|Get hungry and get on the ferry! –credit|
The Staten Island neighborhood of St. George is an emerging food and entertainment destination. With downtown Manhattan just a short ferry ride away, the area has been attracting more Manhattan visitors over the years, and now has a strong middle-class presence.
With plans to construct the world’s tallest ferris wheel, the development of an outlet mall, and the establishment of a fund to support retail growth in the area, the Staten Island North Shore neighborhood is sure to experience even more of a renaissance in the near future.
However, what many people may not realize is that St. George already boasts some fine food and drink establishments. To help make your decision a little easier, Tracy’s New York Life has created a top five list of must-try places on your next visit to this Staten Island nabe.
Enoteca Maria – 27 Hyatt Street
Enoteca Maria is one of my favorite spots on Staten Island –– I’ve been going there since it opened in 2007. What I love most about the Italian restaurant and wine bar is its undeniable authenticity. In fact, your meal will taste as if Nonna, an Italian grandmother, made it. The cooks, who change each night, use their own time-honored family recipes to craft traditional dishes from their respective regions in Italy. While the menu changes daily, every plate is made from scratch. Your food may take a bit longer to reach your table, trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Each dish is absolutely delicious!
While you wait for dinner to arrive, snuggle up to a splendid glass of vino from the extensive wine list, and enjoy a complimentary sample plate of the homemade, scrumptious focaccia. Hey, even my Italian-born parents and brother-in-law approve, so Enoteca Maria must be worth a visit.
|Pappardelle in a bolognese with ricotta folded in… Peas and a sprinkle of parsley –photo via Enoteca Maria|
Beso Restaurant – 11 Schuyler St
If you’re looking for a romantic date spot, then you’ll love Beso. Ensconced in dim lighting accented with flickering candles, coupled with great Spanish food, stiff drinks, and Spanish music, this is the perfect place to make an amorous connection with someone special.
Start off your meal with a mouthwatering tapas dish such as the Ceviche — scallops, shrimp, and calamari marinated in orange and lime juice with garlic, tomatoes, onions, and avocado. Follow that up with the Beso Chicken – sautéed chicken cutlets with tomatoes, onions, white wine, and porcini mushroom broth, accompanied by saffron rice. Or, you can go with the Osso Bucco – baked pork shank with onions and celery topped with thin-sliced fried onions, flanked by a side of dirty mashed potatoes (sounds intriguing). Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed.
|So many tantalizing options at Beso –credit|
Papa Perrone’s Riceball Shoppe – 469 St. Marks Place
There’s no a shortage of good pizza places in NYC, but when it comes to getting a quality riceball, that’s a different story. Thank God for Papa Perrone’s, whose riceballs were voted the best in NYC, in 2012 by The Daily News.
After owner Johnpaul Perrone operated a Manhattan food truck selilng mammoth Arancini di Riso (little oranges of rice) for three years, he decided to set up shop in St. George a few years ago.
Ever since, people have been raving about Perrone’s outrageously mouthwatering riceballs, a recipe Johnpaul’s grandmother first introduced to him as a kid, which both he and his mother have improved and perfected to date.
From the Sicilian Riceball (Meat, Mozzarella, and Peas) to the Willie’s Wild Hot Buffalo Chicken Riceball (Chicken, Celery, Hot Sauce, Blue Cheese), there’s something for everyone. Perrone even serves up an Arancini for sugar-addicted individuals, the Nutella Riceball.
In addition to riceballs, Papa Perrone’s dishes out topnotch Panelles, Potato Croquettes, Prosciutto Balls and an Artichoke Pie that will elevate you to a new spiritual plane. While the amazing food is more than reason enough to patronize the establishment, the over-the-top, first-rate service will keep you coming back for more.
|Outside Papa Perrone’s –-credit|
A & S Pizzeria – 87 Stuyvesant Pl
What neighborhood would be complete without a great pizza shop? Not many, if you ask me. But thankfully, St. George has A & S to help substantiate the area as a formidable NYC food and drink stop.
The slice, with the perfect combination of cheesiness and crunchiness, and not too oily, is right up there with other top pizza spots on Staten Island. Tasty selections include the Red Clams Pizza, Vodka Sauce Pan Pizza, Philly Cheesesteak Pizza, Chicken Cutlet Pizza and Hawaiian Pizza (Ham and Pineapple). You can also feast on one of A & S’s several pasta offerings, hot and cold heroes, salads or appetizers.
|Delicious pepperoni at A&S –-credit|
Jimmie Steiny’s Pub – 33 Hyatt Street
Located a stone’s throw from the Staten Island Ferry, Jimmie Steiny’s is your classic neighborhood pub, complete with good beer and mixed specialty drinks, appetizing food (fantastic chicken wings and awesome burgers), a stellar jukebox and friendly staff — all in a welcoming atmosphere.
Happy hour is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and Martini Madness is every Wednesday when the bartender slings the special cocktails for just $5 a pop. Feel like flexing your golden pipes? Karaoke night is every Thursday at 7 p.m.
|It’s all about Guinness and a shot at Jimmy Steiny’s–credit