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Aug 16, 2007 10:32 AM

Hempstead, Garden City.....

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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  1. - Good italian and great wines by the glass system - Belgium bistro with excellent beers - american bistro fare - I think it's a good place - good asain place

    10 Replies
    1. re: GCGuy

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


      1. re: BackyardChef

        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

          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

            How was the service? Was it busy? Dessert?

            1. re: GCGuy

              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

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

                1. re: GCGuy

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

                  1. re: jmax

                    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

                      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

                        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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