At Slate Restaurant, a bar the size of stretch limo radiates red light and glass facets hang like icicles from a glowing blue chandelier. This delicate balance between hot and cool is central not only to the atmosphere, but also to the cuisine—in the kitchen, chefs enhance herb-crusted fish and roasted meats with sweet-and-spicy flourishes including slices of roasted pineapple and splashes of spicy chili sauce.
After 10 p.m. on the weekends, however, attention shifts away from the delicate balance to focus on live DJs spinning pulsating dance beats, a panel of flickering flat-screen TVs, and strobe lights streaking across the dance floor. Bartenders mix inventive drinks such as sake bombs and green tea martinis until 2 a.m. on weekends.
Planet Wings was born in 1994, when Franco and Paula Fidanza, unsatisfied with the current state of fast food delivery, decided to up the ante by combining quick, accessible cuisine and the rising popularity of fried chicken wings. Now, the duo's signature wings and hearty dishes are available at locations spanning five states. Diners can savor 24 wing sauces such as hot, medium, Cajun, butter garlic, and bourbon barbecue, or opt for non-wing options such as burgers, salads, or sandwiches.
The chefs at China Gourmet cook up authentic Chinese cuisine served in a warmly lit dining area appointed with traditional décor. Diners may enjoy a savory prologue to a chapter of chomper-smacking by beginning feasts with an appetizer of vegetable spring rolls or an expertly curated platter of dim sum. Raise glasses of house wine to toast the overhead lights or one of the chefs' specialties, such as the filet of grey sole, which takes a heated bath in ginger and scallion before docking in mouth ports. A flurry of lotus flour coats thick slices of house specialty tangerine beef before a snappy bout of frying dresses the tender cuts in a crispy exterior, and a sizzling platter of clams in brown-bean-paste sauce arrives to tables sputtering heated arguments over who goes first.
Though they can grill up tender pork ribs and make a mean barbecue sandwich, the chefs at Pepe’s BBQ really shine with their authentic Peruvian cooking. Within their smoky kitchen, they fold tender slices of steak into traditional dishes such as lomo saltado and bisteck a lo pobre. They pluck plump chickens straight from the spears of fiery rotisserie grills, then serve the birds Peruvian-style: dressed in spices and hand-knitted alpaca caps. To craft their ceviche dish, the chefs marinate fresh seafood in lime juice, onions, and cilantro. Diners await meals such as this next to the lofty windows in the seating area while sipping on fizzy Inka Cola—a sweet soft drink imported from Peru.
The Manor's French-trained chef crafts award-winning cuisine with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Set within 20 acres of sculpted gardens, the eatery exudes the elegance of a bygone era, like a dressy top-hat or a zeppelin made of pterodactyl bones. The sophisticated menu's first-course options include daintily slurpable Block Island oysters ($15) as well as daintily slurpable lobster bisque ($12). Fine diners can appease fine-hunger pangs with the Long Island duck breast and leg confit ($29), slice into the filet mignon, served atop truffled mashed potatoes ($38), or appreciate the nose of a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé from Burgundy ($29).
For Sam Mickail, food is autobiographical. Born in Cairo, the first spices he smelled were hearty Mediterranean blends. He then spent most of his childhood in France surrounded by the cooking of world-class chefs, eventually leaving for Switzerland to turn his love of food into a bona fide culinary craft. Now, in America, he channels all of these influences and global experiences into cooking, lending his talents to numerous restaurants and further exploring all the cooking styles that inspired him throughout his life. This surfaces most clearly in Sam Mickail?s CUT Steak House & Bistro, where he?s free to put international twists on the time-honored tradition of cooking delicious steaks.
Sam coats his filet mignons and porterhouses in delicious b?arnaise, au poivre, or perigourdine sauces, according to his customers? wishes. He also serves fresh oysters at his raw bar, slathers lobster tails in butter, and batters escargot with a champagne crust, a creation he calls drunken snails for their complete inability to slither in a straight line.