Viru Restaurant demonstrates its authentic Peruvian roots with a wide variety of traditional dishes. Causa rellena de camarones satisfies bellies with shrimp, as long as those bellies like their shrimp hiding inside chilled mashed potatoes that are spiced up with lime and yellow chili ($12). The parihuela, a soupy sea of seafood cooked with white wine, spices, and panca chili, moisturizes parched stomachs with a torrential downpour of flavor ($24). Representing the eternal battle between land and sea, the bisteck a la chorrillana—a grilled New York steak with a sauce made of panca chili, onions, and tomatoes ($24)—wields haricots verts clubs against the pescado sudado, the fish of the day poached in seafood broth and herbs ($19). Placing a comforting cap on dinner, flan reminds diners of former days when sweet, creamy desserts grew everywhere all the time and only cost a nickel ($6). In addition to edibles, Viru Restaurant nourishes guests at the bar, which stocks its shelves with an impressive supply of domestic and imported beers, sangria, wines, and chicha, a drink made of fermented maize.
It's a packed house for brunch on Moon River Grill's 25-seat open-air patio. Across the Hudson, the sun hangs like a poached egg, dripping yellow light onto the New Jersey landscape. A waiter delivers menus to the table, his shirt emblazoned with the restaurant's name and crescent moon emblem in golden stitching. It's going to be a good afternoon––definitely worth sticking around for dinner.
Inside there's so much more to see. In the downstairs dining room, burgundy curtains hang from tall patio doors. Crisp white tablecloths prop up plates of 10-ounce burgers, seafood wraps, and fresh shellfish from the raw bar. After warming knives in a rack of ribs or grilled fish, patrons can watch the sun setting over the Hudson in the second-floor dining room, or they can bask in the pixilated glow of the TVs perched above a fully stocked bar.
Chef and owner Maurice Gallo brings more than 30 years of experience to Carnevale Ristorante, where dishes flourish with classic flavors culled from the gustatory traditions of both northern and southern Italy. Glass art and décor inspired by the colorful Carnival of Venice surround white tablecloths that cover the tables under which hide the best hide-and-go-seek players from Florence. Local New Jersey wines join customer-toted libations in the BYOB eatery, where live music sprinkles freshly harvested, mellifluous notes onto forks every weekend. Gourmet dishes, such as veal in cognac sauce and truffle-oil-drizzled mushrooms and brie, team up with gluten-free and whole-wheat pasta options to please even persnickety palates.
Umbertos Clam House piles on heaping portions of classic Italian seafood and pasta specialties along with savory steaks and chops, catering to patrons craving homemade family flavors. Divvy up a half-dozen cold-water oysters eager to ride throat rollycoasters while perusing possibilities such as homemade lobster ravioli, pork chops with vinegar peppers, or shrimp scampi over rice. Sip on homemade sangria or a variety of cocktails, specialty drinks, and wines while treating your ears to live music on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Whether you're dining with friends, a loved one, or flanked by imaginary monsters that won't ever leave, Umbertos provides a lively dining environment featuring high ceilings and nautical décor. See the online menu for more details and prices.
The brainchild of head chef Anthony Labriola, Caffe Regatta Oyster Bar & Grill dresses traditional ocean critters in Mediterranean duds and packs oysters and other seafood into the raw bar that made a splash in Westchester Magazine. Friendly waiters scurry past white-clothed tables and nautical decor—including miniature boats and real-life sea captains perched on the full-service bar—bearing brunch, lunch, and dinner platters piled with refreshments ranging from lemon-ricotta hotcakes to a half pound of Alaskan king-crab legs. Summertime lures patrons to the outdoor patio, and BYOB Tuesdays give the restaurant's wine list a chance to collect its pages and prepare for another week of staring into thirsty eyes.