Aromas of broiling cheeses, roasting lamb, and baking spinach pies have filled Taste of Greece's dining area for more than 35 years, during which chefs haven't altered a single authentic recipe. Inside the restaurant, servers glide under arched white doorways, delivering plates of gyros, stuffed grape leaves, and kebabs. For dessert, patrons can dig into rice pudding or arrange pieces of honey-soaked baklava into chess openings atop blue tablecloths.
For 25 years, Long Island's crew has made bagels using an old-fashioned water-kettle approach, purveying the doughy treats well beyond their breakfast boundaries. A menu of breakfast edibles urges early eaters to slather an assortment of hand-rolled, freshly baked bagels ($0.90)—in varieties including poppy, onion, cinnamon raisin, and oat bran—with their choice of up to 17 creamy toppers ($1.75+) including vegetable, chocolate chip, and roasted garlic and herb. Coffee ($1.45+/12 oz.) gives nerves the jolt that early-morning fire breathing fails to provide, and french toast lightens spirits when drizzled in streams of liquefied giggles ($5.50). Lunch options allow midday munchers to fill their food processors with dishes including the Bubbalicious ($6.79)—made with fried chicken cutlets, melted mozzarella, bacon, and spicy barbecue sauce, all piled on top of a bagel—or the more heart-heartening bagel-embedded tuna fresco salad ($6.49).
Cinelli's its menu of traditional Italian eats with an assortment of locally and organically grown ingredients. Broccoli rabe and melted fontina cheese ornament an appetizer of grilled beefsteak tomatoes ($7), piquing appetites and inspiring innovative Christmas-tree-decoration ideas. Chefs cover a plethora of 12-inch piada flatbreads with grilled chicken and fresh mozzarella ($8) or breaded and fried eggplant ($8). Black-tiger shrimp, string beans and sun-dried tomatoes tossed in garlic and oil brodetto slumber on a vegetable-infused risotto bed ($16), and 12-inch thin-crusted artisan pizzas topped with a variety of meats, cheeses, and veggies ($10+) nourish feasters in groups of two or three.
When putting together his edible art, Unique Oceanside’s chef Andy Yang uses seafood-preparation methods from around the world, be it for his hot and cold tapas or for his sushi and European-style entrees. “It is hardly the only place around that mixes sushi and Japanese standards with Western dishes. … But Unique does it very well,” says Joanna Starkey in her New York Times review. Starkey particularly praises Yang’s crispy lobster dish, a pairing of Maine lobster with phyllo dough, as a small plate ideal for sharing.
Even main dishes such as duck confit and wasabi-bedecked chilean sea bass cannot escape his creative touches, which also extend to his sushi rolls. Chef Yang’s Monkey Jump roll tucks tuna in with sweet mango and fiery jalapeño and his Scottish Goat roll wraps Scottish salmon with creamy goat cheese for a flavor named after what was once the country’s biggest dance craze.
Volcano's Burger and Salads emulates bygone American diners’ swivel seats and milk shakes, but the restaurant’s menu—filled with a draft beer section and allusions to its eponymous topographical feature—embraces modern times too. French fries "erupt" with chili and cheese or dip into Volcanic Chili hot sauce alongside burgers such as the veggie Mt. St Helens, the Mt. Vesuvius with fried tomato and mozzarella, and the Lava burger, whose sauce and gorgonzola cheese cause patrons to lose the game if stepped on. The kitchen also prepares waldorf and caesar salads and blends caramel-peanut-butter shakes for dessert.
The chefs at Twain's Chicken & Ribs deep-fry chicken and shrimp and baste slabs of ribs in tangy barbecue sauce to populate a menu of down-home favorites. Diners quell poultry cravings with four pieces of fried chicken ($6.25) or feed a ravenous family with a meal of eight pieces of fried chicken, six fried shrimp, and two large sides, such as macaroni salad and creamed spinach ($24.99). A half-rack of ribs ($10.59) induces salivation with a zesty dry rub, and a basket of popcorn shrimp ($6.95) greatly enhances underwater film screenings.