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

foodieforthought Aug 14, 2007 07:04 AM

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. l
    laylag RE: foodieforthought Aug 15, 2007 09:41 AM

    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. j
      jmax RE: foodieforthought Aug 15, 2007 09:52 AM

      The Lake House in Bayshore

      1. JGS RE: foodieforthought Aug 15, 2007 05:22 PM

        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
          foodieforthought RE: JGS Aug 15, 2007 10:31 PM

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

        2. m
          MKS RE: foodieforthought Aug 15, 2007 05:46 PM

          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
            foodieforthought RE: MKS Aug 15, 2007 10:31 PM

            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
              MKS RE: foodieforthought Aug 16, 2007 05:35 PM

              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
                foodieforthought RE: MKS Aug 16, 2007 08:00 PM

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

                1. re: foodieforthought
                  Siobhan RE: foodieforthought Aug 16, 2007 08:41 PM

                  what was good on the wine list?

                  1. re: Siobhan
                    foodieforthought RE: Siobhan Aug 17, 2007 07:29 AM

                    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
                      Siobhan RE: foodieforthought Aug 17, 2007 08:56 PM

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

                      1. re: Siobhan
                        foodieforthought RE: Siobhan Aug 17, 2007 09:01 PM

                        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: foodieforthought
                          Siobhan RE: foodieforthought Aug 17, 2007 09:34 PM

                          Per glass?

                          1. re: Siobhan
                            foodieforthought RE: Siobhan Aug 17, 2007 09:44 PM

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

          2. monalisawoman RE: foodieforthought Aug 17, 2007 07:29 AM

            Is it just me, or isn't the whole "Long Island" experience about eating fresh seafood on or near the water? I think of Louie's in Port Washington... Matthew's on Fire Island... even the seafood shack next to the ferry dock in Bayshore is a Long Island experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: monalisawoman
              foodieforthought RE: monalisawoman Aug 18, 2007 11:49 AM

              In all honesty, no. Eating on the water on Long Island is similar to eating in Times Square in Manhattan. Yes...its fun for tourists, but the locals like myself are simply looking for a good dining experience. The water is always there, as is the beach...I don't need to each by it.

              Besides, LI's seafood trade is a mere fraction of what it used to be.

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