June 23, 2021

Long Island Restaurants’ Standout Single Dish Selections

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Any good restaurant can make quesadillas or sushi, but if you add a twist like a quesadilla with gyro meat or a bagel-and-lox sushi roll, then you’re part of the latest trend in Long Island eats—traditional with a twist. So, just because you know that a good steakhouse will wow you with its chops or a seafood joint with its swordfish, don’t bypass their potentially addictive reinventions or their updated classics. Here are some of the best single dishes on LI, from Floral Park to West Islip, that do just that. Expect the unexpected.THE GREEK PLACE2144 Jericho Tpke., Garden City Park516-673-4545www.thegreekplacegcp.comConsider this the Hellenic home of the reinvention trend: An innovative storefront eatery where you can get quesadillas or Philly cheesesteaks made with gyro meat. This is Greek like you’ve never seen, and it’s a gem of a find.Best Dish: Wings—All of themThe Greek Place’s Athenian Wings are prepared with a spicy creamy feta and are juicy, flavorful and damn delicious. The Spartan Wings, perhaps my favorite, feature the tang of lemon oreganato. And don’t forget to try the Chef’s Special Wings with feta and owner Pete Kantoulakos’ own terrific tomato balsamic dressing.INSIGNIA60 Nesconset Hwy., Smithtown631-656-8100www.insigniasteakhouse.comAnthony Scotto’s upscale steakhouse delivers first-rate food and quality service but it’s the seemingly simple, but surprisingly bold bisque that will knock your socks off.Best Dish: Lobster BisqueWith all of that excellent high-end food, it was our starter, the remarkable Lobster Bisque. Simply put, it’s the best I’ve had in years. Filled with chunks of buttery, meaty lobster and mushrooms, the broth hit the impossible spot between sweet and savory. I would have been satisfied to order bowl after bowl throughout the night.MAGGIE’S ON PARK1020 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park516-798-1555www.maggiesonparkblvd.comThanks to Chef John Orphanos, the menu at Maggie’s is inventive and quality goes well beyond expectation. I was impressed by every single dish we ordered but, alas, I must pick one.Best Dish: Chianti short ribsThe Chianti Braised Short Ribs were served over a stunningly delicious creamy Gorgonzola polenta with grilled asparagus and topped with a roasted tomato demi glace and crispy onion strings. If you’ve had better, more tender, short ribs, I want to know where.MAIN CATCH1095 Jericho Tpke., Commack631-486-8664; 631-486-8865www.maincatch.comMany Long Islanders know its sister location, the venerable Southside Fish & Clam in Lindenhurst, which opened in 1934. This is the upscale version.Best Dish: Bar Harbour LobsterThis 1.25-pound lobster, prepared in an insanely delicious, chardonnay lemon garlic sauce, will have you licking every last morsel off your plate. A gallon of sauce to go, please!MEDFORD PASTARIA3209 Horseblock Rd., Medford631-758-5252www.medfordpastaria.comYou can’t miss at this Italian eatery, and this pick is totally cheating and really unfair to you, because it’s about a dish they no longer serve. However, if you all call and ask for it, they might just add it back.Best Dish: PUMPKIN RAVIOLIThe unreal, heavenly Pumpkin Ravioli is drizzled with an amaretto and sage sauce and topped with homemade whipped cream. ’Nuff said.METROPOLITAN BISTRO39 Roslyn Ave., Sea Cliff516-801-4500www.themetropolitanbistro.comFrom soup to dessert, I enjoyed every single item I experienced here, but nothing beats the burger.Best Dish: Fancy BurgerThe Bistro’s Fancy Burger, moist and flavorful with chopped short rib, grilled red onion and Manchego cheese, is my favorite burger on Long Island, period.MIRAKU31 S. Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck516-466-6369www.mirakuny.comModern Japanese food with a focus on small, seasonal plates makes Miraku a true foodie destination.Best Dish: Everything Bagelsignature sushi rollThe Everything Bagel Signature Roll, with smoked salmon, scallion, cream cheese, and “everything” seasoning is the extremely clever epitome of sushi reinvention. Simply genius.MIZUNO2849 Jerusalem Ave., Wantagh516-785-0036www.mizunony.comTraditional Japanese cuisine with a modern twist is what you’ll get at Mizuno.Best Dish: Tuna crackerAn inventive selection, the Tuna Cracker Appetizer is unlike any I’ve had before. Tuna, mango, apple, avocado, tobiko, with a special chef’s sauce, all on a surprisingly crisp potato chip, this dish was fresh, innovative and filled with the perfect marriage of ingredients and textures. It’s probably the best single bite I’ve had all year.POPEI’S CLAM BAR & SEAFOOD HOUSE299 Raft Ave., Sayville631-567-9054www.popeissayville.comThe menu is huge, the service is attentive and friendly, and the food, especially their seafood, is first-rate.Best Dish: Caliente calamariPiled high with incredibly tender fried calamari, heated with jalapeños and Cajun spices, and served with sweet marinara sauce, this is the best calamari dish I’ve ever had.SOUVLAKI STOP111 Mineola Blvd., Mineola516-747-3458156 Gardiner’s Ave., Levittown516-605-1282Their signature green sauce, fresh ingredients and large variety of Greek specialties are worth the a stop at either location.Best Dish: shrimp SouvlakiTender, marinated, char-broiled shrimp served with pita, lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce. It just doesn’t get any better than this.VILLA D’ESTE186 Jericho Tpke., Floral Park516-354-1355www.villadesterestaurant.comThis low-key, 44-year-old Italian restaurant is well worth the ride from…well, almost anywhere.Best Dish: Chicken ChestnutsThe showstopper here is the Chicken Chestnuts, tenderized thin, with a sublime chestnut and red wine sauce that is almost fruity and completely reinvents the poultry flavor profile.VILLA MONACO778 Montauk Hwy., West Islip631-661-5599www.villa-monaco.comVilla Monaco is somewhat of an institution in West Islip—a local Italian favorite for nearly four decades.Best Dish: Shrimp orangeLightly breaded shrimp wrapped in prosciutto and melted mozzarella in an orange sauce flavored by Triple Sec, this dish also can be made with chicken or veal. There’s an old adage that you don’t mix cheese and seafood, but this dish proves that sometimes old adages are just plain wrong.VINOCO WINE BAR & TAPAS RESTAURANT147 Mineola Blvd., Mineola516-307-8056www.vinocony.comVinoco itself is like a tapas—a small, unlikely treat. The food is as hip and sophisticated as culinary fare you’d find in trendy Manhattan. The inventive offerings and sauce combinations here are brilliant.Best Dish: Skewers & shootersThe Vinoco Marinated Chicken is flavorful, and arrives with a shot glass of Black Olive aioli. The Drunken Lump Crab Cake with its spicy Pina Colada shooter is another jaw-dropping dish with fresh ingredients and unexpected flavor combinations.WILD HONEY ON MAIN172 Main St., Port Washington516-439-5324www.wildhoneyonmain.comI haven’t eaten here since Chef Roberto Baez left, but many of his exquisite dishes are still on the menu. The intimate, romantic Wild Honey is full of bold, rich flavors and subtle finesse.Best Dish: Oven roasted french cut chickenThe Oven Roasted French Cut Chicken with whipped Idaho potatoes, smoked garlic spinach and dark pan sauce was a spectacular twist to a classic.last_img

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