Striving to highlight the diversity of India’s regional cuisine, the cooks at Mehek Restaurant have mastered vegetarian, seafood, lamb, chicken, and rice dishes from across the subcontinent. The eatery’s name, which means “aroma,” serves as a playful tribute to the way each creation from the expansive menu sates several senses at once. Kebabs, vindaloos, masalas, and biryanis can all be ordered with various proteins, and glasses of mango lassi cool off spicy bites. Mehek also offers a buffet rich with options for vegetarians, meat-eaters, and those on strict naan diets.
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.
Chef Cheryl Smith builds home-style meals that incorporate global flavors into rustic recipes using techniques she has shared on Food Network features including Melting Pot, Soul Kitchen, and Gordon Elliot's Doorknock Dinners. Market-fresh dishes blend seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients, astounding savor receptors with the latest tastes from farmers' market flavor runways. At lunch, baked goods and crisp salads share satiating duties with personified sandwiches including the Steve, made with cured bacon and vine-ripened tomatoes ($7.95). Dinner selections fuse agrarian fare standards with worldly accents such as Moroccan vegetable stew over rice pilaf ($15.00) or Korean marinated rib-eye steak and watercress salad ($22.00).
Regional Flavors | Diner-Style Cuisine | Vegetarian Options | Retro Vibe
When to Go: To experience the blue-collar spirit that makes Bonnie's great, swing by on Sunday to cheer for owner Mike Naber's hometown heroes, the Buffalo Bills.
While You're Waiting
Inside Tip: Since the diner specializes in Buffalo staples, such as beef on weck and chicken wings, go all-in and order a regional beer—perhaps a Genesee Cream Ale—to go with your meal.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Save the world: Stock up on capes and secret identities at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. (372 5th Avenue), a nonprofit storefront that benefits 826 NYC's creative-writing programs for kids.
Save your tongue: Soothe a buffalo-sauce-scorched palate with frozen yogurt made from local milk at Culture (331 5th Avenue).
At Moldova Restaurant, diners don?t just run into their Brooklyn neighbors, they make friends with visitors from Moldova, Romania, and other Eastern European countries as well. This is because owner Radu Panfil and his culinary team labor over centuries-old recipes, ensuring only authentic Moldavian ingredients grace the menu. Traditional plates of stuffed chicken breasts topped with cheese, lamb kabobs, and carp fried in cornmeal join house specials such as the mamaliga trapeza?cornmeal encircled by assorted meats, cheese, sour cream, and scrambled eggs. These entrees, as well as desserts, such as stuffed dried plums or crepes with sour cherries and cream, have earned the eatery attention abroad, including in a Romanian piece for Radio Europa Libera.
And the food is not the only Moldovan staple of the restaurant. Panfil and crew take great pains to replicate the country?s old-world charm with traditional folk art and paintings, banquet hall-style seating, Slavic-patterned ceilings, and tapestries from the homeland. They also host live music, inspiring patrons to join hands in a joyful circle dance. And to amp up the festiveness during the holidays, they light up the dining room by dangling folk dolls and other appropriate d?cor from the soft wooded beams that cross over the white and gray ceiling.