The heat from a brick fireplace rises up toward Black Forest Brew Haus's vaulted ceilings, mingling with the warmth from knotted Bavarian-style pretzels and wiener schnitzel. Her arms laden skillfully with an impressive number of full steins, a German woman looks down from a wall mural accented by the nation?s red, black, and gold flag. The painting shows the entire process of brewing, from sun-soaked fields to brass kettles.
The eatery?s brewmasters recreate this process themselves, stirring batches of wheat and boiling water to forge hefeweizen, an unfiltered, honey-hued beer thick with notes of orange and other fruit. The bartenders also pour house-made pilsner and imperial stouts, all forged according to the German tradition of using water, yeast, hops, and grain (and others flavors depending upon the beer). During warm weather, the brimming glasses click together in the beer garden beneath a crimson canopy.
With sweeping views of Bethpage State Park Golf Course, the idyllic setting of the 2009 U.S. Golf Open Championship, Taste 99 at Carlyle on the Green matches its majestic surrounds with an ornate interior and a versatile menu of upscale American eats. Chef Phil Abshire updates classic steakhouse fare with exotic flavors and creative fish dishes, taking care to balance his tasty innovations with reverence to simple, expertly seared steaks. His culinary feats are enjoyed in a grandiose dining space marked by cream-colored walls, ceiling beams, and a portrait of the inventor of golf, Tiger Woods. When the sun decides to smile upon earth creatures, diners can plop into outdoor patio seating and sip a glass of wine from the restaurant’s extensive list.
Kodiak’s Restaurant & Bar fills hollowed bellies with laid-back eats and drinks in the comfortable surroundings of rich, dark wood, cultured stone, and ambient athletic action. The extensive menus supply a bevy of stomach-pleasing dishes, such as breaded ravioli, filled with ricotta and covered in Italian breadcrumbs ($7.99). Right the wrongs of swallowing a 10-ounce wad of gum with an 8-ounce Bear Burger ($8.49), which can be constructed into a leaning tower of meat, complete with charming cheeses ($0.50 extra) and toppings such as sautéed mushrooms, onions, or fried jalapeños ($0.75 each). Encourage mental high-fives between taste buds and digestive tracks with specialty cocktails or craft beers, which are selected from small breweries throughout New York and the Northeast.
With five sizes of burger, 28 free toppings, and up to 378,000 possible flavor combinations for shakes and malts, Cheeburger Cheeburger is a perfect stop for picky eaters and brilliant statisticians alike. This national 50s-style burger joint is notable for its sweeping menu of sandwiches, platters, and shakes, as well as its commitment to quality ingredients, such as Naturewell natural Angus beef. Everything is cooked to order, including the fresh-cut fries ($2.29–$4.29) and battered onion rings ($2.99–$4.99). Burgers range from the Classic ($5.29), weighing in at 5.5 ounces before cooking, to the signature Famous Pounder, a 20-ounce slab of bovine ecstasy ($10.99). Champion beefeaters can earn their photograph on the "Wall of Fame" for slaying this burger behemoth. Herbivores can opt for the grilled portobello-mushroom melt with sautéed onions and swiss cheese on rye ($7.49), or the veggie burger ($6.99), whereas lovers of air-meat can indulge in the My Bleu Chicken ($7.49), a grilled chicken breast smothered in swiss and blue cheese. Carbophobes can avoid filling up on bread with bun-free CheePlatters, sandwich fillings served with choice of cheese, toppings, side, dipping sauce, side salad or coleslaw, and sautéed onions ($9.99), or meal-sized, custom salads (starting at $6.99).
Although its inventory includes more than 50 beers on tap and nearly as many bottled options,"We do not carry Bud, Coors, or Miller," Croxley's Ale House proudly proclaims. Instead, the bar pours seasonal brews, such as 21st Amendment Brewery's Hell or High Watermelon, and bold, creative craft beers, including Founders Brewing Co.'s Dirty Bastard and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's 90 Minute IPA. It also serves classics, such as Stella Artois and Yuengling Traditional Lager, which, as Groupon Guide documented, are made by some of the world's oldest breweries. Croxley's supports local breweries, too, including Long Island's own Blue Point Brewing and Great South Bay Brewery, along with its Brooklyn neighbors, such as Sixpoint Brewery.
Croxley's food menu varies by each location, but it is always just as large and discerning as the ale house's drink selection. The chefs stick with pub-grub favorites, including burgers and sandwiches. Several locations provide two complimentary cocktails with Sunday brunch, whereas others offer a 2-pound pot of Hoegaarden mussels cooked in the Belgian white ale. Still others serve the Fireman's buffalo burger, which comes with a hookup to the nearest hydrant to cool taste buds.
"Saying a panino is just a sandwich is like saying a Lamborghini is just a car," says La Bottega owner Giuseppe Ruta. His passion for the Italian dish runs deep, and because it's one he shares with his wife, Marisa, they opened a panini shop in Long Island in 2003. More than a decade later, La Bottega now boasts nearly 60 paninis, ranging from a roasted portobello with mozzarella to a meaty Nycom with grilled chicken and Parma ham. Many of the paninis can be prepared gluten-free, rounding out a separate menu that also includes 15 gourmet salads. And it's clear that their food is a hit, as they've expanded to 14 La Bottega locations, including one in their home country of Italy, where paninis can be purchased with more paninis.