Four white swan statues greet visitors as they approach the charming brick-and-stone façade of Duck Inn Bar and Grill. Guests won’t find any ugly ducklings on the inside either—rather, they’ll discover a mirrored wall brimming with top-shelf liquors and a menu filled with traditional no-frills pub grub. The bar platter of wings, jalapeño poppers, chicken fingers, and mozzarella sticks pave the way for hearty mains such as philly cheesesteak, chili sliders, roast-beef clubs, and honey-mustard-slathered grilled-chicken sandwiches. To complement these classic meals, bartenders fill pints or pitchers with sudsy domestic beers.
The brewheads at The Craftsman Ale House serve up tasty fare alongside specialty microbrews, keeping with their philosophy to "drink local, drink craft." Open for lunch, dinner, and private parties, Craftsmen Ale House also treats eaters to happy hour specials, brewery events, tastings, and Beer 101 classes. Taps flow with eight rotating craft brews, and the beer list comes replete with more than 50 bottles and cans of specialty imports and domestic beers.
Whether it's the family history, the spices, or the fresh ingredients that give Don Coqui's food its flavor, the results have the potential to dazzle the taste buds. Classic Puerto Rican dishes and American staples sit side-by-side on the expansive menu—though it's nothing compared to the wine list—with braised oxtail and plantain-crusted red snapper sailing to tables as swiftly as the rib and chicken combo and the porterhouse for two. Abuelita's tres leches cake and coconut flan with a deep caramel glaze add a hint of indulgence at the tail end of evenings, and wines from far-flung locales can be savored by the glass, bottle, or incredibly tiny spoon.
The Rodriguez culinary dynasty was born in the Bronx, where Jimmy Rodriguez, Sr. set up shop beneath a bridge and sold fresh seafood to passersby. Jimmy Rodriguez, Jr. took his father's love of food and doubled down, opening beloved restaurants across the city. Both his recipes and his passion inspired his children, who've turned that passion into the Don Coqui restaurants. Each aims to be a place where food, wine, and salsa dancing bring people together—something of a family tradition. It's like bowling on Christmas Eve, only better and with more paella. Their flavors have also made them a "Worth It" dining destination by the The New York Times.
Chef Brian MacMenamin infuses Post Road Ale House's gastropub menu with clues to his own history and the nation's fine dining legacy, while embracing contemporary culinary touchstones. In the grand tradition of American chophouses, servers prepare salads tableside on a rolling cart before bringing out pastas and the classic cuts of beef, pork, and lamb MacMenamin honed at his now closed, eponymous grill on Cedar Street. A daily raw seafood bar suggests a similar narrative, revisiting a benchmark of dinnertime decadence and nodding to the time the chef spent at the Larchmont Avenue Oyster House. 1950's nostalgia is balanced by seasonal ingredients as MacMenamin wryly innovates low-brow bar snacks, culls side dishes from the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim, and includes options for kids whose primary ingredient is not regret. Furthermore, MacMenamin cultivates a lively atmosphere by hand-picking spirits for public tastings and hosting local bands every Friday night.
The restaurant's semi-formal atmosphere plays with this tension to invigorating effect, with bare brick walls backing a very well stocked, 25-seat bar that accounts for about a third of the room's capacity. The lofted ceiling exposes I-beams and ventilation ducts, under which two rows of sleek leather banquettes abut tables dressed formally in white linen ties and tails.
The stylists at Bespoke Barber Shop may average 20 years of experience in grooming their diverse clientele, but their studio layout makes it look like they have second careers in interior design. The decor emanates both vintage and modern vibes, illustrated by the classic barber chairs with sleek armrests and the modern graffiti art positioned above framed black-and-white photos of a bygone era. Hanging within viewing distance of the waiting area’s leather sofa, flat-screen televisions play ESPN and live sports over the hum of trimmers and the swipes of straight razors. From scissor-cuts to mohawks, fade to tapers, stylists reinvent scalps of men, women, and children alike. In addition to touting its tress management skills, the shop uses old-school barber techniques of high-quality shaves and cuts, infusing it with new-school style. Bespoke has also garnered a following from high-profile heads, including the Yankees' own Mario Rivera.
When wine distributor Jennifer Deutsch envisioned Crush Wine Bar, she wanted a place that “feels like you’re in someone’s living room,” as she told the Journal News. Indeed, there’s an intimate feel to the place: you can sit at a comfortable couch or stand by a gas fireplace as you sip any of more than 50 wines by the glass and bottle. The kitchen staff creates small, inventive bites designed to complement each varietal of wine. Of these plates, you can dine on their roasted-mushroom and spinach-artichoke dip, share platters of cured meats, or replace your spare tire with a wheel of creamy baked danish brie.