Hailed by none other than the New York Times for eclectic dishes that combine “a homey touch with a dash of originality,” The Pine Social throws a sophisticated spin on traditional American comfort fare. Chandeliers cast a soft glow on tables situated side by side within the tavern-like restaurant and lounge, which anchors its menu on free-range meats, ocean-fresh fish, and locally sourced produce. The kitchen’s homemade sausage and slow-braised beef short ribs are not to be missed, based on their own merits as well as their shared ability to whet palates for the dessert menu’s warm apple spring rolls. Sips of aged scotch and spiked, hot apple cider thaw jaws frozen agape at the tavern’s dark-stained walls, rustic wooden accents, and plush furnishings. Light from high-definition TVs glints off the bar’s full-service spirits station, beside which guests can treat their ears to music that pours forth from live bands on Thursday and Friday nights.
The walk up to Wave Seafood Kitchen's doors alone can awaken an appetite for baked clams and jumbo shrimp cocktails. The restaurant is housed inside Danfords Hotel & Marina, which sits on the edge of the Long Island Sound. Views of the water surround guests both outside and in the dining room, where flickering candles illuminate plates of fresh seafood. Soft piano music in the lounge completes the laid-back, beachy ambiance.
The setting, however, only serves as a starter for frequently changing menus of sea- and land-sourced dishes. Lobster saffron risotto might share table space with country fried chicken, served with a buttermilk waffle; fine cheese could be paired with oven-roasted whole fish. On Sundays, the floor transforms into an all-you-can-eat brunch with smoked salmon and just-caught cinnamon rolls. In addition to American cuisine, the white-spread tables become canvases for local and international wines, beers, and craft cocktails inspired by seasonal flavors.
The contemporary wood-paneled elegance of Butterfield 8's U-shaped leather booths and lamp-lit dining room complements the menu of urban American gastropub fare. Quash your hunger with the chipotle brisket nachos, bulging beneath the tasteful weight of pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and chipotle pulled chicken ($12). Buttery mashed potatoes and crispy onions adorn the sauce-drizzled peppercorn skirt steak ($20), and the memphis pulled-pork sliders ($12) satiate mouths with bite-size morsels of flavor. Spread out in the spacious booths and imbibe the alchemical concoctions of specialty cocktails ($10) such as a dirty bleu martini, an ocean of Belvedere vodka bobbing with buoys of blue-cheese-stuffed olives, a drink as elegant as a chandelier in fur coat. Finish the feast with the chocolate-chip-cookie-dough smash, an iron skillet filled with half-baked cookie oozing beneath ice cream and chocolate sauce ($8).
Japanese and Korean dishes share table space within Abis Japanese Traditional Cuisine, a Greenwich eatery in business for more than 20 years. Sushi chefs slice ocean-fresh seafood for sashimi and sushi platters, and hibachi chefs sear filet mignon, red snapper, and other proteins on tableside grills, pairing them with sides such as japanese fried onion soup. Korean specialties include bulgogi, seafood pancakes, and bibim bam served in heated stone bowls.
While wine serves as the foundation of Pour’s repertoire—garnering Westchester Magazine’s Best of Westchester wins from 2009 to 2012—it’s the cafe’s whiskey list that the publication described as “read[ing] like Fantasy Baseball.” New York and Delaware libations share shelf space with rare indulgences such as a 23-year-old, limited-release Pappy Van Winkle, of which there are only about 1,200 bottles on the market. That said, the wine selection also stands up on its own as a who’s who of small-production, organic, and biodynamic wines, with bottles from France, Italy, Spain, California, Argentina, and Chile, to name a few. To accompany their extensive list of libations, which also includes absinthe and craft beers from around the globe, the kitchen staff prepares four flatbreads, three paninis, eight small plates, and rustic charcuterie such as wild-boar sausage and seven types of artisanal cheese. Miniature Sicilian–style meatballs come sandwiched between potato slider rolls, and warm white-bean dip is plated with grilled slices of Sullivan Street baguettes. A porch wraps around the restaurant’s early-19th-century house, whose Victorian exterior contrasts with the plush, modern furnishings of its interior. Come evening, wooden venetian blinds are closed to dim the room, whose chocolate-brown leather banquettes and wooden floors are gently lit by wall sconces and tabletop candles. Along the neutral-colored walls, framed posters of vintage European advertisements lend a colorful flair to the room, which can seat up to 49.
The sushi chefs at Black Lantern Sushi Den, a registered Green Restaurant, cook up a full roster of Japanese delicacies, tightly enveloping ingredients within more than 35 sushi rolls. Nosh on all-natural options like the stuffed baby mushrooms ($12), plump with breadcrumbs, or sink ravenous teeth into nigiri and sashimi ($4.50+). Eel and cucumber play fine neighbors to seaweed and rice within the Azalia roll ($13). Meanwhile, the Violet Lily Roll ($16) sets up seared ginger salmon and goat cheese on a tasteful double date with roasted portobello and jalapeños before letting them bunk together in one rice sleeping bag.