Although Downtown Restaurant's decor is bright and contemporary, the Greek and American cuisine it serves provides guests with a homey feeling. That's no surprise, considering the eatery's owner and chef, Steve Vagianos, fills the homestyle menu with old family recipes, such as spanakopita, gyro and souvlaki platters, and pastitsio, or greek lasagna. Alongside these Greek staples, Vagianos serves American favorites, such as hamburgers, buffalo-chicken wraps, and new york strip steaks. Diners can conclude their meals with one of Downtown's homemade desserts.
Bento boxes, sushi rolls, and noodle soups make up the menus at Ichi Riki, where chopsticks can lock onto bites of familiar Japanese cuisine. Spicy and mild rolls include fillings such as fresh salmon, tuna, or eel with avocado. Baskets of shrimp and vegetables plunge into the bubbling deep fryer, where they transform into golden tempura. These classic dishes are offered à la carte or as part of combination platters. Pickup and delivery services let patrons enjoy their meals in the comfort of their own cabins made of chopsticks. Their tatami room is also available to accommodate up to 40 people for any occasion.
Di Stefano’s floor-to-ceiling windows frame a particularly cozy picture of diners savoring bites of warm bruschetta, twirling linguine, and sopping up lemon white-wine sauce with veal scaloppini. Guests tear into penne-vodka or chicken-marsala pizzas at the round wooden tables in the dining room, or head outside to the umbrella-covered patio to taunt chipmunks with their people food. The family-friendly restaurant offers catering, takeout, and free delivery, and it now serves liquor.
The cooks at Shiraz Persian Restaurant bypass excessive garlic and oil in favor of grease-free dishes that The New York Times lauds as “simple and subtle, healthful and delectable,” and “beautifully presented.” Made with ingredients such as lamb shank and Cornish hen, kebabs compose the menu’s core, although chefs also bake naan in-house and mix their own yogurt dressings and dips, including one with Persian shallots that the Times cited as “particularly outstanding.”
Feasts unfold in a spacious dining room with exposed brick and a feeless BYOB policy. After meals, customers can stop by the Shiraz Mediterranean market next door, which stocks eastern delicacies and hard-to-find Middle Eastern spices.
Kokum takes its name from a berry that's specific to South India, a nod to the regional cuisine that stands out as this restaurant's specialty. The recently opened space may be new, but the cooking traditions are time honored, drawing specific inspiration from India's Kerala region. Favorites include spicy chicken masala kalumbu and vegetarian-friendly theeyal, which features a mix of green bananas, yam, and coconut. Top off your meal with one of the bar's craft cocktails, which include the signature Kokum, a mingling of vermouth, pineapple juice, and lime. The dining room keeps things simple, with exposed light bulbs and natural wood accents alongside paintings of boats with hulls colorful enough to rival the stains on the sauce chef's apron. Kokum is a member of the Fine Indian Dining Group.