There’s love in Fanny Cakes: love for baking, love for surprising the tongue, and love for family. As a young girl, chef Kristyn spent long days baking alongside her nana, Fanny. Those hours spent in flour and those moments waiting by the oven planted seeds in Kristyn that sprouted into a passion for baking and, eventually, the start of Fanny Cakes—named in honor of the woman who inspired her. Kristyn now relies on formal culinary training as well as the lessons learned from her nana while she crafts personalized treats for birthday parties, wedding receptions, and everything in between. She pays further homage to her nana as she works by using the sorts of ingredients Fanny loved—sweet creamery butter, belgian chocolate, and natural citrus zests—but finds inventive and eye-catching ways to showcase their flavors.
The fondant-draped tiers of Kristyn's full-size cakes conceal flavorful fillings such as lime curd or coconut custard. Cupcakes also feature inspired combinations, such as strawberry daiquiri with rum-spiked buttercream and snickerdoodle with a dusting of graham crackers and cinnamon sugar. Even with all of these flavors speaking for themselves, Kristyn still commits to presentation, designing cakes shaped like everything from a Gulfstream jet to an electric guitar. She also expands her menu beyond traditional bakery offerings by creating treats such as grown-up cake shots with doses of liqueur and cupcake push pops in plastic cylinders. She even shares her techniques with the public by leading classes that teach students how to decorate cupcakes without covering them in old two-cent stamps.
Wild Ginger’s crew draws upon culinary traditions from Japan, Thailand, and China as the chefs slice burdock root, shiitake mushrooms, and lemongrass. In the bustling kitchen, they decorate colorful eats with tobiko and curlicues of honey-infused wasabi. Steam trickles from bowls of noodles and tempura-battered lobster. Servers whisk the newly minted dishes out to the yellow, orange, and green dining room, delivering them to tables of guests and cartoon silverware seeking a night away from the demands of constant singing.
There are bars where you go to get a quiet drink and there are bars where you go to socialize. Kelli’s Grill & Wing House definitely falls into the latter category, with Kelli and her staff opening up doors for UFC fights, Major League Baseball games, and NFL matchups. Guests watch the sporting events on any of the 25 high-definition TVs that adorn the walls or on the TVs inside the restaurant’s booths.
As the games play out, patrons gulp pints of beer and devour the house’s signature wings doused in many sauces. They can also opt for one of the hearty steaks carved at Kelli’s father’s butcher shop. The doors stay open until 1 a.m., giving clients time to properly celebrate a win or decide whose turn it is to prank call the referee.
For 25 years, Long Island's crew has made bagels using an old-fashioned water-kettle approach, purveying the doughy treats well beyond their breakfast boundaries. A menu of breakfast edibles urges early eaters to slather an assortment of hand-rolled, freshly baked bagels ($0.90)—in varieties including poppy, onion, cinnamon raisin, and oat bran—with their choice of up to 17 creamy toppers ($1.75+) including vegetable, chocolate chip, and roasted garlic and herb. Coffee ($1.45+/12 oz.) gives nerves the jolt that early-morning fire breathing fails to provide, and french toast lightens spirits when drizzled in streams of liquefied giggles ($5.50). Lunch options allow midday munchers to fill their food processors with dishes including the Bubbalicious ($6.79)—made with fried chicken cutlets, melted mozzarella, bacon, and spicy barbecue sauce, all piled on top of a bagel—or the more heart-heartening bagel-embedded tuna fresco salad ($6.49).
Frying, slicing, and sautéing a bevy of authentic Italian favorites, pizzas, and seafood, Nick's Pizza and Clam Bar sates stomachs with savory sandwiches and platefuls of pasta. Prime palates with fried clam baskets ($8.95) and jumbo homemade crab cakes ($10.95), then pick from linguine, penne, or bow-tie noodles to pair with the seafood marinara awash with shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels, and clams ($19.95). Divers in search of deep-blue edibles will delight over a two-pound lobster dinner, which partners freshly boiled pinchers with drawn butter and corn on the cob (market price).