Owners Sarac and Eddie divide up duties at Mermaid Restaurant, as Sarac infuses traditional Italian and French recipes with his signature flair in the kitchen and Eddie dotes on patrons and their imaginary dates in the dining room. Eddie and Sarac's symbiotic relationship mirrors that of their Italian and French dishes, which seamlessly mingle on the menu. Upscale entrees bridge the gap between the two countries: short cavatelli pasta brings the flavors of Italy, while côtelettes d'agneau, grilled baby lamb chops in a rhone red wine demi glace sauce, fills patrons’ mouths with French-born flavors without anyone having to lick the Eiffel Tower.
A hefty list of wines complements both the upscale fare and the ambience, with racks full of bottles surrounding the dining room. Soft light shines down, accenting hardwood floors, and crisp white tablecloths make an elegant landing pad for each dish or drink.
Brasserie Persil emulates the classic French café: it has rich wood paneling, stone-inlaid floors, and a wide variety of traditional French food. Brunches of goat cheese and mushroom crepes or croquet monsieurs make way for elegant dinners of steak tartare, filet of sole meuniere, and beef bourgignon. Feel free to sip a French wine, beer, or espresso martini as you finish up a dessert or a doodle of yourself scaling the Eiffel Towers on your placemat.
Tasty Crêpes's capable crepe craftsmen flip sweet and savory griddle cakes, artfully dressing them in delectable toppings that include local and sustainable fruits and vegetables. Strolling down a cafeteria-style line, patrons belly up to the serving counter to admire cooks as they sizzle traditional or whole-wheat batter on hot plates and then shout out specialty ingredients to customize their edible pouch. In honey-mustard crepes ($6.50), chicken, honey mustard, and herb crème shimmy through fluffy caverns, and chocolate brownies and bananas sweetly cohabitate inside the Brownie Passion crepe ($5.50). For satiating self-expression, diners can color a plain flour canvas ($3.99) with an assortment of cheese, meat, fruit, and nut toppings ($1 each). To wash tender morsels down hatches, nibblers can sip a 100% juice fruit smoothie—a much safer way to get your daily dosage of fruit than ransacking a still-life art class.
Aside from supplying casual vibes, Panorama is known for slinging steamy cups of organic liquids and artfully arranged plates of breakfast and lunch fare. Kick off a day with a Jump Start—two shots of espresso blended with vanilla and cream ($3.45)—paired with a Locura wrap that wraps a whole-wheat blanket around eggs, soy beef, cheddar and monterey jack, salsa, and greens ($5.95). For lunch, snag a Parson burrito stuffed with black beans, lettuce, cheeses, salsa, and sour cream ($6.75; $7.75 with soy beef or chicken) or a veggie burger salad ($6.95), which high fives stomachs with an amalgamation of greens, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese, all topped with freshly diced veggie-burger bits plucked straight from the bur-garden.
Not coincidentally, the center column of Alibaba Afghanistan Fine Cuisine's menu is dedicated to the eatery's central dish: kebab. The mildly spiced, charcoal-grilled skewers are lined with succulent meats such as filet mignon and lamb shank, which has been slowly cooked in rosemary, garlic, and caramelized onions. But Alibaba's cooks aren't just kebab wizards—their other meaty mains include cornish hen paired with rice and scallion-stuffed dumplings smothered in housemade yogurt and meat sauce.
They likewise cater to vegetarians, with dishes such as housemade potato-filled turnovers and cauliflower simmered with tomato sauce and jalapenos. Feasts unfold inside a colorful dining room decorated with everything from framed paintings to disco balls, an homage to the kebabs John Travolta used to grease his hair in Saturday Night Fever.
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.