Sierra Grille proffers sizzling, savory southwestern cuisine made quick to order, forgoing canned and frozen foods and MSG for fresh fixings such as skinless chicken breast, lean steaks, fresh grilled fish, and primo produce. Peruse the menu and opt for a mexican pizza, piling a chosen meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato atop a crispy flour tortilla that spent a semester studying abroad in Italy (grilled chicken, $6.69; charbroiled steak, $7.29; shrimp, $7.29). The grilled-steak-and-crumbled-gorgonzola salad shuns carbs ($7.99), and the chicken fajita-burrita wraps up grilled fowl, guacamole, peppers, onions, and pico de gallo salsa into a flavorful yet functional paperweight ($6.39). Personal-size platters quell voracious individual cravings with steak, salmon, shrimp, or sea scallops sidekicked by rice, seasoned beans, and a small salad ($8.29).
For the past decade, Fratelli Market's Brooklyn-bred famiglia has made its pastas and sauces according to a 30-year-old recipe and conjures its mozzarella from scratch throughout the day to serve as a base layer for its genuine Italian sandwiches. Brooklyn-style marinara sauce adds a distinctive accent to a plate of spaghetti or sack of accidentally cooked laundry with locatelli romano cheese and spices. Otherwise, mix and match the bacon-infused tomato vodka sauce with Fratelli's fresh-cut linguine, penne, and angel hair swept from the floors of heaven's finest barbershops. The pine-nutty walnut sauce, however, was created with the market's jumbo pumpkin ravioli in mind.
Hailed by none other than the New York Times for eclectic dishes that combine “a homey touch with a dash of originality,” The Pine Social throws a sophisticated spin on traditional American comfort fare. Chandeliers cast a soft glow on tables situated side by side within the tavern-like restaurant and lounge, which anchors its menu on free-range meats, ocean-fresh fish, and locally sourced produce. The kitchen’s homemade sausage and slow-braised beef short ribs are not to be missed, based on their own merits as well as their shared ability to whet palates for the dessert menu’s warm apple spring rolls. Sips of aged scotch and spiked, hot apple cider thaw jaws frozen agape at the tavern’s dark-stained walls, rustic wooden accents, and plush furnishings. Light from high-definition TVs glints off the bar’s full-service spirits station, beside which guests can treat their ears to music that pours forth from live bands on Thursday and Friday nights.
A fishpond murmurs beside the entrance to Plum Tree Japanese Restaurant, where owner and head chef Hiroyuki "James" Nagata oversees his lunch and dinner recipes. Nagata, whose decades of culinary experience include a stint at one of the world's largest fish markets, rolls and slices sushi. His sushi creations include minced scallop sashimi and the Plum Tree Roll, whose medley of tuna and eel is crowned with a rainbow of roe. The recently renovated restaurant—in business for 20 years—sets an elegant scene, with walnut and cherry-wood floors, hand-painted wallpaper, and doorways arched like Shinto shrines. Outside, the patio’s waterfall emanates the pleasant sound of splashes, like a walrus playing in a flooded basement.
With a white-picket fence around its perimeter and an American Flag waving from its bay windows, Boulevard 18 Bistro & Wine Bar might look like a great place to raise a family. But instead of embodying the American Dream, this 1860s Georgian landmark holds a little piece of Paris inside. Chef and co-owner David Raymer transports palates across the Atlantic by pairing more than 80 French wines with traditional entrees. And, much like in a Parisian bistro's kitchen, the focus here is on the craft. Chef Raymer creates country pâté and cures gravlax in house, and even stuffs his own sausages with flavors such as merguez or boudin blanc. The result: French classics with a modern twist, such as grilled mustard-seed-crusted leg of lamb with ratatouille or a duck confit salad.
An antique map of Paris covers the wall of the dining room so that guests never forget where the flavors they're tasting came from. But it also helps tie the room together. The map's curving, cobblestone avenues guide eyes toward the scarlet booths and hardwood accents. Boulevard 18 Bistro & Wine Bar also offers a seasonal dining patio with views of the village fire station where Chef Raymer buys the flames to fill the fire pit.