Maybe it's the food—classic burgers and fries with rugged upgrades such as Jameson whiskey sauces, jalapeño and chipotle mayo, or crispy onions and pepper jack cheese. Maybe it's the drink menu, which ranges from craft brews on tap to flashy cocktails served in fishbowls. Maybe it's the decor, which features tin ceilings, unfinished wood walls, an array of hubcaps, and furnishings made from vanquished beer cans. Or maybe it's just the restaurant's habit of spelling everything with a Z. Now under new management, there's something about CANZ that makes an old-fashioned road warrior feel right at home.
Colorful lights, live music, and the smell of churrasco beckon passersby into Andres Carne De Tres, where chefs recreate the bold flavors of South America. Appetizers, such as empanadas dunked in a housemade sauce and guacamole made tableside, kick off meals before the real treat: platefuls of pork loin, skirt steak, chicken, ribs and fresh seafood—all cooked Colombian style. Patrons can order their own individual helpings from the menu—which includes items such as paella and chicken-and-mushroom crepes—or share a Tejarrilla Andres platter packed with enough Colombian chorizo and smoked pork ribs for two people or one pet bear. As the night rolls on, the dance floor tempts guests out of their seats with neon lights and live music crooned from a nearby stage.
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.
Patties of grass-fed beef, wild boar, and free-range chicken fill brioche buns at Bareburger, which eschews the added hormones commonly found in burger meat for locally sourced, all-natural ingredients. Fries cooked in 100% peanut oil complement bites of the Jalapeño Express burger's pepper jack cheese and chipotle ketchup or the Mediterranean's cool spread of cucumber-mint yogurt. Though Bareburger sources its meat and produce from sustainable farmers, its food isn’t the only reflection of its eco-conscious values: Trees felled in storms end up as hardwood tables in the dining room, whose tin-siding ceilings have been reclaimed from barns deconstructed during philosophers' countryside lectures.
Fetching artwork pairs with gritty brick walls and decorative graffiti in El Ay Si’s interior, where diners study an eclectic menu of Southwestern comfort cuisine. Fusing traditional recipes with international ingredients, they craft pulled-pork tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple, as well as slow-cooked pressed pork belly with caramelized apples. Brews such as Saranac India Pale Ale or the Mexican Modelo Especial pilsner complement hearty dishes as diners submerge spoons into chocolate-bourbon pecan pie or cherry crumble crowned with vanilla ice cream.
Since opening the original Famous Hamburger in the 1970s in Lebanon, the Hider family has been crafting patties with halal meats. Inside each of their kitchens, the cooks work over grills, releasing fusillades of hot sizzles as they top burgers with jalapeños, olives, and swiss cheese. Hints of the Hider clan’s heritage shine through in beef shawarma pita wraps and kefta kebabs, and falafel and veggie patties are ideal for when you are dining out with a vegetarian or wagering that you can turn a rabbit into a well-mannered gentleman.