Though masters of classic Italian recipes, the Lucky Duck's cooks don't always adhere to boring tradition. Alongside veal picatta and eggplant rigatoni, they also prepare sole fillets stuffed with shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, and spinach or top pizzas with bleu cheese and buffalo chicken. Inside the restaurant's spacious dining room, paintings of Italian landscapes and flat-screen TVs hang on exposed-brick walls, giving patrons something to gaze at besides the hypnotic swirls hidden in their date's eyes.
Seventh Street Cafe’s dinner menu boasts a bountiful array of Northern Italian cuisine in shades of chicken, veal, seafood, and pasta. Feasting pregamers can start cold with lemon-laden poached jumbo shrimp paired with a spicy cocktail sauce ($10) or warm with the portabella trifolato, a grilled portobello mushroom garnished with caramelized sweet onion and asparagus, then dressed in a dignified balsamic reduction ($10). For the main feature, the pollo valdostana tells the story of prosciutto and mozzarella rooming together inside a lightly breaded boneless chicken breast, and how a flood of wild-mushroom sauce helps them overcome their differences ($21). Vegetarians, however, can abide by their uneasy cease-fire with cows with a heaping plate of rigatoni campagnola dotted with eggplant, zucchini, and fresh ricotta cheese ($13).
Patsy Grimaldi wasn’t like other boys his age. While his friends busied themselves playing baseball and balancing checkbooks, Patsy studied pizza-making under the tutelage of his uncle Patsy Lancieri. By the time Grimaldi was old enough to open a pizzeria of his own, he had perfected a recipe for fragrant tomato sauce and mastered the art of baking ultra-crispy crusts. As word of his pizza-making talents spread across New York, Patsy’s pizzeria attracted long lines and a variety of celebrity devotees including Bill Cosby, Bob Costas, and Frank Sinatra. Allegedly, Sinatra was so impressed by Patsy’s brick-oven pies that he regularly called in orders from his place in Vegas.
Today, Grimaldi’s Pizzerias have sprouted up across the country and earned accolades from Time magazine and Lonely Planet. Chefs continue to shower thin crusts in Pasty’s secret sauce along with handmade mozzarella and fresh toppings. They bake the pizzas in coal-fired brick ovens, faithfully following the tradition started by uncle Lancieri more than 80 years ago. Diners enjoy pies and brews in casual dining rooms where red-checkered tablecloths cover tables and NYC-inspired artwork decorates walls.
With a menu parked at the intersection of familiar comfort foods and savory southwestern spices, Jessie's Fireshack & Pizzeria welcomes guests in search of innovative ways to quell their hearty appetites. From traditional platters of chicken wings and empanadas to gourmet foot-long hot dogs dressed in mashed potatoes, bacon, and cheese sauce, the kitchen staff puts its unique spin on numerous tried-and-true favorites. Diners can also dig into more innovative concoctions, such as carne mechada, a Puerto Rican style pot roast, or brisket enchiladas. No matter which meal they choose, diners can chow down as they sip on cool draft pints of Yuengling or Miller Lite or catch highlights on the eatery's three HD TVs.
Family-owned since 1989, the kitchen at Poppy’s Place sends forth steaming plates of pasta and seafood with scents that suggest hours spent simmering tomatoes, chopping garlic, and stirring sauces. Waiters glide across the caramel-hued floorboards, bearing trays to a table cloaked in spotless white linen like a ghost in a job interview. Dishes of pasta, saltimbocca, and catch-of-the-day fish settle there alongside bottles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The clatter of busy forks drifts past the lengthy bar, where rows of bottles bristle and patrons sip beverages beneath yellow walls, hanging flowers, and an absence of shrill cuckoo clocks.