The Comfort Diner, which moved to Staten Island after 14 years in Manhattan, dresses up the traditional diner experience with classic comfort eats and modern-day hearty fare. Keep your growling stomach from frightening friendly ghosts by stuffing it with wild mushroom potato pancakes ($6.95), or start your chew cruise with mozzarella wedges ($6.95), which combine the food world’s most delicious cheese with the geometry world’s most delicious shape. The taco salad ($10.95) gives Mexico’s best-known culinary contribution a fork-friendly format, and oven-crisped fish and chips ($14.95) provide all of the flavor of the British classic without the sizzle of the deep fryer or the voyeuristic glare of Big Ben. Bread-heads can wrap their food-gripping phalanges around an array of sandwiches, such as a grilled chicken club ($8.95) or a Maine crab burger ($13.95), while proteiny-boppers can swoon over double-thick pork chops with homemade applesauce ($14.95). For herbivores, Comfort Diner slings savory angel-hair pasta with white-wine sauce ($10.95) and big bowls of veggie chili ($9.95). Breakfast and brunch options also satisfy early risers or late-to-bedders.
Famous Restaurant's menu spans the globe, picking the best American, Greek, Italian, Belgian, and Indian dishes to satisfy just about any craving. Diners can fill up for the day with breakfast dishes such as corned beef and hash or belgian waffles served with ham, bacon, or sausage. At lunch and dinner, Mediterranean-inspired entrees include spanakopita and chicken souvlaki paired with fresh greek salad, and Italian options include veal or shrimp parmigiana. There are also Mediterranean burgers topped with vine-ripened tomatoes and feta, as well as Texas burgers with fried egg. And on Thursday, Famous hosts its Taste of India and fills with the heady scents of ginger-infused roasted eggplant and garlic-marinated chicken kebabs.
Before it became the set of one of the most polarizing television series finales of all time, Holsten's was a classic diner and ice cream parlor. Now, it still serves its homemade ice cream and house specials—two burgers, made with beef chopped that day—but camera flashes aren't uncommon, especially near one particular booth. People who sit there tend to order onion rings, because that's what Tony Soprano ordered just before the show ended.
The staff doesn't mind the extra attention that The Sopranos fanbase showers on their restaurant. In fact, they sell T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase, "The Final Episode." But they also stay true to their roots, whipping up diner fare from BLTs to grilled cheese and double-decker club sandwiches. The dessert menu features ice cream in flavors such as vanilla, black raspberry, and butter pecan, all of which can be piled atop brownies or bananas to make a sundae. There's also homemade candy, including truffles, assorted chocolates, and seasonal sweets more appetizing than autumn leaves dipped in honey.
The licensed aestheticians at Spa Aura don't just specialize in European or Asian techniques; rather, they practice a seamless fusion of both. During manicures and pedicures, for instance, nail techs not only expertly apply eye-catching polish, but also help improve blood flow with massage and acupressure techniques. Patrons then visit the upper level's nail-drying bar, where they can watch retro films or read magazines until their colors dry.
Down in the softly lit lower level, past tiled floors lined with glowing lights, aestheticians incorporate ingredients such as coconut milk into circulation-boosting body treatments. Following one of Spa Aura?s body treatments?as well as facials and massages?clients are invited for a soothing visit to the infrared sauna. The dry sauna, lined with minerals plucked from the mountains of Asia, detoxifies bodies in a more relaxing way than trying to remove pennies stuck up the nose during childhood.
The first IHOP?the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin?opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001. Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.