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.
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).
At Moldova Restaurant, diners don’t just run into their Brooklyn neighbors, they make friends with visitors from Moldova, Romania, and other Eastern European countries as well. This is because owner Radu Panfil and his culinary team labor over centuries-old recipes, ensuring only authentic Moldavian ingredients grace the menu. Traditional plates of stuffed chicken breasts topped with cheese, lamb kabobs, and carp fried in cornmeal join house specials such as the mamaliga trapeza—cornmeal encircled by assorted meats, cheese, sour cream, and scrambled eggs. These entrees, as well as desserts, such as stuffed dried plums or crepes with sour cherries and cream, have earned the eatery attention abroad, including in a Romanian piece for Radio Europa Libera.
And the food is not the only Moldovan staple of the restaurant. Panfil and crew take great pains to replicate the country’s old-world charm with traditional folk art and paintings, banquet hall-style seating, Slavic-patterned ceilings, and tapestries from the homeland. They also host live music, inspiring patrons to join hands in a joyful circle dance. And to amp up the festiveness during the holidays, they light up the dining room by dangling folk dolls and other appropriate décor from the soft wooded beams that cross over the white and gray ceiling.
Long lines are the bane of most brunchers. But not at Tom's, where servers keep the wait as painless as possible by serving complimentary coffee, cookies, and other snacks. The line will soon be forgotten after a few bites of Tom's famous pancakes, which arrive topped with homemade flavored butters.
Southern comfort food is the focus of this shabby-chic diner, which serves up homemade tater tots, pulled pork hash, and platters of fried chicken till midnight every day. Deep-fried sides and snacks include creamy-crunchy deviled eggs, made all the more sinful with a dollop of chipotle mayo.