East of Eighth takes diners on a tour of New York City’s diverse cultural heritage with a selection of authentically prepared dishes representing more than 10 distinct communities, including the French, Cajun, and Spanish. Binding the disparate culinary traditions together is a focus on contemporary bistro fare, from matzo-ball soup to pâté-topped breads to chorizo quesadillas. After dinner, the delectable oral history continues with crème caramel and strawberry shortcake that compete for diners' attention with the restaurant’s bounty of eye candy—an illuminated fountain, an aqua garden teeming with multi-colored foliage, and the always lively West 23rd Street in Chelsea bustling below wall-size windows. Theatergoers on their way to catch a show or impersonate an understudy can feed their inner critics by selecting dishes from a special pre-theater menu.
Chef Walter Hinds weaves Spanish influences into the menu at Poco. Selections are based largely on tapas-style small plates such as skirt steak with chimichurri and pickled avocado, tuna tartar with pickled jalapeño, and chicken paella croquettes. Some also conjure hints of South American, Colombian, and Vietnamese inspiration, or call to mind American classics with selections such as pan-roast cod and mac n' cheese. The cocktail menu, which was hand-selected by Poco owner Sara Grizzle, offers drinks laden with fresh, all-natural purées, which infuse the popular blood orange mango mojito. Outside, an open-front façade draws guests in, where smooth, sultry music and a candle-lit lounge set an ideal mood for dates or trying to empathize with elders who grew up without chandeliers.
If you wanted a McDonald's burger in the spring of 1955, you needed to travel to Des Plaines, Illinois, and find the burger joint with the golden arches on the outside. Today, however, those arches mark more than 34,000 locations in 118 countries. Equally ubiquitous are the items on the restaurant's menu, which include the Chicken McNugget, the Happy Meal, the Egg McMuffin, and the Big Mac. In recent years, the restaurant has introduced healthier eats, such as its Premium Salads and Premium McWraps.
As it serves customers across the world, McDonald's continues to focus on local communities, whether it's through the company's Ronald McDonald House Charities or its quest for sustainability.
Stecchino’s chefs seek out culinary inspiration from every corner of Italy to forge a menu of hearty, rustic Mediterranean cuisine. Their burgers represent a different Italian region according to the combinations of flavors and ingredients found there, including the grass-fed beef of the Piedmonte and the spice-rubbed tuna patty of the Sicilian. Each burger arrives on a freshly baked bun and glazed with a rosemary, paprika, or truffle and basil aioli. Housemade pappardelle pasta and grilled flatbreads also lend distinctive, homespun flavors to the menu.
A rich wooden bar, exposed brickwork, and deep earth tones help add a polished lounge-like atmosphere in the dining area. Fans line the ceiling to circulate cool, fresh air throughout the entire room and pop slowly deflating balloons clustered around the wide beams.
Olio Pizza e Piu's Italian-minded chefs bring to life the culinary traditions of Naples with a delicious array of gourmet pizzas and pastas, aromatic wines, and house-made desserts. The kitchen eschews modern conveyor-belt ovens and cold-fusion stoves to prepare the classic pies and saucy entrees, opting instead for a traditional wood-fired brick oven to roast dough disks and fresh cuts of meat to a sizzling finish. As guests sup on melty bites of San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh basil, and creamy mozzarella, glittering chandeliers, varnished hardwoods, and rustic, rough-hewn cabinets escort diners back in time, much like a picnic atop a DeLorean. Olio pairs its Mediterranean feastings with an impressive list of wines and cocktails, as well as fresh dessert dishes, house-made gelato, and gourmet illy coffee.
As noted in its Zagat rating, Wine bar's intimate table arrangements "make it easy to make new friends." Indeed, from their perch at the long, flower-adorned tables, gathered groups pass around assorted pan-European small plates as new acquaintances clink glasses of sophisticated vino culled from the impressive collection dominating the wall space. Soft lighting glints off this East Village caf?'s crimson accents, reflecting off the tables' glossy wood and illuminating sharable French cheese plates, Italian flatbreads drizzled with truffle oil, and exotic gelato flavors. Winebar's more than 100 varietals hail mainly from Italy, France, and Spain, sparking conversations of worldly travels, semesters abroad, and fruitless pursuits of Carmen Sandiego as guests sip by candlelight or quaff al fresco on the seasonal sidewalk patio.