Thursday, March 26, 2009

Salvatore of Soho, Staten Island (Dongan Hills)

While much of the best traditional thin-crust New York-style pizza is found in the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, both Queens and Staten Island have their share as well. And one place near the eastern edge of Staten Island called Salvatore of Soho can claim to be one of the better spots, partly because the owner used to make pizzas at one of the best pizza joints in the entire Northeast (Lombardi's in Manhattan).

To keep with tradition, Salvatore of Soho has a custom-made coal-fired oven in the place which is crucial to making a perfect thin-crust pie. Organic, locally grown ingredients are also used in making pizzas here. In addition to pizza, Salvatore of Soho also offers a variety of entrees, including all kinds of sandwiches, chicken parmigiana, lasagna, baked ziti, sausage and peppers, and eggplant rollatini.

If you have been to Salvatore of Soho in the Dongan Hills section of Staten Island, please tell us about it by posting a comment here. Thank you!

Here is the address for Salvatore of Soho:
Salvatore of Soho
1880 Hylan Boulevard
Staten Island, NY, 10305

The phone number is:
(718) 979-7499

And here is the Web site for Salvatore of Soho:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Amy Ruth's Restaurant, Manhattan (Harlem)

A little while back, we mentioned the classic soul-food joint Sylvia's, which is in the Harlem section of Manhattan. Well, there is another Southern-style dining spot about 10 blocks south of Sylvia's that is also certainly worth mentioning. Indeed, Amy Ruth's Restaurant gets the same kind of rave reviews from people that Sylvia's does, and is just one more of many excellent restaurants in this vast northern section of the borough.

Amy Ruth's Restaurant has been in existence since 1998, serving up soul food and Southern cuisine to both locals and visitors to New York who somehow found out about this gem. Breakfast at Amy Ruth's includes all kinds of waffles (including the classic waffle/chicken dish) as well as Virgina-glazed ham and sausage. For lunch and dinner, patrons can choose from items such as gumbo soup, a mesclun salad, pork chops, oxtail stew, catfish sandwiches, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese. Desserts include country bread pudding, peach cobbler, and sweet potato pie.

If you have also been to Amy Ruth's Restaurant in the Harlem section of Manhattan, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for Amy Ruth's Restaurant:
Amy Ruth's Restaurant
328 Lenox Avenue
Manhattan (Harlem), NY, 10027

The phone number is:
(212) 996-0660

And here is the Web site for Amy Ruth's Restaurant:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen‎, Brooklyn (Mill Basin)

Mill Basin is one of seemingly countless neighborhoods within the Brooklyn borough of New York City. It is pretty far out in the borough, near the southwestern edge of Brooklyn and northeast of Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, and Coney Island, all of which are a good distance from Manhattan, But Mill Basin is still a pretty densely populated place and has a number of restaurants in the area, one of which is a beloved Kosher deli called Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen‎.

Located about a half mile east of Flatbush Avenue and maybe 1 mile west of the Beltway, Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen‎ is in a pretty convenient location for those who know where it is. The deli is actually a combination restaurant/art gallery, with a pretty impressive collection of artwork. But the food is the main draw for many here, and the menu features all the classic dishes you would expect at a Kosher dining spot. kasha varnishkas, knishes, chipped liver, potato pancakes, stuffed cabbage, matzo ball soup, beef tongue, pastrami, and corned beef.

If you have been to Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen‎ in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn, please tell us about it by posting a comment here. Thank you!

Here is the address for Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen‎:
Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen‎
5823 Avenue T
Brooklyn (Mill Basin), NY, 11234

The phone number is:
(718) 241-4910‎

And here is the Web site for Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen‎:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Viand Cafe, Manhattan (Upper West Side)

Being a restaurant reviewer, I rarely go to the same place more than once, especially when I'm outside of my hometown of Boston. But there are a few spots that are repeat places for me, including a nice little coffee shop/diner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan called the Viand Cafe. There is nothing outstanding about this place, but to me, it is a classic New York City breakfast and lunch spot that is popular with locals as well as those visitors who know about it.

Viand Cafe is a bustling spot, yet is a comfortable place to eat with a large number of booths, many of which look out at the unforgettable street scene that can only be found on the Upper West Side. The menu has a large variety of comfort food items, including good pancakes, omelettes, and French toast for breakfast, and all kinds of sandwiches for lunch. The shiitake mushroom burger is a winner, and the sweet potato fries are flavorful and not too greasy. Prices are just a little high, but being that the restaurant is located in one of the busiest parts of the largest city in America, perhaps the prices can be justified.

If you have also been to Viand Cafe in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, feel free to post a comment about the place as well!

Here is the address for Viand Cafe:
Viand Cafe
2130 Broadway
Manhattan (Upper West Side), NY, 10023

The phone number is:
(212) 877-2888

And here is the Web site for Viand Cafe:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Venice Restaurant, Bronx (South Bronx)

The South Bronx generally isn't known as a dining destination (and in fact is a place that many people try to avoid because of its dubious history), but there are some interesting dining spots here and there, including an old-fashioned Italian restaurant that has been around since the early 1950s. And while the Venice Restaurant may not be in an area that folks visit while in New York, it is a highly-regarded spot that is worth considering if you are a lover of old-school red-sauce joints.

The inside of the Venice Restaurant features murals of Venice, Italy, and simple, basic round and square tables. For those who are worried about their cars outside, the restaurant has a parking lot with a security system. The menu is filled with familiar Italian dishes such as baked manicotti, linguine with clam sauce, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and fried calamari. Prices are dirt cheap for New York City, with most items being well under $20.

If you have been to the Venice Restaurant in the South Bronx, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for the Venice Restaurant:
Venice Restaurant
772 East 149th Street
Bronx, NY, 10455

The phone number is:
(718) 585-5164

And here is the Web site for the Venice Restaurant:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Molly's Pub and Restaurant, Shabeen, Manhattan (Gramercy)

Manhattan has countless Irish pubs, many of which have the authentic feel of watering holes across the pond on the Emerald Isle. But some are "more" authentic than others, and one place in the city that gets rave reviews for its authenticity is Molly's Pub and Restaurant on Third Avenue near Gramercy Park. Molly's, which has been around since 1960, is the real deal, with sawdust on the floor, a wood-burning fireplace, and a mahogany bar.

The menu at Molly's Pub and Restaurant features a mix of authentic Irish cuisine and pub grub. Diners can choose from onion soup, fried calamari, chicken wings, corned beef on rye, a variety of burgers (including a buffalo burger), lamb stew, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, sausage and mashed potatoes, corned beef and cabbage, and chicken pot pie. Molly's is open for lunch and dinner and also has a weekend brunch.

If you have been to Molly's Pub and Restaurant in Manhattan, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for Molly's Pub and Restaurant:
Molly's Pub and Restaurant, Shabeen
287 3rd Avenue
Manhattan, NY, 10010

The phone number is:
(212) 889-3361

And here is the Web site for Molly's Pub and Restaurant:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Casa Romana, Queens (Sunnyside)

Queens has a fairly large Romanian population, with many living in the Sunnyside section of the borough (just east of Manhattan, along Queens Boulevard). And not surprisingly, there are a number of Romanian restaurants in the area, including one with a mix of authentic Romanian cuisine and traditional entertainment called Casa Romana.

Located right on Queens Boulevard, Casa Romana is easy to get to from Manhattan, especially if you have a car and there is little traffic, in which case you can get there in maybe 5 minutes from Midtown East. The atmosphere is old-world European, with a cozy, intimate feel. The menu at Casa Romana features a variety of Eastern European and Romanian specialties, including stews, stuffed mushrooms, pork chops, and sausages. Prices are mostly moderate.

If you have been to Casa Romana in the Sunnyside section of Queens, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for Casa Romana:
Casa Romana
3920 Queens Boulevard
Queens (Sunnyside), NY, 11104

The phone number is:
(718) 784-4768

And here is the Web site for Casa Romana:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Byblos Restaurant, Manhattan (Murray Hill)

Manhattan seems to have a good number of nearly every type of restaurant one can imagine, but when it comes to Lebanese cuisine, there seem to be relatively few choices. Fortunately, there are a few options for Lebanese food, including a place that gets a lot of positive reviews called Byblos Restaurant, which is in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. Byblos is a fairly spacious restaurant with an old-world look to it. In addition to the main dining area, a lounge can be found on the lower level that can also be used for various functions.

The menu at Byblos Restaurant features Middle Eastern dishes of all kinds, with an emphasis on Lebanese dishes. Appetizers include hommus, grape leaves, falafel, tahini, and baba ghannouj; entrees include kafta kebobs, lamb chops, grilled porgies, red snapper, baked kibbee, stewed okra, and stuffed squash with yogurt sauce. Prices are moderate, with most entrees being between $15 and $25.

If you have also been to Byblos Restaurant in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, please let us know by posting a comment here. Thanks!

Here is the address for Byblos Restaurant:
Byblos Restaurant
200 East 39th Street
Manhattan (Murray Hill), NY, 10016

The phone number is:
(212) 687-0808

And here is the Web site for Byblos Restaurant: