Founded by ice-cream enthusiasts Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery has grown to more than 1,400 locations across North America and is a proud member of the National Yogurt Association. Each day, the shop's scoopers mix up fresh batches of its new frozen yogurt in addition to ice cream and sorbet, all of which are served by the scoop, piled high in sundaes, and blended into shakes. After customers choose their desired flavor, staffers toss the chilly sustenance upon a slab of frozen granite and fold in a smorgasbord of candy and nuts to achieve the ideal ice-cream-to-add-in ratio. Customers can dream up their own creations or opt for a signature masterpiece, sampling one of more than 11.5 million possible flavor combinations, which still await a brave conqueror to unlock them all. To accommodate sweets cravings at celebrations, staff members also dish out pre-made treats, such as ice-cream cakes and baked goods.
Black and white photos of Audrey Hepburn and Paul Newman dot the walls of Off the Boulevard Lounge, offsetting the fresh faces of the lounge's newly minted management team. The antique photos speak to the decor's overriding theme, which blends styles central to bygone eras with modern touches through rich mahogany furnishings, lush flora, and atmospheric black lights. Market-fresh ingredients anchor a trim menu consisting of sophisticated American fare, which diners chase with cocktails in the lounge or at the full-service bar accented by coiling orchids, bamboo, and flickering flat-screen TVs. Open breezes swirl around shafts of sunlight in the bistro's outdoor garden adorned in kaleidoscopic panoplies of flowers and paper lanterns that daub the private space in a soft glow as twilight paints the sky in a gauzy azure.
The Himalayas are known not just for their towering peaks, but also for the rich cultures that have grown in their shadow. The all-Himalayan culinary team at Himalayan Yak Restaurant re-creates the best dishes picked from Tibetan, Nepalese, Bhutanese, and Indian cuisines. Their menu is subdivided by region and organized to indicate which dishes are vegetarian, letting chefs highlight classic dishes such as spice-laden chicken chili or exotic yak tongue sautéed in garlic and ginger and served with Tibetan bhaley bread. Most of the dishes can be customized with a choice of meat—including goat and buffalo—or vegetables. A live band plays traditional Himalayan tunes as diners dig into their meals, creating an atmosphere that mimics the serenity of the highest mountain peaks or the feeling of meditating at the top of several glued-together zen gardens.
L'Artiste Restaurant’s executive chef Luis Santos transplants French culinary style from across the pond to his warmly lit American dining room. He often kicks off meals with complimentary amuse bouches before presenting plates loaded with tender, finely cooked cuts of meat, such as filet mignon, lamb, or salmon. After a course or two of Mr. Santos’s savories, the talents of pastry chef Hicham Lamzaouri take over to treat tongues to a passionfruit parfait with blueberry confit or a passion fig tart beneath a dollop of crème fraîche.
L'Artiste’s intimate dining space ensconces diners in warm, yellow walls dotted with the glowing orbs of round light fixtures. A massive polished wooden bar dominates the center of the room, backed by crosshatched shelves capable of holding dozens of bottles of wine or an entire clan of meerkats in its ample cubbyholes.
Bugatti Cafe fully embraces the warm, charming connotations of an Italian eatery with its earthy cuisine and rich mahogany hues. Originally from Parma, Italy, chef Camillo recreates familiar Old World flavors by importing cheeses and cured meats and relying on time-honored techniques for boiling water on a stovetop. His menu includes slow-cooked lamb shanks, veal- and spinach-stuffed ravioli, and grilled Portuguese octopus in red-wine-vinegar emulsion.
Although the eclectically decorated dining room draws eyes to yellow walls and a pair of turquoise doors, poplar floorboards, custom-designed wooden tables, and exposed brickwork keep the space rooted in rustic tones. A mural fuses the two disparate color schemes with a soft depiction of an urban scene, which includes towering skyscrapers, vintage automobiles, and New York's iconic aqueducts.
Aegean Cove restaurateur Stelios Varvounis carried his passion for the cuisine of his ancestral Greece first to Paris for advanced culinary training and then to his low-lit dining room, which "operates on the refined edge of Astoria’s Greek-dining spectrum" with "exceptional flavor and some flair," according to New York Magazine. Amid polished wood, tablecloths bleached white by authentic Mediterranean sun rays, and a stone wall inset with nooks holding traditional crockery, servers glide by bearing glimpses of an enormous menu of fresh, whole fish, creamy appetizer spreads, and grilled chops, steak, and chicken of impeccable provenance, all accessorized with local produce.