tomato-red walls and zebra-patterned tile. After they dine on white tablecloths in the refined second-floor dining room, patrons can wander out to the private courtyard for drinks, or head up to the rooftop to watch New York's mayor give the skyline its nightly spit shine.
To match the atmosphere of each space, chef Todd Villani prepares fusion cuisine that combines Latin and New American traditions. Meticulously prepared entrees cater to guests seeking evenings of fine dining, and lighter fare, such as tapas and empanadas, facilitates socializing.
Executive chef Seth guides a roster of culinary concoctors, gracefully hewing a menu of steakhouse fare from fresh produce and hormone-free beef. The chef-recommended pomegranate-glazed hanger steak includes mashed yams and brussels sprouts ($35), and the turduckin is a covert operation that employs a chicken disguised as a duck, disguised as a turkey to disrupt diabolical hunger schemes ($24). Peruse the entire Etc. Steakhouse menu online and inculcate the brain with delicious options.