Culinary Crown Jewels

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We track down the best flavors, meals, and hidden restaurant secrets on the island.

In our current fast food culture, super-value meals, grab-and-go danishes and grande cups of mochaccino lattes are what sustain us. But not every meal comes in the form of a slice. In fact, if you dig a little deeper into the borough’s pasta-heavy restaurant landscape, it’s easy to find some really inventive and modern meals. We surveyed 15 of Staten Island’s most contemporary eateries in our hunt for each bistro’s signature dish. And in a borough that’s often wrongly defined by strip mall pizzerias and Chinese take-out, there’s more than a few hidden gems.

Buddha Lounge
Chilean Sea Bass
This char-broiled bass is served with sauteed baby bok choy, black coconut sticky rice and an orange miso sauce. $26
2945 Veterans Road West
Carols Café
Beef Wellington with a Mushroom Duxelle in Pastry
This seared filet is covered with mushrooms, cooked with shallots, garlic, sage and tarragon, and flamed in Madeira. The beef and mushrooms are then wrapped in pastry and tied with a scallion ribbon. The dish is served with pan deglazed sauce, haystack mashed potatoes, and rum glazed carrots. $34.95
1571 Richmond Road
Veal Loin Sous-vide
Served over soft polenta, this slow-cooked cut is decorated with oven-dried grapes, doused in a gorgonzola sauce and finished off with dehydrated pear chips. The dish is topped off with a sprinkling of black sea salt, hazelnut dust, and parmesan air. $26
3900 Richmond Avenue
Angelina’s Ristorante
Filetto di Manzo
This bone-in cut of Filet Mignon is served with baby carrots, chanterelle mushrooms, and a pomegranate sauce. $40
399 Ellis Street
Panko Breaded Boneless Pork Chops
These boneless chops are coated in Panko breadcrumbs and served in a hot cherry pepper sauce with sautéed string beans and roasted sweet potatoes. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, this choice has remained on the menu since the restaurant opened in 2002. $20
1559 Richmond Road
España Royale
Suckling Pig
This crispy skinned suckling pig is roasted and served with broccoli rabe and tomato. Its flavor is complemented nicely by the restaurant’s paella, which can be purchased separately. $23.95
1657 Richmond Road
Zucchini Flowers
Stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella, this seasonal appetizer is offered as one of the restaurant’s specials at least five days a week. “Customers come in and request them,” co-owner Vincent Lia said. The dish is egg-battered, pan-fried and served with a tri-color salad. $12.95
1727 Richmond Road
Tenderloin of Beef Two Ways
Two filets of  beef tenderloin are seasoned with fresh thyme, garlic, grated ginger, soy caramel, and truffle wasabi butter, then covered in gingered shiitake mushrooms and served with yellow wax beans, sugar snap peas, asparagus, baby carrots, artichoke hearts, and other seasonal vegetables. $30
2110 Richmond Road
Calamari Padella
A crisp calamari, sauteed with sweet cherry peppers, pine nuts, sweet chili, soy sauce, and white balsamic vinegar, this appetizer essentially defines what Lorenzo’s unique menu is all about. “Calamari Padella is Lorenzo’s twist on traditional Italian fried calamari, combining the best of Italian and Asian flavors to give a sweet and tangy flavor,” noted Richard Nicotra, owner or Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret. $12
1100 South Avenue (In the Hilton Garden Inn)
Trattoria Romana
Whole Wheat Penne with San Marzano Tomatoes, Roasted Vegetables, Jumbo Shrimp, and Goat Cheese
When San Marzano tomatoes are in season, Trattoria Romana’s Chef Vittorio makes the most of them. Starting in late August and continuing throughout September and early October, the restaurant offers a hearty whole wheat pasta dish drenched in the rare chunky fruit, combined with mixed roasted vegetables, jumbo butterfly shrimp, and goat cheese —all drizzled in olive oil, garlic, and white wine sauce. $24.95
1476 Hylan Boulevard
Milanese Capricciosa
This veal chop is pounded, then breaded and topped with a tri-color salad. $25.50
174 New Dorp Lane
Fiore Di Mare
Osso Buco
This stew of veal shank is topped with leeks and sundried tomatoes and served over a flavorful Italian risotto. $30.95
227 Mansion Avenue
Takayama Sushi Lounge
Chef’s Inspiration
An assorted sushi platter of scambi lobster, kampachi, chu toro, kumamoto uni, aji, and sock eye salmon. Serves 2-3 people. $100
17 Page Ave.,            

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