We've got a decidedly off-the-beaten path restaurant recommendation for you all - The Icehouse Restaurant in Throgs Neck. The food here is delicious, but the atmosphere and the views are really what make this place unique. It's located in the Hammonds Cove Marina at the foot of the Throgs Neck bridge, so the views of the water and the bridge really make you feel like you're nowhere near New York City.
The decore of the place is nothing fancy - think paper placemats (great for kids) and some wood paneling. But they have a fireplace and the service is super friendly. At one point the owner was walking around just saying hello to all the tables. She also gave a Christmas gift to our daugher when we were leaving.
We were there for lunch, so the place was pretty empty...The only drawback was that the service was a bit slow. They said their kitchen was swamped with catering orders, so I suspect if we weren't so close to the holidays the service may have been a bit faster. The hubster got a Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Rabe panini with a cup of New England Clam Chowder to start - both were excellent. In fact, he said it may have been the best grilled chicken dish he's ever gotten in a restaurant. I got a cup of Lobster Bisque soup to start and a Philly Cheesesteak panini. The soup was great (although my husband said it was a little thicker than lobster bisque should be) and the panini was just okay. I blame that more on my weird selection from the menu...I've never had a really good Philly Cheesesteak in New York, and this one may have been better if I didn't choose to have it pressed into panini form. I certainly enjoyed it, it just wasn't the best thing I've ever tasted.
There's outdoor seating in the back of the place that looks like perfection for a nice cold Corona and burger during the summer months. We'll definitely be back to the Icehouse to sample more items from their extensive menu. One note for diners - the Icehouse is cash only, but there is an ATM on site (with a nice, low fee of $1.50).
Getting There By Car - Take the Cross Bronx to the Throgs Neck Bridge and get off at the last exit before the bridge (Exit 9 - Harding Avenue/Fort Schuyler). Take a left off the exit and then a right onto Harding Avenue and the Icehouse is right there.