One of the largest casual-dining chains in the world, Applebee's has been serving up classic bar-and-grill fare for three decades. But that doesn't mean that some locations of the family-friendly restaurant aren't ready to try something new. At 117th street, the first USGB LEED certified Applebee's serves the environment as well as hungry guests with a host of eco-friendly building features. A 30-foot living wall bursts with greenery on one side of the high-ceilinged dining area. Several trees provide shade and oxygen on the roof. Diners can investigate these and other green features via an interactive touchscreen tour before settling down to enjoy their juicy Freshburgers, Pick 'N Pair lunch combos, and other classic meals.
The intermingling aromas of paprika, saffron, cilantro, olive oil, and garlic in Casa Seabra's dining room provide olfactory proof of the eatery's commitment to savory Portuguese cooking. Those fragrant spices add depth of flavor to a wide array of seafood, which stars in everything from shellfish-laden paellas to tender octopus. But the chefs remove their scuba gear long enough to cook entrees from the land as well as the sea, rounding out the menu with grilled Angus steaks, oven-roasted racks of lamb, and homemade pork sausage. Bites pair with sips from Casa Seabra's carefully curated selection of Portuguese wines, including bottles that were specially produced just for the restaurant.
Harvest Table specializes in fresh farmhouse fare that, according to the New York Times, “calls to mind a just-picked bounty.” Customers gather around the counter—a long table designed, built, and sanded by the father of owner Carissa Borraggine—adding to the restaurant’s homey feel. Behind the counter, Carissa's team crafts sandwiches, salads, and smoothies based on customers' create-your-own inventions or house recipes.
Sandwiches include a club with crisp bacon and house-roasted turkey stacked between three slices of eight-grain bread. Salad-wise, shrimp, grilled pineapple, and sesame-ginger dressing flavor the High Thai'd, whereas Cajun chicken and tangy mango dressing add kick to the Aztec. Fruit smoothies like the Peach Sunrise—a blend of peaches, strawberries, honey, and soymilk—act as healthy dessert options. Patrons can round out meals with Harvest Table's generous selection of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
Embracing the Spanish tradition and intimacy of sharing plates, Olé! Wine & Tapas Bar invites diners to slow down and enjoy not just the cuisine, but also each other's company. Classic tapas, such as croquettes and patatas bravas, dot the menu. They are complemented by an array of imported Spanish wines and the preferred drink of tapas restaurants and party-loving fruit bats—sangria.
Along with importing Portugal's unique recipes to the shores of Newark, Sol-Mar Restaurant envelops patrons in an atmosphere that recalls a sidewalk café in Lisbon. Adorned with leafy foliage, murals, and terra-cotta awnings, the dining room features large, arched windows through which commedia dell'Arte archetypes can make their dramatic exits. To top the earth-toned tablecloths, a menu of authentic Iberian fare features dishes such as creamy clams casino, stuffed salmon with crabmeat, and grilled veal chops.