A resurrection of Al B. White’s 1939’s vaudeville landmark, the “new” Retro Lounge serves up a menu courtesy of executive chef Nilka Hendricks, best known for her work on season seven of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen. Chef Hendricks' diverse array of palette-pleasing dinner dishes ranges from the grilled rib-eye steak rubbed with jamaican jerk seasoning ($23) to the zesty shrimp and crab enchiladas with saffron rice and a lobster bisque sour cream sauce ($14). At lunch, guests can build their own sandwiches from more than 50 different fillings culled from beasts of the land, sea, air, and soil ($4.25–$5.25), or gobble up a slew of salads ($6–$7.50) or gourmet paninis such as the Brooklyn Avenue, with veggies slathered in goat cheese, olive tapenade, and balsamic-honey ($6.75).
Since 1988, diners have been struggling to decide whether Nautilus Cafe’s artfully plated dishes or its waterfront views are more pleasing to the eye. Today, Chef Brian Crofton and Chef de Cuisine Edwin Segovia continue the restaurant’s tradition of serving both classic preparations of prime steaks and maine lobsters, and their innovative twists garnered an OpenTable Diner’s Choice win for seafood in 2011. In the kitchen, they swathe tilapia in a macadamia crust and top it with champagne beurre blanc and mango salsa, and they roast long island duckling before serving it with a port-wine raspberry sauce. The chefs host two-for-one Lobsterfest every Monday and Steak Night every Wednesday, where diners pair boneless prime rib or a veal porterhouse chop with Brooklyn beer or a Grey Goose martini. If you look quickly at the dining room, you might be fooled into thinking you’re on a docked ship. Large, square windows tilt slightly to the outside of the restaurant, where Woodcleft Canal’s boats are docked and on display, and wooden booths call to mind a captain’s salon without the usual Popeye calendar. Wooden beams travel the length of the ceiling to the bar, where glasses swell with wines from California, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and Germany.
Sleek design elements rule the dining room at Sazon Domincano, fostering a casual, contemporary atmosphere with glossy panes of black and white. This emphasis on artistry and comfort extend to the Latin American menu, as well. Chefs craft each dish with care and an artful eye, whether they're assembling Cuban sandwiches, curing a medley of seafood in citrus juices for the ceviche, or speckling stews with bright bell peppers. They keep their primary focus on Caribbean fare, but also draw influences from South America, Central America, and Spain, making everything from empanadas to paella. They take a similarly eclectic approach to the dessert menu, concluding meals with the likes of Spanish flan, three leches, and strawberry milkshakes.