An unmistakable elegance permeates the dining room at New Peninsula Restaurant. Armless, checker-patterned chairs surround tables blanketed with crisp linens and gleaming silverware, and two milk-white horse statues stand mid-canter amid the lush greenery of the room's potted plants. With sporadic lanterns and track lighting casting a dim glow throughout the space, the shining, cerulean-blue aquarium stands out like a beacon. Overhead, the recessed ceiling features pinpoints of light against a blue-black background, mimicking the appearance of a nighttime sky or a Magic Eight Ball full of fireflies instead of advice.
Within this distinct setting, New Peninsula Restaurant's chefs indulge diners with a menu of pan-regional Asian cuisine that mainly draws inspiration from Chinese and Japanese culinary traditions. Sushi chefs fill plates with nigiri, sashimi, and more than 40 different rolls while the rest of the kitchen prepares classic dishes such as steak teriyaki and stir-fried soba noodles with chicken. Chinese dishes include Peking duck, roast pork lo mein, and shrimp in spicy Szechuan sauce.
To the chefs at Popei's Clam Bar & Seafood Restaurant, there is not one correct way to prepare seafood. That’s why the team of culinary inventors likes to experiment, creating dishes from the more standard blackened Cajun swordfish to the avant-garde buffalo and thai calamari. The nightly all-you-can-eat dinners feature one seafood option per night, and satiate even diners with five stomachs. Beyond seafood dishes—including the house’s fresh little-neck clams and lobster stuffed with shrimp, scallops, crab, and feta cheese—the chefs sizzle up an array of meaty creations. Their half-pound burgers support a variety of hearty toppings, and baby back ribs and veal parmigiana showcase the chefs’ ability to handle meat better than a conflict-resolution expert who specializes in farm-animal relationships.
Deer Park Bowl sets an atmosphere of relaxed fun with its state-of-the-art lanes and onsite bar and grill. Patriotic stars and stripes adorn 16 gleaming Brunswick Pro Anvil synthetic lanes that also feature upfront ball returns, delivering balls back to players faster than it takes to memorize the 14 Eskimo words for “bowling.” Servers at the onsite Pinheads Bar & Grill dish up pizzas, fried fare, and Italian entrees as customers play darts, gaze at six plasma televisions, and swig from an extensive selection of cold bottles, tap beer, and top-shelf liquor. On weekend nights, neon lighting transforms the alley into a cosmic wonderland, accompanied by satellite radio and Saturday night.
The treats may be frozen, but that doesn't mean they're not flexible. That's because the colorful self-serve dispensers that line Yogurt Crazy?s bright purple walls are equipped to send a rotating lineup of 12 different frozen-yogurt flavors into cups, including nonfat, low-fat, and dairy-free varieties. Guests mix and match their own creations, choosing from flavors as diverse as pomegranate-raspberry tart and Heath toffee. Each swirl of yogurt can then be outfitted with kiwi, Reese's Pieces, and other selections from the topping bar?s 36 mix-ins, which means that patrons can customize their frozen desserts without the gooey mess of branding them with a hot iron.
When chef Isaac Asare and his wife, Gloria, came to the US from Ghana, they brought more than just suitcases. After toting several of their favorite West African recipes, the duo founded Taste of Africa, whose full name—The Ellas Food & Pizza - Taste of Africa—is a loving homage to daughters Isabella, Gabriella, and Daniela. At the BYOB restaurant, Isaac cooks up lamb and spicy beef, but those seeking vegan, vegetarian, or health-focused dishes are in luck too: the menu flourishes with hearty, plant-based dishes like yam-spinach stew and cooked plantains.
With five locations—spanning Brooklyn, Queens, and Deer Park—the restaurant and juice bar fuels patrons with a health-conscious selection of dishes and drinks that are low in both fat and cholesterol. Cooks never fry or cook anything in oil, including the lean burgers, which arrive on wheat pitas or 100-calorie buns. The menu also features a number of fruity or creamy beverages that keep patrons’ health in mind, including the café mocha made with coffee, fat-free chocolate, and skim milk.