Peppercorn Cafe is nothing if not cozy. At a wrap-around bar made of unpolished granite and waxed cherry wood, bartenders pour draft beer or cocktails as guests converse and watch football. Just around the corner from the lounge, diners gather around tables draped in white linen that brightens under torrents of natural light by day and softens under the wall sconces by night.
The homey family restaurant is the joint venture of two Long Islanders, and the menu reflects it. Executive Chef Dave Moritz sticks to the founders' North Atlantic roots with a menu filled with unconventional takes on New York seafood favorites. Pot pies, for example, come stuffed with lobster, and the crab cakes are served on cranberry scallion couscous—a break from the traditional method of serving them inside a grizzled sea captain's pipe. Little Neck clams mingle with chorizo on the appetizer menu, creating a segue into the turf portion of the menu, which includes braised beef short ribs and New York strip steak with crumbled gorgonzola.
The Healthy Beli’s organic juice bar, one of its biggest draws, transforms organic vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers, into delicious and healthy blends for juices and smoothies. Juicers can churn out an iron-rich creation laced with kale, broccoli, beets, and apples, or customers can try the slightly tarter Apple Aide packed with apples, lemons, and lemon rinds. In addition to mastering the art of the juicer, The Healthy Beli's staffers are no slouches in the kitchen, either; each day, they whip up fresh cafe favorites ranging from salads and wraps to bison burgers and gluten-free pizzas. They also take show off their skills outside the confines of the restaurant, offering catering packages for events of all types.
The sun hangs low on the coast of Santorini, casting a thumb-print of light on the rippling waters of the Aegean Sea. Farther inland, sand recedes into an elegant spreadsheet of block buildings, still cotton-white despite their age. This scene is the backdrop of Aegean Grill's menu, serving as reminder of the restaurant's emphasis on traditional Greek dishes. In the dining room, flaming saganaki cheese starters can be seen flickering like artwork against the restaurant's off-white walls. Waiters arrive to the table with cool hummus dip in one hand, and in the other, entree plates of stuffed shrimp and hearty charcoal-broiled lamb kebabs. The restaurant also offers a large kids’ menu with meals named after Greek deities such as Zeus, Poseidon, and Big Bird.
With five locations—spanning Brooklyn, Queens, and Deer Park—the restaurant and juice bar fuels patrons with a health-conscious selection of dishes and drinks that are low in both fat and cholesterol. Cooks never fry or cook anything in oil, including the lean burgers, which arrive on wheat pitas or 100-calorie buns. The menu also features a number of fruity or creamy beverages that keep patrons’ health in mind, including the café mocha made with coffee, fat-free chocolate, and skim milk.
The ingredients on The Stand Juice Company's menu recall the flavorful produce from roadside farmers’ stands of yore, presented in a decidedly modern way. Starting with fresh—always organic—whole fruits and vegetables, the staff blends its ingredients into juices and smoothies that are hearty enough to make a meal of. These flavorful liquids also make up the five-day juice cleanse, in which customers stop by each morning to pick up fresh bottled juices. They then drink the juices in a prescribed order to aid the body in cleansing long-lingering toxins and intestinal debris. For bigger appetites, the staff slings its veggies in both salad and sandwich form.