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Hempstead, Garden City.....

BackyardChef Aug 16, 2007 10:32 AM

Visiting a friend near Hempstead and looking for a nice, relaxed place with better than average and creative food for a dinner. We don't have a cuisine preference, just want a place to drink a few bottles of wine and have a nice meal.

I've heard mixed things about Taste, Ed Witt's new place, but his food at Varietal was really interesting. Not much info on the boards about it, though, which makes me scratch my head a little. What's the word-- yay or nay?

The last time I was out that way, some time ago, there weren't too many options....but I did find a few good taco places.....

Any help?

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    GCGuy RE: BackyardChef Aug 16, 2007 11:05 AM

    novita-ny.com - Good italian and great wines by the glass system
    waterzooi.com - Belgium bistro with excellent beers
    walkstreetgc.com - american bistro fare
    tastebistro.com - I think it's a good place
    asianmoonrestaurant.com - good asain place

    10 Replies
    1. re: GCGuy
      BackyardChef RE: GCGuy Aug 16, 2007 11:07 AM

      Thanks GCGuy-- any more info on these places? Your experiences? I'll do my own searching around the site, too....


      1. re: BackyardChef
        GCGuy RE: BackyardChef Aug 16, 2007 11:11 AM

        I think they're all pretty good, really. Some may argue, but nice places, pretty good meals (at least), good service. For wine, you can't beat Novita. For beer, waterzooi (same owners, next door to each other). I like Asian Moon, as well. Good assortment of asain cuisine.

        Oh yeah, there's also Grimaldi's pizza on Franklin Ave and a really great cigar shop - J Barbera Tobacconist.

        They're all in the same general area, so it wouldn't be too tough to check them out for yourself. I'd say in that area, downtown GC would be your best bet for some eats.

        1. re: GCGuy
          BackyardChef RE: GCGuy Aug 19, 2007 08:33 AM

          Wound up at Taste-- my curiosity of what Witt was cooking these days got the best of me-- and I was very pleasantly surprised. I don't have time right now for a detailed review, but there was a generally unstuffy air in a comfortable room.

          The food was generally solid across the board-- my dining partner enjoyed the ham-stuffed peppers and I had the shrimp hush puppies, which were just slightly under-salted but had a bright, clean shrimp flavor.

          My pulled pork sandwich was unexpectedly good, and my friend's lamb looked wonderful, but I didn't get to taste it.

          1. re: BackyardChef
            GCGuy RE: BackyardChef Aug 20, 2007 10:25 AM

            How was the service? Was it busy? Dessert?

            1. re: GCGuy
              BackyardChef RE: GCGuy Aug 20, 2007 11:56 AM

              It wasn't slammed, but we were there on the early side. Service was fairly smooth, if a little unfamiliar with the menu...I did recognize John Cantwell (he introduced himself after I stared) from River Cafe....he was quite proud of the restaurant and, I suppose, he should be. He took it upon himself to oversee our meal, so perhaps service was on their toes because of it....?

              I'll have to go back and concentrate more on the meal. I was with an old friend and were more focused on talking. We had ice cream elsewhere....

              1. re: BackyardChef
                GCGuy RE: BackyardChef Aug 20, 2007 01:47 PM

                Sounds good. Still haven't gotten here yet. Thanks.

                1. re: GCGuy
                  jmax RE: GCGuy Aug 20, 2007 07:02 PM

                  What do you mean you haven't gotten here yet?

                  1. re: jmax
                    GCGuy RE: jmax Aug 21, 2007 10:33 AM

                    It's the one place I haven't eaten at, but have heard good things. It's been busy over on my end with a new baby, so not all that much time for "fine dining." I spoke with Cantwll and Witt and it seems like a very good place.

                    1. re: GCGuy
                      jmax RE: GCGuy Aug 21, 2007 11:41 AM

                      I'm surprised and a bit confused. The number of positive posts you have written about it - I would have thought you had dined there a few times...

                      1. re: jmax
                        GCGuy RE: jmax Aug 21, 2007 01:06 PM

                        I was just speaking from experience dealing with the owners, the menu, other's comments, reviews, and my overall excitment that such a place with a relative pedigree in mgmt would come to LI, let alone GC. Sorry if I confused or misled in any way.

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