Set inside a small, charming brick building, Meridian Kitchen serves Asian and Italian fusion cuisine under the guidance of its chef, Gary Lanza. Lanza was introduced to the kitchen at a young age, when he stood on milk crates to fry calamari at his family's Italian restaurant in Greenvale.
His talents create an eclectic spread of dishes that include elaborate sushi rolls, pastas, and pizzas. Small sushi-bar plates, such as a spicy blackened-tuna taco, can preface peppercorn-encrusted skirt steaks or burgers laden with double-crème brie and sautéed onions.
Inside the 40-seat dining room, conversations bubble beneath circular chandeliers inlaid with faux candles that cast romantic soft light upon tables and food. Tall palms sprout at either end of the sushi bar, where patrons perch on high stools while watching the chefs perform their magic, pulling fish out of hats. For those who can't stay, Meridian to Go next door serves up entrees, paninis, and salads to be eaten elsewhere.
Within a Manhattan-themed dining room or art deco party rooms, diners at Thom Thom Steak & Seafood savor thai curry PEI mussels, house-marinated skirt steak, and seared scottish salmon. The expansive menu encompasses both classic dishes such as filet mignon and refreshing small plates such as kung pao calamari.
To characterize Ginza as swanky is a bit of an understatement. In the expansive dining room plush chairs and candlelit tables rest beneath high ceilings, from which thin, golden chains drape beneath studio lighting. Amid Japanese statues and photomurals of pedestrians, the wait staff ferries platefuls of creations made at the sushi bar and the kitchen, including one of 19 specialty rolls or grilled filet mignon. In the lounge, bartenders pour eight signature cocktails, sake flights, or wines from various countries such as California, France, Italy, and Japan.
Japanese and Thai cuisines share table space within the romantically-lit dining room of Aozora Restaurant. Plates of fresh sushi sporting bites of white tuna or giant clam sit next to steaming plates of pad thai or thai red curry. At one of the restaurant's hibachi tables, a large hibachi grill sizzles hunks of Angus steak or lobster tail. The space includes a large dining room and sushi bar, a separate hibachi room, and a separate private party room.
Nana Sushi's chefs blend flavors from across eastern Asia into an eclectically international menu. Although the selection of nigiri, sashimi, and specialty sushi rolls appears prominently, these choices only represent a small part of the menu's diversity. Nana Sushi's pan-Asian, occasional fusion cuisine isn't limited by any borders.
Blue neon lights run the length of Nana Sushi's bar and the dining-room ceiling, giving both a trendy, lounge-like glow. Warm red and orange hues define the rest of the space. Small wooden tables line the dining room's textured wall, and a handful of tables and private booths are also available for small groups.
Black rice. Avocado. Pickled daikon. Jalapeno wasabi sauce. There's only one thing missing from this sushi menu devised by Hells' Kitchen finalist Guy Vaknin: fish. Okay, maybe not just one thing. The colorful, flavorful rolls are devoid of meat, dairy, and added preservatives, relying on the fresh, vibrant taste of unrefined fruits and vegetables. Six grain and black rice replace traditional white, adding nutrients and fiber while making for a dramatic presentation, and ingredients such as chia seeds and tofu lend a proteinous punch, despite the lack of tuna or shrimp. The result is a menu that is close to 90% vegan, as well as one that makes sushi accessible to pregnant women, kids, and anyone still traumatized by The Incredible Mr. Limpet. But don't make the mistake of thinking Vakin's sushi is all color and no taste––sauces such as mango chili and toasted cayenne lend a perfect blend of sweetness and spice, as do garnishes such as spicy cashews, TK: ML