One step inside The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar and visitors are transported to a French village complete with tiled awnings, lampposts, and yellow-brick walls that ascend into a sky-like ceiling. The authentic French atmosphere was created by founding partner Claire, a French-Canadian and consummate traveller, and French-born executive chef Dominique Brialy, whose training has taken him all over the world. Working together, their restaurant was named named Best French by Metroland in 2012, won the Award of Excellence in 2013 from Wine Spectator, and earned a mention in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America. They pour attention into the eatery's details, from the rustic wall sconces to the sage-scented parsnip purée that accompanies the roasted venison. Claire's husband and business partner Sandy has curated a wine cellar filled with 2,200 bottles from every region of France and internationally sourced varietals that complement every meal. Guests may also order from a full bar that features an extensive craft and imported beer selection, as well as an array of whiskeys, single malts, and bourbons.
Traditional Thai dishes get a bold, modern twist at One Thai Chef, where culinary veteran Taweewat Hurapan artfully plates entrees for lunch and dinner. Panang curry gets an update with the addition of tender lobster meat, and glasses of fresh lychee juice pair with beef short ribs braised in massaman curry. Hurapan serves his signature roasted duck with bao buns that are round and fluffy, just like the tiny pillows upon which ancient kings rested their forks between bites. Chefs apply equal attention to desserts, which they adorn with caramel drizzles and fresh fruit.
The staff members at Maggie May's dish out large sweet and savory crêpes along with a variety of frozen yogurt. Crêpes come with apples, honey, strawberries, Nutella, and more, or guests can choose a savory filling such as eggs. With more than 60 different froyo toppings available and the choice between fresh-fruit, power protein, or vegetable blended smoothies, customers can customize their dessert however they choose. An all-natural juice bar is also available.
A Japanese, French-fusion, and Thai restaurant, Laverne of Great Neck was voted one of Long Island’s 2012 Best Fusion Restaurants by readers of the Long Island Press’s annual Best of Long Island poll. Inside the eatery, a prominent sushi bar serves as a reminder of the restaurant's Japanese pedigree, with sushi and sashimi on display to passersby. On the menu, diners discover cuisine that crosses cultural borders, such as the steak frites, which Long Island Pulse magazine called "a true fusion dish," featuring "superior sirloin sliced steak…and an addictive Asian sauce." And, much like sleepovers shared between UN representatives, Laverne wraps up its worldly spectacle with various desserts, as well as drinks such as beer, wine, and sake.
Drop in for a bite and a quaff and scan the appropriate breakfast or lunch menu. Start the day with an innovative omelette such as the Down Port (lump crab, asparagus, crisp bacon, roasted red pepper, and smoked gouda served with home fries and choice of toast; $11.95), or maintain a flavor-fueled daytrip with a wrap such as the house-made chicken salad with apple, mixed greens, and tomato ($9.95) or the half-pound gorgonzola and roasted red pepper burger, with lettuce, tomato, and red onion served with fries and a salad ($10.95). Bring a special someone for a tandem plunge into the molten goodness of cheese or chocolate fondue ($25 for a couple), or bring a crowd of friendly strangers to bond over tasty tapas ($9–$12).