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).
Grillfire wields a cornucopia overflowing with grilled burgers, seafood, and other hearty American classics. Dig into brunch at the Long Beach or Merrick location with the smoked salmon benedict, which pairs flavorful lox with an English muffin, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce ($15). Both the Merrick and the Rockville Centre locations offer lunch menus bursting with rich burgers, healthful salad, and baroque burger sculptures made of increasingly tiny burgers. Delight carnivorous palates with the Grillfire Marinated Skirt Steak, which arrives alongside servings of crispy onions ($18). For dinner, take a walk on the wholesome side with the wonton mango salad, which intermixes baby greens, crispy noodles, cukes, and carrots with a sesame-ginger dressing ($12 Rockville Centre and Merrick, $11 Long Beach). To satisfy a need for tenderness unmet by clever greeting cards, chow down on the Long Beach location’s 8-ounce Filet Mignon ($25), the most sentimental of all steaks.
The culinary artists at Xaga Sushi furl comestibles from a menu that gives diners glimpses of sashimi sea legs and flirtatious fusion winks. During roll call, guests give shout outs to a Pink Lady roll ($12) and her mix of spicy crab, eel, avocado, and tobiko, all wrapped in a pink soy paper. Caribbean rolls ($12) sparkle with a regal blend of eel, spicy crunch tuna, avocado, and a four-tiered crown of caviar ($12). Those who prefer their aquatic life cooked may scale Xaga's Snow Mountain rolls of tempura shrimp ($11), and others toss black pepper steak cubes ($15) across tables like a game of meat dice in the alley.
Chef Chris Randell has always had somewhat of a wandering streak. After growing up in Southern California on the North Dakota recipes of his mother and grandmother, he spent two years cooking Mexican food in New York, blending the Lower East Side's traditional Jewish and Spanish cuisines. Later, he and his wife Heather—whom he met while working at a restaurant in San Francisco—decided to distill Chris's culinary passions into one restaurant: the tin-ceilinged Left Coast Kitchen and Cocktails, a "casual gastro-pub," in the chef's own words. Inside the kitchen, Chef Chris crafts a range of high-end pub dishes influenced by recipes from both the East and West Coasts, from mini crab burgers echoing a New England bay to root-beer-glazed pork chops inspired by the Pacific's sugary tides. Nearly 50 craft beers and 80 wines pair with the meals, whose aromas waft among bistro tables, brass ring chandeliers, and art in vibrant colors, surrounded on some nights by the equally eclectic sounds of live musicians.
The foodsmiths at Ayhan’s Shish Kebab Mediterranean Restaurants expertly craft authentic dishes to pair with wines from Turkey, Greece, and beyond. Dinner-menu nibblings commence with an appetizer such as falafel balls, a collection of seasoned chickpea spheres ($7.95), or their creamified cousin hummus ($7.25), great for spreading on pita bread or the cracks of crumbling stone structures. Kebabs ($17.95–$24.95) come skewered with a plentitude of protein including cutlets of mignon, lamb, shrimp, or chicken, while the moussaka, an old-world classic, showcases strata of eggplant, potatoes, lamb, beef, and tomatoes ($17.50). Two glasses of house wine ($7.50 / glass), encompass the flavors California, Italy, and grapes who never lost the ambition to become California raisins.