How to Dine at Colonnade Diner | The dish

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Waitress Lois Donofrio and Chef Emil Habaschi have presented countless meals at Colonnade Diner during their decades of collective service. In this episode of The Dish, the two loyal employees picked their favorite dishes to show off along with some customer favorites and Greek specialties.

But overall, according to the chef and Lois, the best tastes are the 8-ounce burger with fries and grilled chicken salad with kalamata olives, creamy feta and greens with roasted pita dots. If a customer wants to go a little more hearty, the kitchen offers seared whole plaice and plates of meaty lamb chops with fried potatoes and broccoli rabe.

The Colonnade

Lois Donofrio has been a waitress at The Colonnade for 34 years. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Breakfast is great, says Lois. On a weekend, serving hundreds of pancakes – including fruit-stuffed versions – and omelettes is an understatement.

How does the restaurant manage such a volume?

The Colonnade

Seared flounder with vegetable side dishes. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Lois explains the dinner format where the server is really on the front line. She remembers her days at Toto’s Restaurant, formerly in New Dorp Lane, where the role of a waiter or waitress was to only bring food to guests. At the Colonnade, among other things, a waiter or waitress must pour the soup, toast the toast, and portion the pickles with the restaurant’s famous creamy coleslaw. Yes, it’s a little extra work compared to a traditional sit-down restaurant. But Lois wouldn’t have wanted it anyway.

The Colonnade

Complimentary coleslaw and pickles (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Check out this episode of The Dish, a live show broadcast from Advance’s Facebook page every Wednesday at 11:30am. Enter The Colonnade’s glittering kitchen to see where the cooking and assembly action takes place. Compared to other spaces we’ve seen together on The Dish, it’s pretty huge there!

By the way, going to La Colonnade are 24 hour days. Hours of service are now 7 a.m. to midnight daily at 2001 Hylan Boulevard.

The Colonnade

The Greek salad to accompany the spanikopita. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

The restaurant is owned by Marco Platis, established in 1975. It seats around 300 people and has a private party room as well as an outdoor area called Santorini Grill. The al fresco section is so named in reference to Platis’ hometown in Greece.

The restaurant can be reached at 718-351-2900.

Pamela Silvestri is editor-in-chief of Advance Food. She can be contacted at [email protected]

The Colonnade

The Colonnade Diner has been a Dongan Hills mainstay since 1975. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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