Staten Island, NY — What’s the perfect restaurant? By most standards, one that wins customers over with excellent service and food, as well as an impressive beverage program. The place is comfortable with seasonal touches and special programming that keep things always interesting for both staff and consumers.
For my standards of à la carte format, attention to detail is key (i.e. neatly folded napkins, everything made from scratch, hot food served on a hot plate, etc.). Plates are only bussed when all the patrons have finished eating their food and show a sincere and appropriate attitude towards the guests.
Tasting Staten Island
With more freedom to travel post-COVID restrictions, thanks to Advance/SILIVE.com competitions and weekly Facebook Lives at various restaurants in the ward, a collective new appreciation for kitchens and dining rooms may be born. I certainly do.
Before making the top 10, here are the 2022 standout properties that deserve the accolades: Bella Vita II of Dong’an Hills; Rudy and Dean North Shore Steak House of St. George; Rakuwana Sri Lankan sit-down restaurant in Stapleton. Angelina’s Ristorante at Tottenville. shone’s house Southern fare to sit down with a healthy meal at Stapleton. SI fish etc. Tompkinsville soul food (now licensed). Il Sogno at Annadale. Eastern Pacific Staten Island Mall offers dim sum and Pan-Asian cuisine. Brioso in Neudorp. Cafe Luna at Grasmere. Campania Dongan Hills. Seppe At Arby’s in Stapleton. Lastrada in Neudorp. Sophia’s taqueria at Ertingville. Mysal at Rosebank. Italy Nissimo at South Beach. Osteria Santina Castleton Corners. blue at Livingstone. Bocelli at Grasmere.
The membership venue also deserves recognition. Big compliments to Chef Massimo Felici’s food service. Casa Belvedere at Grimes Hill.And top-notch crafts can be found in the newly renovated location Richmond Country Country Club Led by Executive Chef Manny Ochoa.
New restaurants have their own ranking.
That said, here are some of Staten Island’s best restaurants.
Ten. Annadale Terrace — 801 Annadale Rd., Annadale, 718-967-5900; Annadaleterrace.com
With various rooms and nooks, plus an abundance of outdoor sapping areas, the multi-tiered restaurant provides a very soothing backdrop. From kids food to breakfast, steaks and fresh seafood, there’s something for everyone. Wines by the glass are carefully selected. Almost everything is made in-house, including Kaiser rolls, pies and cakes. Open from 7am to 11pm, it’s a predictable schedule to remember for breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
9. Taste of India II — 287 New Dorp Lane, New Dorp, 718-987-4700; Tasteofindia2.com
For more than 30 years, this Indian culinary stalwart shines with remarkably consistent curries, delicious naans from the tandoor, and satisfying desserts. A craft cocktail program and lounge area has stepped up its game in recent years. Stepping into the restaurant is an emotional experience, from the smell of roasted spices to the soothing sitar music played on the sound system. The flavors of India are also delivered across the island.
8. La Fontana — 2879 Amboy Rd., Oakwood, 718-667-4343; Lafontanasiny.com
For nearly 40 years, the consistent hands here have tuned the palate to a particular brand of delicious Italian cuisine with a home-cooked feel. Favorites are Spedini alla Romana with caper sauce, sundae sauce and pasta fontana (pink sauce with peas, mushrooms and prosciutto). The freshly baked menu is mainly tiramisu and cheesecake. Owner Joe Fauci is proud of the place’s seasoned workforce, stating, “My guys have been here for over 22 years.”
7. Lilia’s Restaurant and Grill Cafe Gourmand — 548 Lincoln Avenue, Midland Beach, 718-351-7575; Gourmet.com
Open daily from 11am to 10pm, serving dumplings, breads, savory pastries, burek, grilled meats, Armenian, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Russian and Belarusian cuisine on weekends. Seasonal offerings include Kash, a beef leg bone broth brew, available by reservation only for groups. Traditionally, it is consumed on winter mornings with large amounts of raw garlic, lavash and herbs.
6. Staten — 697 Forest Avenue, West Brighton; 718-448-6000; Thestaaten.com
From September through early summer, Tuesdays through Fridays, The Staaten’s solid American cuisine is available from an affordable à la carte menu. Portions are generous. Meals are under $20 and usually include soup or salad and a hearty bread basket. Plus, stock and most proteins are dismantled in-house.The Azabu experience is brought to life with sweet hospitality from members of his LiGreci family who have owned his hall and restaurant catering since 1971. .
Five. Nino’s — 1110 Hylan Blvd., Dongan Hlls;
The kitchen crew here are always attentive and accommodating, especially with special requests and dietary restrictions. Generous meals and party/bereavement packages offer the best value for dining at SI. Our dependable menu features seasonal twists and attentive service.
Four. Coral Bay Cafe — 722 Rockaway St., Tottenville, 718-356-3501; Coral-bay.business.site
With a year-round selection of oysters, clams, shrimp, king crab, lobster, mussels and other fish at the end of the housing block, a little gem lives right on the beach. Land lovers will love steaks and chops. The food is served with an Italian flair. This is a true hidden gem with a friendly rustic neighborhood feel that’s loved by old-time Staten Islanders.
3. pasta vino — 44 Navy Pier Coat, Stapleton. 718-556-9300; pastavinosi.com
Open daily for weekend lunches, this sophisticated harborside bargain is festively dressed for every season. The menu is constantly evolving and features fresh and unique ingredients. Service is sharp. A craft cocktail program, carefully selected wines, and meticulously crafted desserts break it down into a class of its own. As a testament to its strong support, an expansion of 40 new party rooms is underway.
2. Max’s Escha — 1559 Richmond Road, Dongan Hills; 718-980-5006; Maxsesca.com
Azabu’s dining room, where you can sit back and relax, stands apart from the lounge scene day and night. Its breakout Mexican, brunch and themed menus are kept interesting year-round with the recent addition of live entertainment. provided to Enjoy colorful sides, specials and desserts using local produce in spring and summer.
1. Lorenzo’s restaurants, bars and cabarets — 1100 South Ave, Bloomfield. 718-477-2400;
Over the years that Hilton has hosted the Advanced Cookbook Contest, this relationship has forged a deeper appreciation for Hilton Garden Inn’s resident restaurants. Lorenzo’s continued attention to detail and entertainment programming make it a proud showpiece for tourists and us locals alike.
Staten Island’s only farm-to-table concept (thousands of pounds of produce comes from a rooftop farm) is also one of New York City’s few self-sustaining landmarks. Aside from creating every meal from scratch with thoughtful presentation, the staff’s consistency is commendable and speaks volumes for the business. The sumptuous dining area has ample space between tables for private conversation and respect for personal space. The overall quintessential experience at Lorenzo’s is an act of class and pioneering hospitality in the industry.
Pamela Silvestri is an Advanced Food Editor.she can be reached at [email protected].