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Aug 17, 2008 03:01 PM

Island Park/Oceanside Area

Found some good places today (some tried, some just vibed). If you've tried them, please add thoughts. If you haven't tried them, and do, please report back.

Artie's aka South Shore Fish Market 4257 Austin Blvd, Island Park (516) 889-0692. definitely the class act in south shore fish restaurants. Nothing fancy, it's just tables in an adjunct to a (terrific) fish store. But owner Artie's an actual fisherman, and he has really good stuff. Soft shells were huge and perfect. Lobster sweet and fatty like Maine. French fries and sweet potato fries worth a trip, and surprisingly decent vegetables (e.g. asparagus). Good garlic bread, clam sauce dishes looked good. Fried stuff is kind of weird, though tasty...e.g. the whole belly ipswich clams were perfect clams, but something "off" with the frying. Grilled whole branzini was impeccable on the bread-crumbed side, mushy and underseasoned on the other. Terrific sweet tea, and smart, genuine service.

Peter's Clam House (600 Long Beach Rd Island Park, 516-432-0505) just up the block, is newish and very busy and I have a very good vibe.

Agrigento Bakery 4032 Austin Blvd Island Park (516) 431-0400 Sicilian bakery. really terrific sfoigatelle (mostly for the shells, the filling's only very good), wonderful chocolate/hazelnut (here actually chocolate/almond) cookies. Lots of other things look good but aren't, but the cannoli are amazing. They fry their own shells....IN LARD!!!! You can buy cannoli shell shards for snacking, too.

Oceanside Knish Factory 3445 Lawson Blvd Oceanside, (516) 766-4445 make very good buttery rugelach. I like the chocolate ones, but you have to appreciate the winey tasting chocolate religious jews use in such things. I bought some cold knishes for later, they looked excellent and very hand-made.

Union Bagel Café 1 Union Ave Lynbrook (516) 256-3360 sign says hand-rolled. I get a good vibe.

Less interesting:

I got a terrible terrible vibe from The Smokehouse, a smoothie, highly-commercialized bbq place at 4160 Austin Blvd., Island Park, NY, 516-889-3733. You don't want to see a big sign advertising "frozen drinks" outside a barbecue place.

Nearby, Bad Bob's barbecue 3112-3114 Lawson Blvd 
516-561-7427 looks better, though still not great. Part of a chain, including one location in Port Washington.

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  1. "Artie's aka South Shore Fish Market the class act in south shore fish restaurants"

    WHAT? "class act "! .....Paper plates, no credit cards, paper cups! Where is the class?
    The same goes of Peter's Clam House!

    Ya want a Class Act, go to Jimmy Hays.
    Another good choice would be La Taberna. (a bit expensive for what the give you, but good)

    But I do agree that The Smokehouse, was terrible.

    1 Reply
    1. re: the queen

      I don't measure class by the thread weave of the napkins, but by the care and skill invested in the cooking.

    2. Artie's has been mentioned as a winner on this board often. I haven't been but someone else just recommended it to me last night.

      Peter's is an institution, been there forever. Seasonal clam bar. Raw clams on the half-shell are fresh and great. Other stuff hit-and-miss. It's a biker bar most of the time. I personally am a little turned off by being across the creek from a landfill.

      I read the Smokehouse as you do. Lots of failed chain restaurants in that spot.

      Bad Bob's is generally panned on this board. My one experience last summer was "meh"- the guy seemed into it an passionate but I think the accountant won out. Other more recent posts have shredded them, and they may be out of business. I'd waited 6 months for this place and was hugely saddened by the let-down.

      Thanks for the tip on Agrigento- I've been driving by for years but never stopped in. (I usually go to Mario's on Merrick Rd). I'm going to have to stop in for cannoli!

      2 Replies
      1. re: dude

        Stopped into Agrigento on the 18th. WOW what a cannoli! I use the cleaner next door- gonna be hard not to make every visit a two-fer.

        The Steinberg's rec is right on for bread. Aside from mandel bread, though, their desserts are mediocre IMO.

        1. re: dude

          i've been to artie's.ok,nothing special.his fresh stuff is good but no bargain.

          we went to peter's the other night to meet friends so we gave it a's been a long time since i'd been there.i had their version of a shrimp po boy,fried shrimp on a hero with fries,cole slaw,melted moazzarella and russian dressing all on the hero.odd but fairly tasty.actually better than i expected.still not what it was though.

        2. Artie's May have been mentioned as a winner on this board , but to me it’s only just another pita joint.

          Peter's may have been an institution at one time, BUT this is NOT the same owner, it was sold about 2-3 years ago and is just a Seafood Nathan.s now. personally am also little turned off by being across the creek from a landfill. As well as it being a bikers and hippy gathering spot...

          As for the Smokehouse, this is just about the worst rib place imaginable ..

          1 Reply
          1. The fish store is very good - everything is fresh. I've had two good meals at Artie's - just simply prepared good tasting fish. I wasn't expecting any more.

            1. Tried a knish...very good, very authentic. Slight sephardic nuance makes them a tad more samosa-like than the usual. Good place, though they'll never last in that awful location.

              Anyone feel like trying the bagels?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jim Leff

                I've lived in and around Oceanside on and off for almost 30 years, and the Knish Factory has always been there ;) It is an awful location, but the rugelachs are awesome. Whistlestop Bakery is also back there, and they make great cheesecake. As for Artie's, as my 5 year old says "This is the best fish ever!". You might also want to check out Steinberg's on Long Beach Rd, in the Lincoln Shopping Center. Excellent, authentic Jewish bakery. Try the chocolate meltaways and almond horns. My husband, who's from LA, was in there every day when we first moved back here.