Upon entering the doors of Simple Smoothie Cafe, visitors are greeted by the sounds of lively chatter and whirring blenders. Though they regularly play host to real fruits, fresh juices, and tart yogurts, these blenders never see artificial syrups or added sugars. Blueberry, pineapple, and banana smoothies pair nicely with paninis that burst with homemade chicken salad, smoked turkey, and mozzarella cheese. In addition to the regular menu, a selection of made-from-scratch soups rotates with the speed of a slow-motion roulette wheel to showcase a new special daily.
Peppercorn Cafe is nothing if not cozy. At a wrap-around bar made of unpolished granite and waxed cherry wood, bartenders pour draft beer or cocktails as guests converse and watch football. Just around the corner from the lounge, diners gather around tables draped in white linen that brightens under torrents of natural light by day and softens under the wall sconces by night.
The homey family restaurant is the joint venture of two Long Islanders, and the menu reflects it. Executive Chef Dave Moritz sticks to the founders' North Atlantic roots with a menu filled with unconventional takes on New York seafood favorites. Pot pies, for example, come stuffed with lobster, and the crab cakes are served on cranberry scallion couscous—a break from the traditional method of serving them inside a grizzled sea captain's pipe. Little Neck clams mingle with chorizo on the appetizer menu, creating a segue into the turf portion of the menu, which includes braised beef short ribs and New York strip steak with crumbled gorgonzola.
Since Cafe Mambo's original location is in Paia, a little surfer town near Maui, Hawaii, it makes sense that their menu of sandwiches, salads, and crepes features a Hawaiian flair. The chefs dress up their sweet and savory crepes with ingredients such as fresh pineapple and ham and build Big Kahuna sandwiches with turkey, ham, gruyere, and dijonaise.
The Healthy Beli’s organic juice bar, one of its biggest draws, transforms organic vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers, into delicious and healthy blends for juices and smoothies. Juicers can churn out an iron-rich creation laced with kale, broccoli, beets, and apples, or customers can try the slightly tarter Apple Aide packed with apples, lemons, and lemon rinds. In addition to mastering the art of the juicer, The Healthy Beli's staffers are no slouches in the kitchen, either; each day, they whip up fresh cafe favorites ranging from salads and wraps to bison burgers and gluten-free pizzas. They also take show off their skills outside the confines of the restaurant, offering catering packages for events of all types.