Inside the kitchen at Riverside Manor is a staff that knows how to bring the best out of their Atlantic-harvested ingredients and Italian cooking methods. Fresh, homemade pastas envelop pumpkin ravioli and serve as pillows for shrimp and scallops. Filet mignon tops bruschetta or stars in an entr?e of its own. And eight brick-oven pizzas come strewn with four cheeses, spinach and feta, or crispy buffalo chicken. And to accommodate as many patrons as possible, the cooks prepare a whole-wheat penne primavera along with an entire menu of gluten-free dishes.
But perhaps it?s the building itself that best represents an elegant fusing of old and new. On the site of what was once a 19th-century silk mill, the doors now open into a scene that could fool you into thinking you just passed through a wormhole to Tuscany. Along with hand-carved wooden furnishings and ornamental ironwork, brick archways and painted trompe l?oeils bring a playfulness to the space, which doubles as a frequent host for weddings and other special events.
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 chicharr?n 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.
Ranchero Cantina's name suggests a Mexican restaurant, but it's not exactly that. It's more of a Tex-Mex joint, one that serves both Texas-ranch-style eats and cantina-style Mexican grub. Those looking for a bit of Texas can dig into thick-cut cowboy rib eyes, kissed by a flame and served with a side of horseradish sauce, or devour Texas barbecue smoked in house and flavored with housemade rubs and barbecue sauce.
For authentic Mexican food, the culinary team mashes up fresh guacamole studded with diced jalape?os, stuffs tacos with pineapple-braised pork shoulder, and saut?s jumbo gulf shrimp with chorizo. The bar pours shots of tequila, margaritas, and red and white sangria.
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.
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.