A set of French glass doors marks the entrance to Cross Mill Diner, though, when it comes to European culinary traditions, the diner’s cooks bypass France for Italy and Greece. The diner’s extensive eight-page menu includes housemade Greek-style spinach pies and shrimp parmesan, as well as an Eastern-influenced Thai cashew wrap with grilled chicken and ginger sesame dressing. American staples round out the menu, from char-grilled burgers topped with pork rolls to from-scratch buttermilk pancakes served as part of an all-day breakfast. Feasts unfold inside the BYOB eatery’s cozy dining area, where guests are surrounded by posters of waterwheels from around the world.
The Comfort Diner, which moved to Staten Island after 14 years in Manhattan, dresses up the traditional diner experience with classic comfort eats and modern-day hearty fare. Keep your growling stomach from frightening friendly ghosts by stuffing it with wild mushroom potato pancakes ($6.95), or start your chew cruise with mozzarella wedges ($6.95), which combine the food world’s most delicious cheese with the geometry world’s most delicious shape. The taco salad ($10.95) gives Mexico’s best-known culinary contribution a fork-friendly format, and oven-crisped fish and chips ($14.95) provide all of the flavor of the British classic without the sizzle of the deep fryer or the voyeuristic glare of Big Ben. Bread-heads can wrap their food-gripping phalanges around an array of sandwiches, such as a grilled chicken club ($8.95) or a Maine crab burger ($13.95), while proteiny-boppers can swoon over double-thick pork chops with homemade applesauce ($14.95). For herbivores, Comfort Diner slings savory angel-hair pasta with white-wine sauce ($10.95) and big bowls of veggie chili ($9.95). Breakfast and brunch options also satisfy early risers or late-to-bedders.
Chef Cheryl Smith builds home-style meals that incorporate global flavors into rustic recipes using techniques she has shared on Food Network features including Melting Pot, Soul Kitchen, and Gordon Elliot's Doorknock Dinners. Market-fresh dishes blend seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients, astounding savor receptors with the latest tastes from farmers' market flavor runways. At lunch, baked goods and crisp salads share satiating duties with personified sandwiches including the Steve, made with cured bacon and vine-ripened tomatoes ($7.95). Dinner selections fuse agrarian fare standards with worldly accents such as Moroccan vegetable stew over rice pilaf ($15.00) or Korean marinated rib-eye steak and watercress salad ($22.00).
As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm, or a hearty three-egg omelet or belgian waffle. At City Lights Diner, which boasts two locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, he can have it all. Breakfast brings classics such as silver-dollar pancakes or thick slices of challah french toast, sating sweet teeth willful enough to make it past glass encasements filled with sticky danishes and housemade cakes and pies. Monte cristo sandwiches help bridge the gap between mid-morning and mid-afternoon, making way for stacked pastrami or roast-beef sandwiches or jumbo burgers piled high with fried onions, ham, and cheddar, or a whole fried egg. Night owls can also find plenty to feast on—the Hell's Kitchen location stays open till 11 p.m.—whether they're in the mood for juicy, broiled New York sirloin or disco fries slathered in melted american cheese, brown gravy, and gold medallions.
When asked by the Red Hook Star-Revue about their decision to open a diner in the area, owners Mixali Kallonas and Angela Alexiou described being drawn to the community and wanting to be "family to [their] customers." This feeling of warmth suits the diner's menu, which includes hearty, homestyle Greek and American foods such as spanakopita, spaghetti and meatballs, steak and eggs, and all-beef hot dogs, served in the welcoming dining room or on the backyard patio. House-made tzatziki accompanies gyro and souvlaki platters, fluffy piles of garlic mashed potatoes cozy up to open-faced meatloaf sandwiches, and diners can conclude meals by sating their sweet-teeth with baklava, rice pudding, or one of several milkshakes and smoothies.