Philippe Jericho is built on the recipes of founder Philippe Chow, who brought his culinary flair to New York in 1979. While working in the steam-filled kitchen of a Manhattan eatery, the chef spent hours learning to make dim sum, developing proficiency in hand pulling noodles and training shrimp to pan fry themselves. Philippe eventually left to establish a gourmet-Eastern-eateries network in California, Florida, and New York. At the Jericho location, which has been repeatedly lauded by Zagat, diners scoop handcrafted noodles at white-clothed tables, surrounded by slender, modern wall sconces and waving ranks of alabaster orchids. In the dining room that Forbes magazine called "a sea of calm," crimson accents set off hues of red wines and fire trucks with their noses pressed jealously against the windows. Chef Chow passes on many of his recipes and techniques in an array of cooking classes.
Vindalu curries hail from Goa, a state in western India. Kadai curries are a specialty of Pakistan. And so-called special club curries trace their lineage to the imperial kitchens of the Mughal dynasty, centuries in the past. Chefs at The Curry Club pay homage to these time-honored recipes as they add touches of flavor to medleys of veggies, meats, and seafood. Besides perfecting the restaurant's titular dish, they also hide spiced potatoes and peas inside samosas' crispy crusts, roast skewered lamb pieces in a clay oven, and marinate tandoori chicken overnight to lock in juices likely to sneak out after curfew.
Frank's Steaks has all the respectable hallmarks of an old-school steak house: white table cloths, neatly folded napkins, and dim lighting setting the mood. But then there are the crayons. They aren't there to keep kids busy—they're there so inspired diners of all ages can scrawl art onto the butcher paper atop each table. The most compelling works are framed and hung on the walls of the establishment, a fitting goal for diners to strive for when waiting for their mouthwatering steaks to arrive.
The signature Romanian skirt steak is certainly worth putting a crayon down for—the tender, juicy cut comes dripping in a marinade of garlic and duck sauce. A 42-ounce porterhouse, meanwhile, easily satisfies two diners or two medium-sized tanks of piranhas. Desserts also come in generous proportions, featuring smooth sorbets, triple-layer chocolate cake, and ice-cream pies.
Galangal sweeps taste buds off on a sensory tour of Southeast Asia with an exquisitely aromatic menu of rich Thai specialties and fresh Japanese sushi platters. Patrons embark on exploratory dinners under the benevolent smile of a bronze-colored Buddha, savoring the Golden Bag ($6), crispy dumpling skins bear-hugging a tender mix of puréed yam and minced pork. Under the lush light of sconces twinkling from exposed-stone walls, the exotic Mango Basket rice crepe bowl ($15) glows as it pampers herbivorous palates with morsels of shredded mango frolicking harmoniously with baby corn and mushrooms. Eager forks reel spicy pad kee mao drunken noodles ($18) from an ocean teeming with mixed seafood, bell pepper, and eggplant. While diners linger at glossy black tables to the sound of the restaurant's babbling waterfall, skilled chefs behind the sushi bar nimbly twist up a rainbow's worth of bright specialty rolls, including spicy coils of mango and fresh lobster in soybean paper ($15) and a kaleidoscopic array of à la carte sushi bites ($3–$5). Luscious desserts including nirvanic bites of ice cream melting over fried bananas ($7) finally reward sweet teeth for patiently waiting through the night's savories.
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.
The chefs at Fuel Your Body Cafe combine their wits and nutritional knowledge to concoct a menu that does just that: fuel your body to help it run better. Freshly made juices, protein shakes, and low-carb options fill out the extensive selection, where everything is grilled or baked, and nothing is cooked in oil, fried, or likely to spontaneously combust. Breakfast omelets, protein pancakes, and oatmeal are served all day, and lunch fare includes low-carb and high-fiber pizza options, bison burgers, and wraps. One menu section, titled Doctor's Orders, doles out “prescriptions” that include whole-wheat pasta with low-sodium tomato sauce and grilled chicken with brown rice carefully spooned into the shape of an illegible M.D. signature.
Calda Pizzeria & Restaurant’s extensive menu of pizzas, piles of pasta, and burgers parades past gleaming tables flaunting time-tested Italian flavors. Diners can share 18-inch chicken-club pizzas ($21.95) decorated with produce, bacon, and ranch dressing, or guard their own personal-size eggplant-and-ricotta pies ($9.95) from herbivorous velociraptors. The Pizzeria burger ($9.95) merges the best of both worlds by draping a half-pound slab of Angus beef in homemade tomato sauce and a mantle of melted mozzarella. Linguine fruti di mare ($17.95) lets a school of mussels, calamari, and shrimp play Marco Polo in a pool of marinara sauce, and california penne with sun-dried tomatoes, grilled chicken, and broccoli spears ($12.95) lobs crisp fistfuls of veggies like a farmer on a Carnival float. The Levittown eatery features soft lighting and a row of burnt-sienna stools, and windows at the Hicksville establishment admit cascades of natural light.