At The Curry Club—voted Long Island Press' Best Indian Restaurant of 2010—a Zagat-rated menu boasts dishes prepared by restaurateurs with culinary experience in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. A handful of tikka masalas are studded with shrimp, salmon, chicken, or tofu, and kebabs are served on platters that sizzle and steam like volcanic Pop Rocks. More than 40 curries fall into six categories, from the West Indian–inspired vindaloo, to the richer, creamy consistency of Korma-style concoctions.
Sushi Ichi Japanese Restaurant's seasoned chefs recruit fresh fish and sticky morsels of rice to build a menu stacked with more than 50 types of maki rolls. The culinary team fills seaweed-wrapped cylinders with predetermined combinations of snow crab, tuna, and salmon, as well as custom-builds sushi rolls to incorporate diners' favorite ingredients. Thai and Chinese dishes also abound and include classics such as spicy kung pao chicken, shrimp pad thai, and green and red curries flanked by rich coconut rice.
American Roadside CEO Rich LaVecchia is the happiest when he's biting into a Roadside burger––mainly because his children, at ages 8 and 13, helped perfect the recipe. Each tender patty is constructed of Sterling Silver premium grain-fed beef, aged for a minimum of 21 days to maximize tenderness. But the eco-conscious burgers are only the beginning of Roadside's green pledge. To complement exposed brick and nostalgic advertising signs, Roadside outfits each restaurant with sustainable bamboo floors, recycled countertops and chairs, and picnic tables whittled from the driftwood of naturally floating picnic tables. The walls are also decorated with reclaimed barn siding and the names of diners who have successfully completed the eatery's famous quadruple Roadstar cheeseburger challenge.
Below hanging lights like scoops of vanilla ice cream, diners slurp up creamy milk shakes, such as Oreo and cremesicle, and two-hand signature burgers with slaw or chili, and a portion of those profits are donated to charities, such as the American Red Cross. After finishing off a hot Philly cheese steak, patrons can add a boost to their evening with a glass of wine or beer, or add a boost to everyone's evening by drinking the biodiesel fuel crafted from Roadside's recycled fry oil.
With four generations of culinary wisdom running in their blood, the Pace family has a pretty good idea of what it takes to run a successful restaurant. Foremost on the list are top-notch ingredients—all meat served at Pace’s Steak House is handpicked in New York City’s famed meatpacking district and aged onsite in aging rooms filled with special lights and fans. After aging, some cuts are marinated for 24 hours. The menu's meatier selections—sizzling rib eye, filet mignon, and porterhouse steaks—are supplemented by oysters on the half shell, fresh seafood steaks, and a wine list, which includes 15 wines by the glass.
A gooey blend of honey-maple sauce drips from Z Pita's signature sweet-potato fries, which complement many of the restaurant's Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Though their eclectic menu has long encompassed pastas, pita platters, and other global fare, it only recently acquired seafood, such as the golden-brown swordfish puttanesca filet; cooks embellish the dish with sautéed capers, tomatoes, black olives, and onions before serving it over penne in light marinara sauce. Every night from 5 p.m. to close, they also funnel sweet Belgian chocolate and savory cheese fondues into pots for sharing or throwing at people wearing white after Labor Day.
Drop in for a bite and a quaff and scan the appropriate breakfast or lunch menu. Start the day with an innovative omelette such as the Down Port (lump crab, asparagus, crisp bacon, roasted red pepper, and smoked gouda served with home fries and choice of toast; $11.95), or maintain a flavor-fueled daytrip with a wrap such as the house-made chicken salad with apple, mixed greens, and tomato ($9.95) or the half-pound gorgonzola and roasted red pepper burger, with lettuce, tomato, and red onion served with fries and a salad ($10.95). Bring a special someone for a tandem plunge into the molten goodness of cheese or chocolate fondue ($25 for a couple), or bring a crowd of friendly strangers to bond over tasty tapas ($9–$12).