Riverside Manor’s cooks craft a menu of upscale Italian dishes, each served to diners in a renovated nineteenth-century silk mill. Just as a trip to the bookie precedes little-league baseball games, so too must first courses such as chicken wings ($7) or clams oreganata ($8 lunch, $10 dinner) clear the way for a festive entrée. Classic dishes such as rigatoni alla vodka ($10 lunch, $12 dinner) and fettuccini carbonara ($12 lunch, $14 dinner) share space with more exotic fare, including a 10-oz. raw filet mignon served on a 750-degree volcanic stone ($24). A lineup of brick-oven pizzas teaches guests that, unlike pi, pies end, and libations such as red ($5–$13) and white ($5–$12) wines, domestic ($4) and imported ($5) beers, and martinis ($7–$11) accompany the succulent eats.
Operated by veteran restaurateur Peter Sideris (who has worked at New York's Smith & Wollensky), Hamilton & Ward Steakhouse serves meticulously prepared cuisine with world-class Kobe beef, prime beef that been dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days, and high-quality seafoods. Hamilton & Ward's dinner menu is loaded with several scrumptious cuts, from its signature 48-ounce porterhouse for two ($79) to the 32-ounce Flintstone ($54), a bone-in rib eye that'll stimulate Stone Age–era taste buds and tip over most foot-powered cars. Disguised bears, meanwhile, can hunch into their trench coats and break into a few fresh Maine lobsters (market price) or savor the restaurant's grilled Atlantic salmon ($25). Keep first-date conversations lubricated with any of the 400 wines in Hamilton & Ward's exquisite Mediterranean wine cellar, or guarantee a second with a glamorous glass of Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac, the only liquor to have been elected president of a Micronesian island.
El Salvador–born chef Ricardo Cardona got his start busing tables in New York's East Village at just 15. This experience, combined with his Latin roots, inspired Cardona to create an inventive cuisine that melds time-honored Latin recipes with contemporary American, Italian, and Japanese influences. The result is a menu that features such items as lobster-topped Spanish pizza, fried beef and chicharrón sushi, and chicken breast stuffed with Dominican sausage.
In the bar area, patrons perched on overstuffed sofas surrounded by orchids sip signature cocktails such as the Anacaona, a sweet mingling of cherry vodka, simple syrup, and passionfruit juice. The space pulsates with live music on Friday nights, and on Sundays, diners can indulge in two hours of Caribbean brunch buffet food and bottomless mimosa and punch drinks.
Tropical Juice Bar's menu places the emphasis on healthy, nonprocessed foods, but never at the expense of flavor. Dishes such the Cuban sandwich and the mofongo with garlicky plantains and fried pork skin showcase the essence of the tropics. Ditto on the empanadas, their crispy shells concealing pockets of chicken, beef, or cheese that bulge like the eyes of a surprised cartoon character. And then there are the drinks—juices and smoothies made from 100% freshly squeezed fruits, including passion fruit, tamarind, and orange.
Though people often think of Szechuan-style cuisine as setting the mouth on fire, the dishes at Belmont Dragon are made to order at the customer's desired level of spiciness. Lo mein, chow mein, and fried rice plates—the staff prepares them all with 100% vegetable oil. Not only does the food please the palate, but it pleases the eye as well, so much so that diners often take photos to take to their tattoo artist for their next tatt.
At tables around Grill House, kebabs hang down from hooks above plates, laden with succulent chunks of meat. Around the earth-toned dining room, tables covered with tan linens support plates of shawarma, quail, or ravioli. Elsewhere, diners can exhale hookah smoke redolent of fresh fruit, blowing languid smoke rings and then coaxing smoke tigers to jump through them.