While it takes prodigious skill to man the 600-degree, 7-foot grill that is the center of bd?s Mongolian Grill?s dining room, the chefs running it don?t have any secret recipes. Instead, customers fashion their own customizable bowls of stir-fry according to their taste preferences, dietary restrictions, and desired portion size. Guests wander, nearly overwhelmed as they choose from an array of meats and veggies and ladle sweet, spicy, and herb-filled sauces into a cup. Chefs saut? the meal in front of their eyes, swords flicking skillfully across the grill to entertain and build anticipation like a mime about to jump buses on an invisible motorcycle. The resulting stir-fry dishes are accompanied by brown rice, white rice, tortillas or lettuce wraps.
The fusion of robust Malaysian spices and smooth coconut milk erupts with each bite of beef rendang. Sweet and spicy notes infuse the syrupy glaze coating each morsel of general tso’s chicken. A conical seaweed wrap imbues its saltiness in slices of spicy conch. Within the red and yellow walls of Hin Lee Malaysian Chinese Restaurant, the talented chef forges a synthesis of flavors from Malaysian and Chinese traditions. On the weekends, a rice artisan rolls cuts of fresh grouper, salmon, and spicy scallop into seaweed-encased slices at a small sushi bar, where diners can sidle up to watch the master work and shout names of current events to inspire the wasabi's improve-comedy routines.
Lee House executive chefs Michael Lee and Thanh Uong inter-weave Chinese and Vietnamese cooking techniques, decades-old family recipes, and years of restaurant experience to craft a menu of dim sum and authentic Chinese fare. A team of culinary air-traffic controllers guides the peking duck’s half-bird in for a landing on plate runways next to a stack of steaming pancakes ($16.00). Savory spare ribs simmer in a clay pot alongside a tart tuft of bitter melon ($8.50), and the specialty beef-chow-fun coils house-made wide rice noodles alongside seasonal vegetables ($8.95). A separate dim-sum menu stocks bellies with classics such as pork dumplings, spring rolls, and black-tie spring rolls in noodle cummerbunds, as well as introducing appetites to exotic meats such as steamed chicken feet ($2.95–$10.95/dim-sum dish).
The menu at City Fish Seafood Grill & Chophouse reads like an edible atlas. The The chefs here source fresh salmon from the Atlantic, seabass from Chili, and lobsters from Maine. And the preparations are just as global as the proteins: shellfish-laden paella evokes the eateries of Spain, while beer-battered fish 'n' chips pays tribute to England's famous tartar sauce springs. International flavors also accent sushi selections, from classic tuna and California rolls to the cajun-inspired Bubba Gump, loaded with fried Louisiana crawfish, mango, and cream cheese.
Globe-trotting flair can be found behind the bar as well. Bartenders pour sake, and uncork wines from Italy and New Zealand. Imported spirits are shaken, stirred, and siphoned into specialty cocktails such as the Snickers martini, accented with caramel vodka and amaretto. On weekends, bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys accompany hearty brunch spreads of omelets and french toast.
The Lucky Dill piles tables high and fills stomachs with mountainous signature sandwiches and an assortment of desserts prepared in its bakery. The menu proffers leaning towers of spiced and cured, hot, navel pastrami on a choice of bread including New York rye and sesame rolls ($9.29). The reuben stacks grilled rye bread with corned beef, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese ($9.99). Instead of a powdered wig and a dainty crown, the Queens burger sports a half-pound patty of freshly chopped sirloin topped with onion, mushrooms, and swiss cheese ($8.79). The on-site Brooklyn Bakery crafts an array of meal codas, including the big apple dumpling, which contains an entire apple baked within the loving embrace of pastry and topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream ($5.49).
Thirsty Marlin reels in fresh seafood to craft creative, flavorful dishes served in a festive and tropical atmosphere. Take in the toe-tapping notes of live music Thursday through Sunday nights at the Palm Harbor location, or on Thursday night at the Largo location. Peruse the vast menu. Succulent starters present an innovative take on comfort fare, such as the lobster quesadillas ($10.99) and the grouper nuggets, served fried or buffalo-style ($9.99). Ask the sauce-laden rumba's ribs for a dance ($18.79), or spear some sushi after 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The Thirsty Marlin roll ($10.95) quenches the sushi desires of gilled and ungilled beings alike with a medley of shrimp tempura, crab meat, and veggies in a savory eel sauce. Top off your meal pouch with homemade Marlin fried cheesecake ($6.99), refreshingly devoid of fish and bursting with a chocolate-covered Oreo crust.