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Aug 14, 2007 07:04 AM

Help! Looking for great all-around Long Island dining experience.

I am a mid-20s chowhound searching the Island for a great dining experience. I feel like I've been to all the hyped places around and am looking for something new.

The food doesn't alwasy have to be the best, blow-you-mind type. I would rather enjoy the entire experience as a whole (good service, great atmosphere, etc...) than sacrifice for food.

Preferably something close to Nassau County..not really interested in driving to the Hamptons. A good, extensive wine list is a plus too!


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    1. Really enjoyed RS Jones on Merrick Avenue. Been quite some time - several years - so don't know if it's still good or even if it's still there. Fun, casual atmosphere, good food, service.

      1. The Lake House in Bayshore

        1. This is actually a very thought-provoking question--I might have to post more than once.

          These days the all around dining experience on this Island seems to consist of Bertucci's, Dave's, Macaroni Grill, etc. I am sick to my stomach just thinking about those places. Gag me with a spoon. Why are people so narrow minded?

          But, to answer your specific question, last week I went to Trattoria Grasso in CSH (just over the Suffolk border), and the food was outstanding. Rack of lamb to die for, excellent (and large portion) of tuna tartare. Very good service, live music on a Thursday night, great room, with a nice vibe. This place is seriously under the radar. It got a very good review in the NYT last September, but I've never heard anyone talk about it. It is pricey though, all entrees mid-20's and up. IMHO, it's a special occasion place. Not a random dinner out spot.

          However, Roberto's in the Belmont area of the Bronx (Arthur Ave.), I know not on LI, but that is my favorite "all around" dining experience period. Outstanding cuisine, great atmosphere, very professional service. Roberto himself often wandering the room. Not to be missed. And, considering the quality of the food and wine, not too pricey (in comparison to a lot of restaurants on LI that are mediocre at best). A couple can leave with a tab of $120.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JGS

            I'll have to give Trattoria Grasso a shot, I'll let you know what I think!

          2. Nassau County, great wine list, service, atmosphere head over to Novita in Garden City. Just so happens the food is pretty darn good too.

            9 Replies
            1. re: MKS

              I tried Novita just this past Monday just to see what all the fuss was about. Nice wine list, but a little to Italianized for me (I prefer a bit more of a selection of American wines) but I thought overall it was a nice place...dead as a doornail. Somehow, I just get thrown off if I'm the only person in a restauarant, seems like I'm not in on a terrible secret.

              1. re: foodieforthought

                No terrible secret here. Monday nights are usually slow. I would feel the same way had it been my first visit. Even on the weekend there are alot less people. A totally different experience come fall. For now, we're enjoying just walking in and being seated.

                1. re: MKS

                  I just tired Honu in Huntington tonight...was great! Small plates concept is a new and welcome addition to the Island.

                    1. re: Siobhan

                      they do Silver Oak Cabernet by the glass ($35/gl. if you want to indulge). Just some familiar names and reasonable prices.

                      1. re: foodieforthought

                        $35 per glass?..... Then I guess our tastes in a good wine list are a lot different.

                        1. re: Siobhan

                          I'm not saying I would buy it, but its rare that you see Silver Oak on a wines by the glass list, that's all.

                          Most wines range from $40-$60, probably around 40 wines on the list. Most American wines.

                            1. re: Siobhan

                              No, per bottle. My date and I got a botle of prosecco for $27, so it isn't that unreasonable.