The sophisticated eatery features an extensive menu of gourmet fare and fresh sushi for lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner daily. Start a decadent dining experience with an order of the miso-marinated foie gras, complete with seared big-eye tuna and truffle ponzu ($21), or opt for the rich Italian burrata cheese ($17) for your daily dose of dairy. Popular entrees at the eatery include chorizo-crusted Maine diver scallops with a salsify and lobster emulsion ($32), and any of the prime, dry-aged steaks, such as the filet mignon charred to order and trailed by an entourage of four accompanying sauces ($29 for 8 ounces). If a painful book-club breakup leaves you craving emotion-mimicking raw fare, indulge in Two's fresh sushi offerings, such as the Strawberry Heaven roll with spicy crab, fresh strawberries, and a mango puree ($18), or the jalapeño, cilantro, yuzu soy, and garlic-gussied yellowtail sashimi ($8).
Though still a young man, William Degel can trace his life story all the way back to Prohibition. In the early 1930s, his godfather owned Jack's, a Manhattan steakhouse and speakeasy frequented by movie stars and politicos. Stories of the restaurant's notoriety inspired William's own career path: he leveraged an early job as a bartender into the purchase of a rundown Queens saloon, which eventually gave him the opportunity to open Uncle Jack's Steakhouse. This fine-dining establishment was styled after the original Jack's, with Victorian touches such as pressed-copper ceilings, a hand-carved mahogany bar, and faeries only visible to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Now expanded to three New York locations, Uncle Jack's has proved so popular that William was selected to host Restaurant Stakeout, a Food Network program on which he helps struggling restaurateurs save their businesses. William often credits his success to a focus on quality, a trait noticeable after one glance at the menu. He handpicks all of the beef from cattle that are grown to the steakhouse's exact specifications on Nebraska ranches. The USDA Prime cuts are aged onsite up to 35 days, then cooked in 1800-degree infrared boilers that seal the meat's juices inside a perfectly charred exterior.
As with his godfather's place, William's restaurants cater to the city's elite. Athletes, actors, and local celebrities are often seen seated around Uncle Jack's tables, which isn't surprising considering the richly appointed dining rooms, paparazzi-repelling forcefields, and extravagant perks programs the restaurant provides. Birthday and anniversary reservations are rewarded with a bottle of Taittinger on the house, and the Lifestyle Rewards program lets members cash in their points for Rolex watches, Vegas vacations, and even a Porsche 911.
Owned by two native Irishmen, The Wicked Wolf Restaurant combines comforting culinary fare with the warm, welcoming hospitality of the Emerald Isle. Inside the cozy eatery, warm brick walls and rich mahogany woods embrace diners as they peruse the extensive menu. Meals march on hunger pangs with appetizers such as the potato pancakes, paired with applesauce and seared with medieval calligraphy from the Book of Kells. For more traditional pub fare, diners can brace bellies for a bounty of fish ‘n’ chips dipped into homemade tartar sauce. Tongues may also book passage aboard a cruise of more upscale Celtic cuisine, sailing toward succulent New Zealand lamb chops or a piping pot roast paired with red cabbage and potato pancakes and smothered in beef gravy.
Bartenders at Austin's Steak and Ale House pair an extensive, international beer selection from far-away locales including Sweden, Belgium, and the Czech Republic with a menu of elegant pub-style comfort fare. Each of the 20 brews on tap boasts individual temperature and pressure controls, helping ensure that sippers experience maximum flavor and can construct sturdy sculptures from the foam heads. In the kitchen, chefs dish up classic pub fare peppered with creative ingredients, such as Black Angus burgers bedecked with garlic-cumin chili, fried egg, and pineapple, as well as entrees that showcase high-quality cuts of beef and fresh seafood. Outdoor seating areas deposit diners in a foliage-filled garden or on a patio covered by umbrellas. Inside, numerous paintings perch atop exposed-brick and dark wood-paneled walls, and dangling lights and flat-screen TVs illuminate the restaurant's dining room, full bar, and unnecessary collection of night-vision goggles.
Just beside the Bronx River, an early-1800's stone mill stretches above the water like the Space Shuttle perched hopefully over Cape Canaveral. The Georgian-style fieldstone building currently won't tear off for the cosmos, however. Instead, it plays host to The Olde Stone Mill restaurant, which makes use of the centuries-old timber posts and beams to create a cozy pastoral atmosphere, which is exactly what NASA first imagined to be the scene on the moon. The eatery's staff marries steak-house cuisine with Italian dishes, pairing pastas and veal francese with generous cuts of rib-eye and filet mignon. As a testament to the quality of this cuisine, Westchester Magazine named Olde Stone Mill's truffle ravioli the region's best in 2012 for its aromatic medley of wild mushrooms, cream, and truffle oil.
A goldenrod dining room, containing the building's original stone hearth, sets the scene for linguine twirling or tearing into porterhouse pork chops. Behind the handcrafted bar, bartenders pour glasses of wine and mix martinis, one of which won Westchester Magazine's praise as 2011's best twist on a traditional martini. Antique lanterns accented by spirals of ivy illuminate the bar's surface, and on balmy days, diners can retreat to the stone patio and enjoy their glasses of wine with a spritz of sunshine.