In 2002, entrepreneur Jeremy Merrin teamed with fellow restaurant mogul Arlene Spiegel and head chef Stanley Licairac to establish Havana Central, a family-friendly enterprise based on lively Latin music and the rich flavors of Cuban cuisine. The food of Cuba draws from disparate influences across the globe⎯Spanish, French, African, Chinese, and indigenous cultures⎯manifesting into tender skirt-steak ropa vieja, empanadas stuffed with savory meats and goat cheese, and salmon, chicken, and shrimp marinated in tangy citrus juices.
Though the restaurant's leafy palms and tropical cocktails hint at the freewheeling good times of 1950s Havana, the staff pairs their joie de vivre with social responsibility, specifically by donating to local charities and taking on numerous green initiatives. As guests sip mojitos and sangria and sup upon slow-roasted meats and chicken sofrito, a lineup of live entertainment keeps feet moving in rhythm. Interactive events include salsa-dance lessons, charanga bands, and reenactments of the charge up San Juan Hill.
Liebman’s Kosher Delicatessen burst onto the Bronx restaurant scene in 1953, when Jewish delis were as abundant as radio programs hosted by beloved racehorses. Few of those delis remain today, but more than 50 years later Liebman’s neon sign still shines bright, beckoning customers to come sample tender corned beef sandwiches, hearty meat and fish platters, and steamy bowls of matzah ball soup. Joseph Dekel acquired the restaurant in 1980, but he wisely chose to leave well enough alone in the kitchen, even enlisting the deli's veteran cooks to train the man who would become, and who remains, the head chef. Today the kitchen continues to produce thick strips of juicy brisket that vie for plate space with potato latkes and apple sauce, as well as triple decker sandwiches that pile on the corned beef, pastrami, and tongue. But the deli has made some adaptations over the years. The menu now contains a list of low-calorie options, a kids' menu with chicken nuggets and bologna sandwiches, and even a Middle Eastern section with falafel and babaganoush.
The chefs at Paradise Biryani Pointe prepare a sprawling menu of Indian cuisine that showcases authentic flavors drawn from Hyderabadi and Mughlai traditions. Chefs kick off meals with succulent appetizers that range from peppers coated in chickpea flour to fried cauliflower florets coated in sauces to boneless fish fried with curry leaves. Soft slabs of naan—with or without garlic and onions—mitigate the intense, spicy flavors of chicken or goat vindaloo’s tender chunks of curry-laced meats and potatoes. Desserts round up sweet teeth with qubani ka meetha’s dried apricots, dates, and rose petals or gulab jamun’s traditional milk dumplings served in sugar syrup. In addition to chai and mango lassis, Paradise Biryani Pointe also offers beer and wine, perfect for sipping alongside the restaurant's ample lunch buffet.
More than half a century ago, the first Epstein's Kosher Deli opened its doors on the bustling streets of the Bronx in New York. In 1973, the Epstein family moved to Yonkers, where they continue to whip up a New York?style menu of kosher sandwiches and specialties?repeatedly winning the honor of Best Kosher Restaurant from the readers of Westchester Magazine. The staff piles plates with generous portions of stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes as patrons slide into bright red booths to nibble on sandwiches assembled from slices of corned beef and pastrami. Accommodating special diets, the cooks make gluten- and lactose-free items and offer health-conscious selections such as whole-wheat breads, fat-free dressings, and lean meat from turkeys who could run five-minute miles.
While growing up in Italy, chefs and owners Al and Gino became accustomed to large family gatherings that featured hearty platters of homemade pasta. It was in that environment that the duo learned its way around the kitchen and how to mix sauces with a motorboat engine. After moving to the States, they opened a small pizzeria in 1975 to let their new community experience the authentic dishes they had known their whole lives. Since then, the duo has remodeled their kitchen and expanded the space by building a solarium dining room to accommodate a larger crowd looking to sample their menu of more than 100 options. Today, Al and Gino still craft dishes such as lasagna and chicken scarpariello by hand, which can be paired with a cappuccino or wine.
Imagine yourself wandering through a shimmering desert in the Australian Outback. You're delirious with hunger and thirst, and in your haze, you mouth two words: "Blooomin.' Onion." Fulfill your Australian fantasies at Outback, an American classic that's been providing us with delicious Australian entrees at affordable prices for more than 30 years. By now it’s no secret what you need to order: start with the Blooming Onion as an appetizer (known as an Aussue-tizer here), and then jump into Back Back Ribs and the Shrimp on the Barbie. And if you’re a steak-lover, you’ll find the perfect Sirloin, Bone-in Ribeye, or Filet waiting for you at Outback.