Peter Goldfarb sits watching his mother, who holds a textbook with one hand while churning cookie dough with the other. As she pulls double duty as a mom and graduate student, she unwittingly alters the course of her son's life. The young Peter will soon grow up, move to Los Angeles, and pursue a career in television production—but his friends won't care about his industry stories; they'll want to know where his shipments of ridiculously tasty cookies are coming from.
This true tale is what inspired Peter to eventually enroll in culinary school and coax his mom into cofounding Chip'n Dipped. Today, the duo and a crew of bakers make all-natural cookies, chocolates, and confections—including gluten- and dairy-free options—in full view of customers, as well as for impressed reporters from large publications such as the New York Times, Newsday, and the Candyland Gazette. Using kosher ingredients and minimally processed chocolates, the mom-and-son team creates treats loaded with bioflavonoids and free of hydrogenated oils and preservatives.
Helmed by owner Kim Zamel, who apprenticed under the winemakers at Famila Zuccardi in Argentina, The Wine Shack indulges mankind's constant hunger for crushed grapes with more than 425 vinos summoned from around the globe, most of which are priced under $25. After tapping into the shop’s interactive system—which allows customers to scan the bar code on a bottle to learn the wine's price, varietal, appropriate food pairing, and age in grape years—oenophiles can stock their wine dungeons with bottles of fruity brew such as the Riesling Forster Kabinett 2007 or the A to Z Pinot Noir, a deeply colored red that break dances across the palate with an aroma of minerals, red and black cherries, and spice before diving down the throat. Bubbly options are also available for under $30, including the Spanish Albet I Noya Cava Brut, a dry, medium-bodied champagne that pleases the nose with hints of green apple and citrus and teases the ear with dainty gurgles about famous ship christenings of the past.
A close look at the truffle selection tells you that XO Restaurant ? Wine & Chocolate Lounge walks the tightrope between classic tastes and reinvention. Seated near the upstairs fireplace, you can sample a set of housemade chocolate truffles in classic milk, dark, and white variants, or nibble truffles dressed up as childhood treats such as oreos and s'mores. Alongside indulgent fondues, these desserts lend sweetness to the romantic atmosphere of the lounge, where live music plays every Friday and Saturday night.
Downstairs, the scene swings to a chic, brick-lined restaurant. The same spirit of experimentation is present in the menu, though: lobster pot pie, lamb and feta burgers, and flatbreads with toppings of fig and prosciutto are just a few of the kitchen's elegantly plated New American dishes. Wines have been sorted into flavor profiles such as "full-bodied and robust," saving patrons the trouble of asking each bottle for a character reference.
The Massa family can trace its roots back to two New York pizza legends?both of whom are named Patsy. One, Patsy Grimaldi, founded the famous Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. The other, Patsy Lancieri, was responsible for Patsy's of East Harlem. Given these connections, it's no surprise that the Massas have a knack for the pizza business. They've been serving their signature pies since 1933, and today, they bake each of them inside a coal-fueled oven at temperatures upwards of 900 degrees.
Atop regular, whole-wheat, or gluten-free dough, chefs add toppings such as meatballs and arugula. They also assemble a handful of specialty pizzas, crowned with everything from caramelized onions to whole chopped clams. Items like eggplant parmesan and pepperoni chips round out the menu, complemented by wine, beer, and after-dinner cappuccinos.
At Vitae Restaurant & Wine Bar, executive chef Keith Davidson puts a contemporary spin on continental fare from filet mignon to crab-crusted sole. Davidson's appetizers in particular have an international flair?beef tenderloin medallions come with hand-stretched tandoori naan, and flash-fried calamari is glazed with sweet Thai pepper.
At Vitae's opening in 2011, a reviewer from the New York Times praised both the "tender baby back ribs," brushed with house-made black-coffee barbecue sauce, and the "elegant" ambiance, enhanced by the soft glow of recessed lighting and hanging lamps. Stored behind an onyx-amber bar and in a 1,400-bottle cellar, an extensive wine selection earned the Huntington eatery a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2014.
Every seat inside Canterbury's Oyster Bar & Grill gives diners the feeling they’re sitting inside a special kind of time capsule. That’s because all the surrounding walls are covered with historical photographs of Oyster Bay’s history. Because the restaurant has been around for more than 30 years, this reverence for the past turns meals into a timeless experience; diners may even eat some of the same oyster dishes that originally made the area a haven for seafood lovers. Guests will find the menu full of signature ocean treats, from raw and baked oysters done in myriad preparations to seafood towers that combine the likes of lobster, tuna sashimi, and other delicacies into shareable feasts. Filet mignon and parmesan-crusted chicken get all the same careful attention in the kitchen as the seafood, with careful presentations and bedtime stories every night.