The cool air and sunshine on Renee’s Fish & Soul Food’s outdoor patio may be a far cry from the thick humidity of the South, but the restaurant’s fried and grilled comfort fare never fails to invoke the tastes and smells of a true Southern kitchen. Whether out on the patio or enjoying the shade of the dining room, guests can catch whiffs of lunch specials, such as fried buffalo fish and three-piece chicken wings, and dig into dinners paired with Southern sides, such as yams, black-eyed peas, and corn bread. On weekends, chefs tackle the Southern art of barbecue, simmering chicken and ribs in tangy sauce and holding them above napkins to create expressionistic drip paintings.
My N.Y. Pizza's dough-kneading chefs spin an Italian-inspired menu highlighted by sauce-slathered pizza. Personally decorated dough rings ($14.50 for small one-topping, $1.25 / additional topping) fuse art and mastication like Da Vinci's Last Spaghetti Supper with toothsome toppings such as salami, artichokes, and jalapenos. Calzones and stromboli ($6.99 / individual size) roll up meats and veggies in pockets of cheese and flaky crust, whereas sandwiches—including the roast beef, ham, and turkey-infused Amir's Awesome Special ($7.99 / 6")—use bread to border an army of deli cuts and vegetable accouterments. Daily fresh-made spaghetti sauce pours over a host of pastas such as the spaghetti with meat sauce special ($10.99), which sports two garlic-bread-slice escorts and a medium salad.
Wake snoozing taste buds with a hearty starter such as mozzarella suprema breadsticks adorned with natural cheese and herbs ($3.95 side; $5.95 large) before moving onto a signature fire-roasted pie. An authentic terra-cotta oven blasts RedBrick's prided circles with more than 1,000 degrees of heat, alchemically transforming their base dough into crispy gold in less than three minutes. Enjoy stationary drive-in dining with a bacon-cheeseburger pizza topped with ground beef and three kinds of cheese ($17.95 for a 14"), or graze on the veggie gourmet works, which comes loaded with a Peter Piper's worth of fresh vegetables including bell peppers, artichokes, and mushrooms, swaddled in your choice of a vegetarian red or white sauce ($17.95 for a 14"). Create-your-own pies are also available, providing palate-pleasing fill-in-the-blanks for the munching mad-libbest. Yowling sweet teeth can be silenced with a dessert of gourmet gelato or a surprise dinner visit from the dentist's wife, the librarian.
Armed with fresh ingredients, Ronald uses fryers and smokers to create southern dishes such as gumbo, beef links with barbecue sauce, and smothered pork chops. Entrees on colorful plates pair well with sides such as red beans and macaroni salad. For dessert, Ron and his crew serve up sweet-potato pie and peach cobbler. At the end of the day, Ron donates all of the restaurant’s leftovers to locals in need of a hot meal.
Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.