It all started with a patty. When Ephraim and Mavis Hawthorne would prepare their family's recipe for the traditional Jamaican meal in their St. Andrew's bakery, their son Lowell would follow along. He would watch studiously as his parents filled golden pastry pockets with steamy mouthfuls of jerk chicken, spicy beef, curried shrimp, soy, or veggies, memorizing the feel and consistency of the patties and the mouthwatering smell gradually filling the warm kitchen. Lowell and his siblings crafted a well-rounded menu from their family’s still-secret recipes and took it to the Bronx, where they opened the first Golden Krust restaurant in 1989. Since then, the popular Caribbean chain has spread over nine states, and Lowell's business savvy has earned him recognition, including an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and a thumbs-ups from every Fortune magazine in his doctor’s office. The Hawthorne siblings have shared their success with both the American and Caribbean communities, creating a foundation in honor of their parents that grants college scholarships and sponsors educational programs.
To characterize Ginza as swanky is a bit of an understatement. In the expansive dining room plush chairs and candlelit tables rest beneath high ceilings, from which thin, golden chains drape beneath studio lighting. Amid Japanese statues and photomurals of pedestrians, the wait staff ferries platefuls of creations made at the sushi bar and the kitchen, including one of 19 specialty rolls or grilled filet mignon. In the lounge, bartenders pour eight signature cocktails, sake flights, or wines from various countries such as California, France, Italy, and Japan.
Even in his days on the police force, Michael Gould found himself working with dogs. As a lieutenant, he commanded his department's canine unit, and this affinity for dogs serves him well as the owner-operator of Hounds Town USA. Born from a dog-training business, Hounds Town USA is not just a place for dogs to hang out while their owners are away. Here, in the large, temperature-controlled facility, they satisfy their pack instincts with a group of like-minded pooches. They chase one another, flop down for naps together, and discuss methods for getting the cookie jar off their owner's kitchen counter. All staff members have been thoroughly trained to interact with a pack of dogs, and they supervise this pack constantly, encouraging good behavior with physical and verbal praise. Because all pups are given a temperament test before their first day, they're assigned to a playgroup that matches their playing style and preferences, even if they really just want to play House.
Salvatore Fontana opened Fontana's Pizza in 1972 in West Babylon. Years later, his son Joseph took the reins by overhauling the menu and reopening the business in its current Long Island location, all while retaining his father’s integrity and work ethic. The latest menu includes square, Sicilian-style pizzas and regular round pizzas crowned with unusual toppings, from buffalo chicken and baked ziti to fried chicken and shrimp. To further set themselves apart from other pizzerias, the Fontanas also carry seafood items such as baked clams and mussels. But their biggest distinction is a personal endorsement from chef-turned-actor Joe Gannascoli, famous for his portrayal of doomed mobster Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos. All menu items are available for dine-in, carry-out, and special events, whether it’s a family get-together or a birthday party for one of the Ninja Turtles.
Cornucopia's Noshery, selected as Newsday's Best Pancakes in Long Island, pelts most of the food pyramid at brunch-goers. With a menu that rotates in tandem with the axis of the Earth, Cornucopia turns out inspired spins on daytime meals. Yolk-swimmers can dive into a pool of three-egg omelettes ($8), such as the Corny Big Boy, an exceptionally large lad dressed snappily in sausage, bacon, and ham. The special pancakes, topped with granola and yogurt or a choice of fruit ($7.50), have been known to sidle up to the toast ($1.50), cheesy hominy, or Irish oatmeal ($3.50 each). Get your own goat with the veggie goat sandwich, grilled veggies, herb goat cheese, mixed greens, and roasted onions living under a focaccia bread bridge ($7.50). An open, sunny eatery that blossomed from the stems of an old flower shop, Cornucopia's supports local farms, organic and fair-trade coffees and teas, and spurring endorphin release with a cascade of comestibles.
The cooks at Frankie's Eastside Pizza prepare all pies and pastas fresh daily, which is no small feat when you consider the massiveness of their menu. It includes more than 45 specialty pizzas alone, loaded with eclectic toppings that run the gamut from eggplant rollatini to sweet barbecue rum chicken. The culinary team even crafts pies with gluten-free crusts or in the classic Brooklyn style, where each slice is shaped like the letter B.
The rest of Frankie's menu encompasses plenty of Italian classics, from generous portions of chicken scampi to hearty servings of housemade lasagna. For more American appetites, cooks toss fries in Cajun seasoning, pile roast beef into heroes, and fill wraps with ingredients like honey maple turkey.