Lifestyles

The Banner Presents the fall 2014 Guide to Tackling Staten Island in the North and South

Foodies Explore the Island for Culture and Fun

Restaurants

Cabo Lounge

by Victoria Priola

A Taste of Cabo resides on Page Ave in the form of Cabo Lounge, a restaurant currently celebrating it’s third year running. The success of Cabo is of no surprise due to their fast service and lively nightlife. Every night there is a different event at Cabo. Karaoke Tuesdays are $2 tacos, Wacky Wednesdays are half priced fajitas, Thursdays are ladies night, Fridays are Disco night, and Saturdays include performances from Staten Island DJs. For college students with nowhere to go, Cabo is an escape from the endless amount of take-out they’re accustomed to ordering. The consumer gets what they pay for. For students on a budget, it may be rough to make frequent trips considering that anything “meal sized” is over $15, not including drinks. Cabo is more of a group outing place to eat.

Marie’s Gourmet

by Lucia Rossi

Source: Matthew Bergman

Source: Matthew Bergman

Marie’s Gourmet located on 977 Victory Boulevard is a super chic Italian restaurant. The inside is small and very home-like with a romantic feel. It’s a very comfortable setting. The restaurant is located near Silver Lake Park so this place would make for the perfect day out, a casual romantic date, or family get together. They serve not just real brick oven pizza, but sandwiches, burgers, salads, gourmet entrees, gluten free desserts, and breakfast food all day long. Their portion sizes are generous and their prices are fair. The place is kept clean and the staff is friendly. They have free delivery as well as a catering menu. You can order their food online via Grubhub. On Mariesgourmet.com you can make a reservation if you like, this would be smart considering the place is small and there is a chance of a wait if you walk in. They also have an online blog on the website to keep customers updated on news in the restaurant.

Chinese Scholar’s Garden

by Lucia Rossi

Like all places, Staten Island has its hidden gems if you know where to find them. One of these places is the Chinese Scholar’s Garden in Snug Harbor. Created by a team of 40 artists and craftsmen from China, the Garden is filled with pavilions, waterfalls, koi-ponds, bamboo forests, and rockery inspired by the ancient mountains. The Garden serves as a center for multicultural events, such as the celebration of food, art, music, and dance at the recent Harvest Festival.

 

Chikurin

by Emily Zoda

Source: Matthew Bergman

Source: Matthew Bergman

Chikurin, located on 365 New Dorp Lane, is an up and coming Japanese cuisine restaurant with a cool club vibe complete with colorful lights and a small bar area. It’s a far walk from the SIRR, but the s78 and s79 both stop right at top of New Dorp Lane for easier access. Sushi rolls won’t cost you more than $5 and special rolls are under $15, which is reasonable for a sushi bar. There’s also Udon noodles and Hibachi dinner specials for those who are not big fans of sushi. The club atmosphere is perfect for a dinner out with friends. For more information, call (347) 220-8664.

Royal Crown Restaurant

by Amanda Celek

The Royal Crown Bakery and Restaurant, located at Hylan Blvd, combines the decor of Italy with the ambiance of a warm home. The scent of fresh food and pastries from the bakery kiss your nostrils. It’s easy-going inside, and seasonal outside while dining is served by the friendly young staff. The casual atmosphere and vast food choices makes it a great place in Staten Island to get a quick bite to eat. Royal Crown is known for their delicious hot and cold sandwiches made on traditional hero, brick oven bread, or panini. They also offer their special 7-grain whole wheat from fourteenth avenue in Brooklyn. Their specialty sandwich combinations are numbered on the menu for those who need a bit of help deciding what to get. Some of the popular selections amongst customers are the #94–a grilled chicken, mozzarella, and roasted red peppers sandwich–or broccoli rabe on a choice of hero or roll. The mouth watering lunch options continue with selections of chicken cutlet, Italian sausage, rib eye steak, meatball, pastrami, and both grilled and fried eggplant. Looking for something with less calories? Try their well known house salad which includes toppings of mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and grilled eggplant. Royal Crown has a variety of dinner foods inclusive of all types of appetizers, pasta, and pizza. The ingredient that made Royal Crown famous is its delicious thick balsamic glaze imported from Italy. The glaze is a finishing touch for any food item and is adored by customers. Saved room for dessert? Try some of the various gelato and granita options with the available picks of spumoni, tartufo, tiramisu, assorted flavors of sorbet, and a large variety of irresistible fresh cakes, pastries, and cookies.

 

Drinks

Play Sports Bar

by Francesca Miceli

Source: silive.com

Source: silive.com

Get lost in fun and play around at Play Sports Bar on 2 Sneden Ave, Staten Island, NY. You can join any of their leagues as a first timer or a veteran of the bar. Play sponsors leagues in darts, pool, softball, beer pong, and corn hole. There’s no age limit to join. Inside the bar is three dart boards dispersed in different sections for tournaments, a pool table towards the back of the bar, and the aura of a true New York sports fan. The walls are laced with eight flat screen televisions including one outside in back, above the mini bar, playing live MLB, NFL, NBA, MLS, and MMA games.“I think everyone who is anyone should come here at least once,” said Timothy Leonard. “Especially since the Annual American Craft Beer Fall Festival is coming up on November 8. I am a bartender here too, and I love it.”

 

Beer Garden

by Anthony Ferrara

Listen up, bar connoisseurs of CSI. I have a place for you to go if you like real beer and sports. And get this, it doubles as a place to take your significant other out for a night and not lose your entire life savings. A small environment that is perfect for a night out with the guys/girls, Beer Garden is not somewhere that you want to go if you’re looking for a night of house music and wild crowds. They draw you in with their beer menu but also have some of the best food that you have ever tasted in your life; it’s typical bar food with a twist. They offer all different varieties of your common favorites. My favorites are the bacon egg and cheese pizza, which is part of the brunch menu, and the grilled cheeseburger, a burger stacked in the middle of two small grilled cheese sandwiches. Both price out at about $10. You can take your seat at the bar or at a table and there is always whatever sports game you are looking for on one of the multiple televisions that they have, all of which are viewable from any part of the bar. There are no reservations necessary and the customer service is top notch. There are games, such as Jenga and Battleship behind the bar, in case you decide that you want to play drunk board games at any point. There are 25 cent wings available anytime an NFL football game is on, and every now and then a local band is booked for a weekend gig. And, oh yeah, the beer. Beer Garden offers a large variety of house beers and local stouts. There are 16 different kinds of beer on tap and 26 bottled beer, but there are always new ones coming in and out. Their featured beer right now are Blue Point Oktoberfest, Troegs Mad Elf, and Cider Boys Peach. The best part is that it’s right up the block from CSI on Victory Boulevard–right across the street from Ralph’s Ices. So go online and check out the specials; or better yet just go check it out one night. I promise that you will not be disappointed. Beer Garden is easily the most underrated bar on Staten Island.

Arena Bar and Restaurant

by Briana DelBouno

Source: valpak.com

Source: valpak.com

Tottenville’s newest addition, Arena lounge is located on 4916 Arthur Kill Road, in the same lot as Muscle Maker grill. Arena doesn’t charge a cover to get in but the bar prices are on par with other local lounges. Draft beers are $3 each, a shot of fireball is $4, and a bottle of Grey Goose or any flavor of Croc is $125. In case you are interested in just dinner, Arena’s menu includes choices a cut above your general bar food of chicken fingers. Some of the choices are a tasty spinach artichoke dip, risotto balls, Cobb salad, nachos, filet mignon tips, Arena sliders, dry-aged burgers, and Caprese burgers, for the times you crave that Italian taste. Prices range from $7.95 – $12.95 but a steak burger will cost you $20.95. Sides cost only $7.50 and the servings are plentiful. Besides traditional sides, selections include a cheese steak hero, chicken arugula sandwich, and the Arena crab cake sandwich, which looks good on the menu. Although the place was packed, there was plenty of space to sit down, mingle, and talk while enjoying a drink or two. A little dance floor by the bar towards the back of the lounge allows for dancing the night away. Arena is also caters private parties. The bartenders are very friendly, the service is good, and the drinks are tasty, with a wait staff that consistently delivers. Overall, I give Arena a thumbs up. Arena Lounge is open Monday through Thursday from 5pm and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon.

Cue Time Billiards

by Victoria Priola

If going to dinner and a movie on a Friday night has lost its thrill, it’s time to try something new. Cue Time Billiards, on the corner of New Dorp Lane and Clawson Ave, is a way to hang out with friends that won’t leave you broke at the end of the night. In its almost hidden location through a small doorway in back of the video game store, Game Champ, Cue Time gives the feeling of hanging out in a friend’s basement that happens to be open to the public. The hall is through the side door and up a flight of stairs. When you’re inside, two rows of about six or seven pool tables and dart board are set up. The bar and cash register are on the other side of the room. It costs $15 for an hour of pool. The bar has standard Staten Island prices for drinks. Since Cue Time is well known by people in the New Dorp area, it is filled with young adults from sixteen years old and older. There will occasionally be that group of thirty to forty year old men who are professional pool players, but for the most part the crowd is young. Rock is the prominent music playing in the hall. I recommend Cue Time for any group of people who want to have a good time while being active. Having that home-like feel is part of its charm.

Attractions

Rab’s Country Lanes

by Matthew McKenna

Source: flikr.com

Source: flikr.com

Bowling is a fun sport to play when you have nothing to do and just want to hang out with friends and family. On 1600 Hylan Boulevard, there is a bowling alley by the name of Rab’s Country Lanes, one of the few bowling alleys on Staten Island Rab’s is a very large building that has over forty-eight lanes with its own pizzeria and snack bar provided by Gennaro’s pizzeria from New Dorp. If you need a new bowling ball or shoes there is Ray Laursen’s Pro Shop and Rewards inside as well. It is a very clean facility with polished and waxed floors. The alley offers a variety of bowling balls in different sizes and colors. For the children that can’t swing their arm with a heavy ball, they have small ramps with dragon designs to aid them. Rab’s holds tournaments for professional bowlers as well as bowling leagues. There are three party rooms for anyone who wants to throw a birthday party. It’s large enough to hold more parties but they don’t offer personal rooms. When bowling, the machine that returns your ball to you does so quickly and precisely. Depending on how many pins you knock down, the screen shows funny animated bowling pins that react to how you had bowled.

Conference House

by Diana Porcelli

Source: Matthew Bergman

Source: Matthew Bergman

Located at the very end of Island on the Tottenville side of Hylan boulevard, sits a structure that is part of not only the history of Staten Island, but the history of our nation. The Conference House Association works closely with the Parks Department to plan events for people of all ages that run all year. Some events are planned around upcoming holidays. On regular days they screen a movie on the lawn or in the basement of the house and show films from amateur filmmakers on the Island. Conference House is open to the public to take a walk, sit on the lawn and have a picnic, or watch the sunset.

Killmeyers Bavarian Inn

by Lauren Rosen

Source: Matthew Bergman

Source: Matthew Bergman

Killmeyers Bavarian Inn is a relaxing, cool place to spend time with friends and family. It has an authentic German cuisine along with German beer. Every Friday through Sunday, Killmeyers is filled with live music that makes the restaurant a very cool place to go to. The menu at Killmeyers is German based, but Americanized. The Bavarian Wurst Platter is to die for. It includes your choice of three different bratwurst, weisswurst, knackwurst, smoked bratwurst, blutwurst, kielbasa, with red cabbage and sauerkraut, all for $15.00! You can’t beat that! All their beer is imported from Germany. Others are imported from many different countries such as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Holland, Spain, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, Ireland, Scotland and England. The atmosphere at Killmeyers is relaxing and feels as if you’re in a different country. It is unique and enjoyable.

East Shore Boardwalk

by Briana DelBuono

Source: urbanplanssi.com

Source: urbanplanssi.com

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the South Beach Boardwalk, or the FDR Boardwalk, in 2012, contractors went to work rebuilding this famous spot. Finally open to the public, the South Beach Boardwalk is once again the place to be! Located along the Island’s eastern shore this boardwalk affords joggers, speed walkers, and the occasional cyclist a respite from the day-to-day grind. Visitors can dive into a good book or enjoy the view of the bright blue Atlantic Ocean with its traffic of luxury liners, tankers, sail boats and kite surfers during the warmer months.Attractions such as the South Fin Grill, The Vanderbilt, Boardwalk Cafe, and other eateries, make the boardwalk a hot spot no matter what time of year. The Ocean Breeze fishing Pier, which spans 835 feet and extends over the ocean, is a great place to fish or hang out. In the summer, the boardwalk holds its annual Back to the Beach festival, attracting visitors from all over the metro area.

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