BJ Ryan's BANC House satiates cravings for both fresh coastal catches and savory wood-smoked meats that exude Southern charm. The slow-smoked pulled pork calls to taste buds from the plate where it sits slathered in homemade sauce and dry rub, and savory shrimp and grits blend dry rub and cheddar flavors. The talented chefs pay a special tribute to fresh crab, which can be added to any entree, steaming dishes such as the Banc crab cake, dungeness, Alaskan king, or blue crabs, which come dressed in homemade roasted-garlic sauce, ginger caramel, or inner-harbor spice.
Not to be overshadowed by the succulent food, BJ Ryan's dark, varnished wood and black-lacquered furnishings effuse a low-key, yet carefully kept dining environment marked by old photos and broad chalkboards listing the day’s specials.
The Beach Burger’s chef, Marc Anthony Bynum, a champion on the Food Network’s Chopped, unites all-natural, grass-fed, Angus-beef patties with an array of inventive ingredients, including fresh seafood, homemade sauces, and local produce. The eatery’s beefy options run the gamut from the burger-purist-pleasing Classic burger, adorned with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickle ($5), to the spiciness of the Taco burger, topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and lettuce ($6.50). The Surf and Turf bridges the gap between land and sea, binding together Angus beef and fried oysters, then topping the combination with arugula, lemon-chive aioli, and optional hot sauce ($9). Meat-less options include the Falafel, a veggie burger served atop an open-faced pita with hummus, cucumber, tomato, and Greek yogurt ($7), which, like any burger, can be accompanied into your mouth by a side of homespun fries (additional $1.50 for making a meal a combo) or a hand-scooped milkshake such as the Sandy Beach—coffee ice cream, Oreos, and chocolate syrup ($5).
For the two years he lived in Alaska, Alan Pagano sold wild Alaskan salmon that he bought directly from fishing boats. This experience has led to a lifetime of cultivating relationships with top seafood suppliers, which he takes full advantage of at his fish market, Pagano's Seafood. From markets in New York, Massachusetts, and Florida, Alan and his team hand select each batch of wholesale seafood from around the world including red snapper from the Caribbean and naturally raised Scottish salmon. He also sells individual orders of jumbo shrimp, Pacific cod, and caviar. Each order is accompanied by complementary cooking instructions and, in the case of lobster, tips for cleaning, cooking, and cracking them, and then properly mourning their passing.
The chefs at The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood don't go far for their fruits de mer: usually, they just pop next door. Located directly adjacent to the restaurant that bears the same name, the Rowayton Seafood Fish Market occupies a former lobster shack that was reportedly once the oldest continually operating lobster co-op on Long Island Sound. Inside the market, fresh-cut fish filets from the sea are displayed alongside chilled trays of lobster, oysters, clams, and shrimp. As they shop, visitors are greeted with views of the water and the aromas of gourmet cuisine from next door, and educated staff members are available to answer any questions. An onsite deck allows patrons to chow down on eat-in fare and goods from the take-out market menu as weather permits, or they can post up at the counter in the market. Platters may be purchased for events, holidays, and special occasions.
Chosen by Zagat as one of the best steak houses in Westchester County, The Willett House quells discerning appetites with scrumptious steaks and seafood. On the prix fixe dinner menu, starters such as lobster bisque and gorgonzola salad prime bellies for entrees such as chicken francese and a 10-ounce filet mignon au poivre coated in a peppercorn cream sauce. After lulling anyone who eats it into a content, satiated slumber, the 2-pound lobster (an additional $5) infiltrates diners’ dreams and pinches them awake again. As they finish off the table’s shared bottle of wine, each patron can choose from a tray of fresh, house-made desserts and wash down the treat with a cup of coffee or tea. Surrounding the main dining room, a pressed-tin ceiling and exposed-brick walls augment the 90-square-foot mural depicting life in turn-of-the-century Port Chester, when the seaside town still led the world in exports of soda jerks’ red-striped hats.
From the 150-gallon saltwater aquarium, iridescent tropical fish gaze out onto the cushy crescent-shaped booths and mahogany wood tables of the Black and Blue Seafood Chophouse dining room. Soft lighting and a crackling fireplace illuminate a handsome mahogany bar as bartenders top off glasses of fine wines. Meanwhile, chefs sear cuts of certified Black-Angus beef Argentine steaks, and sous chefs and self-hating mermaids fold organic ingredients and fresh seafood into lobster bisques, creamy pastas, and Spanish-style paellas—dishes lauded by Long Island Food Critic. Throughout the week, the restaurant plays host to a variety of live performances by popular local musicians.