Bon Bons serves up a large selection of carefully constructed treats that melt the hearts and please the palates of its patrons. Fill a half-pound box ($16 for about 16 chocolates) with raspberry-, champagne-, or rum-flavored truffles, or grab a 1-pound box ($32 for about 34 chocolates) and fill it with peanut butter cups](http://gr.pn/e5YEsV) and peppermint thin mints. Bon Bons’ handmade chocolates make great special-occasion gifts and popular rewards for stellar report cards or first-place finishes in underwater bench-pressing contests.
Dena Fenza’s love for cooking isn’t just evident in the artfully prepared and meticulously garnished plates that top the tables at BlonDee’s Bistro & Bar, it’s in her blood. Having learned how to cook the old-fashioned way—by spending time in the kitchen with members of her large, Italian family—she developed a passion that led her to cofound the catering company Two Blondes and A Stove. At the beginning of 2013, Dena transformed her business into BlonDee’s, where she augments her family’s European traditions with twists from other continents, producing dishes such as thai meatballs and duck au poivre tacos. During breakfast hours, her diners are presented with croissant french toast with Nutella and an omelet made with lump crab and tarragon butter, and lunch guests dig into a Blonde Bombshell burger on brioche roll. Dishes named after famous figures make their way onto the kids menu, which includes Winnie The Pooh pancakes and a Miss Piggy quesadilla.
After breakfast and lunch, Dena and her team transform the spacious restaurant into a cozy evening eatery complete with cloth-covered tables and twinkling candles, as highlighted by Long Island Newsday. Amid this romantic scene, the staff serves tapas-style dishes made from a range of international ingredients such as green mussels from New Zealand, the country whose people are called Kiwis and birds are called Robots. Not one to hog all the talent, Dena shares her secrets during hands-on cooking classes held in the restaurant’s kitchen, where she goes the extra mile by providing students with complimentary wine and cheese.
Only 12 tables grace the interior of Bravo! Nader's cozy restaurant space, and Head Chef Nader Gebrin isn?t shy about bustling between them to rattle off recommendations and fist-bump his beloved customers. The convivial chef?who doubles as an avid fisherman?treats taste buds to light yet flavorful dishes that swell with housemade components, such as sausage with rolled beef braciole and meatballs in a tomato ragout. Three types of fresh fish?served whole and filleted?and homemade pesto gnocchi shine on Chef Nader's lively menu, where meals can start with a warm honey, goat cheese, and avocado arugula salad and finish with sweet bites of napoleon.
After sampling the restaurant's fine pasta dishes and health-conscious plates?including gluten-free options?guests master the preparation of mouthwatering Italian cuisine for themselves through the restaurant?s fun, interactive cooking classes. Chef Nader leads each lesson, imparting knowledge gained from his studies at a Swiss culinary school and years spent in the restaurant business.
Bivio Ristorante avoids any hint of pretension. Instead of fancy culinary tricks, the chefs rely on time-honored techniques and recipes from the Old World, creating a menu of Italian cuisine that “satisfies with well-prepared favorites served in large portions at moderate prices,” according to the New York Times. This goal may seem modest, but Bivio Ristorante’s chefs are so committed to serving homestyle meals that they make everything from ravioli and gnocchi to tiramisu and cannoli in-house. These homespun accents fit right in with the selection of familiar-and-satisfying Italian comfort foods. Tuscan-yellow walls, earth-toned floors, and tables draped with white and burnt-orange linens echo the menu’s cozy spirit. Framed pictures and a wall of high-backed yellow booths add bursts of color amid the dining room’s warm hues and wooden accents. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, Bivio Ristorante hosts live musical performances as well as a cappella arrangements of its gift-certificate policies.
Owner and Chef Michael Hauser established Crew Kitchen & Bar within a renovated home across the street from Huntington Harbor, according to Huntington Patch. It’s a setting that perfectly complements the Zagat-rated restaurant's commitment to homespun charm. This commitment is readily apparent throughout the menu of internationally influenced comfort foods. Braised boneless short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes embrace classic american flavors, but dishes such as paella and sesame-crusted tuna with ginger-hoisin sauce demonstrate the chefs' willingness to borrow from other cuisines. Cerulean dominates the dining room's color scheme. With the exception of the stark-white chair rails and the photographs in simple white frames, the deep shade of blue blankets the walls and even appears on the carpeted floors and flowing curtains. When the weather permits, the restaurant opens its side doors and allows diners to enjoy their meals on the sun-soaked porch.
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.