Not even Hurricane Sandy could stop Rachel’s Waterside Grill from treating its guests to feasts of fresh seafood. One year after the devastating storm, the completely refurbished cafe dishes up sandwiches, salads, and hearty brunches and breakfasts made with locally acquired ingredients, earning praise from regulars and awards from regional chambers of commerce.
The waterfront eatery—voted Best Seafood on Long Island in the Long Island Press's Best of LI in 2011, 2012, and 2013—hooks up its customers with delicious, fresh-from-the-sea catches, like a dating service for mermen. Cooks simmer these seafoods in housemade sauces and speckle them atop veggie-laden plates. An indoor seating area treats guests to a painted seascape, while the expansive, heated seaside deck regales al fresco diners with the real thing.
A resurrection of Al B. White’s 1939’s vaudeville landmark, the “new” Retro Lounge serves up a menu courtesy of executive chef Nilka Hendricks, best known for her work on season seven of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen. Chef Hendricks' diverse array of palette-pleasing dinner dishes ranges from the grilled rib-eye steak rubbed with jamaican jerk seasoning ($23) to the zesty shrimp and crab enchiladas with saffron rice and a lobster bisque sour cream sauce ($14). At lunch, guests can build their own sandwiches from more than 50 different fillings culled from beasts of the land, sea, air, and soil ($4.25–$5.25), or gobble up a slew of salads ($6–$7.50) or gourmet paninis such as the Brooklyn Avenue, with veggies slathered in goat cheese, olive tapenade, and balsamic-honey ($6.75).
A beaming neon sign boldly glows above Carlyle At The Omni Diner, where checkered floors, rock 'n' roll jukebox tunes, and classic diner fare rewind reality to the 1950s. Short-order cooks whip up breakfast items until 10:30 a.m. each day, firing up their griddle to build towers of buttermilk pancakes and smaller duplexes out of belgian waffles. Lunch and dinnertime eats include classic deli sandwiches, specialty salads, and pizzas, which all wash down with coffee and tea. Open during business hours, the diner welcomes business people staying at the hotel to sink into plush red booths while nibbling cheesecake and pouring ketchup over their expense reports.
The savory aroma of grilled chicken lingers in the air of Austin Grilled Chicken as chefs marinate birds in juices, herbs, and spices for 48 hours before tossing them on the grill. They cobble together local ingredients into poultry-based dishes such as chicken pot pies and grilled-chicken salads, and sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, and mashed potatoes, which are all made from scratch daily. Diners can sup at an abundance of tabletops scattered about the vibrant pink-and-yellow, casual eatery, or opt for takeout service to feast within the comforts of home or a kiddie pool filled with dipping sauce.
Bageltown Cafe, opened in February 2013, serves up coffee, tea, and classic deli cuisine. Patrons can order bagels smeared with scallion- or strawberry-infused cream cheeses, or opt for bialys and made-from-scratch baked sweets that are baked fresh each day. Cooks also grill panini sandwiches, prepare whitefish and lox salads, and sell Boar's Head meats and cheeses by the pound.