Vito’s of Port Jeff pairs housemade Italian entrees with one of the world’s best side dishes: live music. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, performers such as opera virtuoso Carmelo Raccuglia and lounge singer Randy Berlient serenade diners with their silky-smooth vocals. Elvis impersonator Rick Virga also swings by the dining room to perform the King’s hit tracks and recite transcripts of his best-loved takeout orders.
Though these performers’ catchy ditties set toes to tapping, the restaurant’s old-world cooking still manages to steal the spotlight every night. Vito’s seasoned chefs sauce delicate cuts of seafood or hearty portions of chicken and veal, and they bake stuffed pastas until they bubble over with cheese and marinara.
Brightly colored pennants embellish the ceiling at Port Jeff Bowl, but bowling skills demonstrated in the lanes below are what attract attention. Players hurl balls toward pins for fun or team up with peers to play in one of many leagues, divided by age and whether or not a player is tall enough to ride a roller coaster. On Tuesday nights from 9:30 to midnight, athletes enjoy an unlimited amount of fun during Bottomless Bowling. And after hours spent satiating competitive impulses built up over years of being benched during tag, patrons can quench thirsts and appetites with a beer and bite at Splitz Sports Bar. The alley also hosts parties and private events for up to 200 guests, which lets partygoers pair play with pizza, soda, or buffet fare in the 11th Frame Lounge.
Long Island's Hana Japanese Restaurant dishes out sushi, teriyaki, and other Asian cuisine beneath the glow of lantern-like hanging lamps. Within the moss-green walls of the dining room, diners feast on maki rolls and sashimi feasts; exposed wooden rafters recall the restrained aesthetics of traditional Japanese architecture. Korean dishes such as bulgogi and bibimbap round out the dinner menu, and diners can cap off meals with fried or regular ice cream in flavors such as green tea or ginger.
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.
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).
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.
Portside Bar & Grill sports a delectable menu of chicken, marine cuisine, and pasta, as well as a comfy outdoor patio and full bar furnished with craft beers. Alert the taste buds of entree insurgencies with starters like breaded, boneless chicken wings ($8). The penne a la vodka, unlike chain emails from incarcerated uncles, forwards patrons a welcome stream of tasteful morsels, its pasta cooked in tomatoes, garlic basil, vodka, and cream sauce ($12.50 with chicken or shrimp). Or bet your appetite on a scrumptious plate of clams casino ($9), which come served on the half shell and adorned with crispy bacon.