Growing up on the Greek island of Karpathos, siblings George and John Kostis fell in love with cooking by helping prepare the region's traditional dishes for family feasts. Upon arriving in the United States, the brothers opened their first restaurant in the 1970s, and have continued refining and showcasing their culinary flair ever since. At their latest eatery, the Italian-focused Ristorante Al Fresco, the duo sprinkle pesto sauce and shrimp atop pizzas and toss pastas with housemade sauces and blends of secret spices. During lunch, they even make room for Greek favorites such as housemade gyro sandwiches or wraps filled ground lamb and tzatziki sauce.
With its crisp white tablecloths, glimmering chandeliers, and elegant banquets, the American Dream Steakhouse exemplifies the classic American steak house. A soaring photograph of Lady Liberty watches over the dining room, where nimble servers balance trays of fine steaks, juicy burgers, and sizzling chilean sea bass. Diners clink wineglasses over slices of new york cheesecake drenched in fresh berries and clouds of whipped cream.
Over the course of three courses, A Little Café's chef-owner Marianne Powell leads adventurous forks through a gourmet garden of forking paths with her prix-fixe menu. Start the repast with crab cigarettes—one of the cafe's signature dishes, which rolls crab meat in crispy, thin crêpes paired with a spicy chili sauce. Once you've inhaled your last cigarette and exhaled a cloud of crustacean ghosts, chase it with a soup or salad, such as a spinach salad with gorgonzola or French onion soup. Savory seafoods—such as the Norwegian salmon crusted with walnuts and drizzled in a banana berry brown butter sauce—and redder meats—like Marianne's veal meatloaf stuffed with red peppers, spinach, and provolone cheese in a wild mushroom marsala demiglace—await unsuspecting palates in the third course. For the final course, your server will describe in loving, almost obscene detail the night's assortment of desserts, then bring you the one most likely to keep your belly's sweet tooth from jabbing you in the liver. A Little Café is BYOB, so take the opportunity to show off the homemade wine you fermented out of old baseball cards.
Bloomfield Steak & Seafood House dishes up a dry-aged menu of steak, seafood, and Italian classics. Dinner guests marvel at the building’s 341 years of history before being startled into the present by the wild-eyed stare of angry jumbo shrimp ($12), a spice-flecked starter that careens from the kitchen still glistening from the pan. Having undergone 28 days of in-house dry-aging, steaks, such as the 16-ounce new york strip, fill plate centers, flanked by a garden salad and a choice of garlic mashed potato, baked potato, yellow rice, french fries, or broccoli ($36). Pelagic delights swim amid the menu's steak islands, as well, singing siren songs with such entrees as jumbo shrimp stuffed with jumbo lump crabmeat and butter sauce ($22) and add-on options including broiled 6-ounce lobster tails ($16). Moods can be marinated in soft drinks ($2), house wine ($21/bottle), or a selection of draft beers and spirits.
Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar's hibachi chefs pull double duty, acting as entertainers in addition to grillmasters. They captivate large groups of diners with whirling knifework, dynamic spatula twirls, and the occasional spout of flame at tableside hibachi grills, flipping hot portions of lobster and chicken directly onto waiting plates. Behind the bamboo-finished bar, the sushi chefs move more slowly as they carefully seal colorful combinations of veggies, seafood, and vinegar-anointed rice within sheets of delicate seaweed. Like a poltergeist beauty pageant, not all of the talent is visible to the eye—the culinary team makes some of the restaurant's most exotic dishes, such as kobe beef sliders and wasabi-crusted filet mignon, behind the closed doors of the kitchen.
The grillmasters at Rebel BBQ put a spicy Portuguese twist on classic, American BBQ. They prep the familiar—pork ribs, burgers, and wings—alongside not-so-familiar Portuguese favorites such as steak sandwiches, seafood paella, and chouriço, a smoky Portuguese sausage akin to chorizo. And, thanks to Rebel BBQ’s generous BYOB policy, the chefs encourage diners to wash down meals with brought-from-home beverages such as beer, wine, or chalices of molten butter.