NPR Radio on Staten Island restaurants | Pamela’s Food Service Diary

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Last week on WNYC radio’s “All Of It,” the show’s guest host Brigid Bergin offered a platform to speak on a favorite subject of mine — Staten Island. Food served as the springboard for the 30-minute conversation. And in prepping for the live discussion, I literally approached our borough perhaps as would a tourist and started in St. George, using the Staten Island Railway stops and restaurants as destinations.

Bergin prompted listeners, “What are your suggestions for a restaurant, a park, a historic house, a beach? We want to hear all of it.

Shortly thereafter, a robust response came from the ether world. Feedback from callers and fans of the show blew me away. Plus, these listeners had other ideas on how to tackle the big, Borough of Parks subject.

Blue heron at Clove Lakes Park

A blue heron stands watch in the mist at Clove Lakes Park. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)

One gentleman from Harlem formerly lived on Lafayette Street. He wondered if Adobe Blues still existed. (Yes, it’s under renovation.)

A Clove Lakes Park-lover named Matthew added to Sylvia from Sunnyside’s passion for Clove Lakes Park. He added to the green space chatter with its fishing and bird-watching angles.

Matthew gently offered, “Yes, and under the bridge, there’s actually a lot of swallows making their nests there. If you stand on the bridge, you can see them flying underneath. It’s really nice. You can see herons, too. Herons are amazing in flight. They’re huge.”

Bergin’s smooth public radio voice chimed in, “Pardon my pun, but you’re making our hearts swoon, Matthew.”

Cool Spaces: Tibetan Museum

The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art’s entrance leads to gardens filled with lilies, hydrangea, caladium, hostas and phlox, among other flora. They also house Tibetan artifacts, including this Buddha reposing beneath colorful prayer flags. (Staten Island Advance File Photo)


A caller named Manu praised the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art on Lighthouse Hill. This dude happened to be here the same time as the Dalai Lama in 2010.

He said, “I think it’s one of the luckiest spots in Staten Island…Even without the Dalai Lama’s presence, I highly recommend it.”


Lakruwana Wijesinghe is the charming owner of his namesake restaurant, Lakruwana. The Stapleton Sri Lankan spot earned praise from a caller to WNYC’s studios on a recent ‘All Of It” broadcast. (Courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce)

Love over the airways came for Lakruwana, a family-owned Sri Lankan eatery in Stapleton.

Dean from somewhere explained, “They have an all-you-can-eat Sri Lankan food. Everybody goes there. They also have their own little museum for Sri Lanka. The owner is also really interesting to talk to.”

A person texted a tout for Duffy’s of West Brighton.


Duffy’s in West Brighton received praise from a fan who called out compliments for the West Brighton eatery. (Staten Island Advance File Photo)Staff-Shot

A fellow named John in his car (presumably making a turn based on the ticker sound) recommended Jerry’s 637 Diner of Stapleton.

He gushed, “The food is fantastic….Their prices are not expensive.”

At one point in the show, Bergin shared, “We have to talk about the pizza tour. I’m going to set that up by telling you we got a text from a listener who said, ‘Denino’s Pizzeria still has the best pizza, not only on Staten Island, but in all of New York,’ which is a pretty bold statement to make…”

Staten Island advance/Pam Silvestri

Pepperoni puckers on a Joe & Pat’s pie, a premier pizza served on Staten Island. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Bold, indeed. Then, we went there — Joe & Pat’s of Castleton Corners, Round Pie of Dongan Hills and Castleton Corners, Pizzeria Giove of New Dorp and Lee’s Tavern from Dongan Hills.

And so it goes on Staten Island with our six degrees of separation as New Yorkers and neighbors in a big yet small town: devoted All Of It listener and Lee’s Tavern co-owner Eleanor Palemine offered her S.I. sentiments.

WNYC Radio

A framed image of Frank Sinatra as he is photographed performing at WNYC in “Records for Our Fighting Men” scrap drive in Central Park 1945, as part of the Everett Collection at the Manhattan studio. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

She wrote in an email, “We are a special borough as you know and I do love my Dongan Hills in particular for so many reasons. I think it’s about resiliency, strength and love however it comes — not everyone may understand. That’s OK… we are just blessed to know.”

Palemine added, “We are always a good cross-section — rich in spirit and struggle and success…”

And we residents are blessed to come home to all of it.

Pamela Silvestri is Advance Food Editor. She can be reached at

WNYC Radio

Yours truly with Ol’ Blue Eyes looking over the green room at WYNC. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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