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Hauppauge and Central Long Island

I'll be in Hauppauge and central LI next week with a car and I'm looking for something good for a Lunch and a Dinner. A quick check has come up with :

Kotobuki in Hauppage - good reviews but I'm concerned it might be an "Olive Garden" of sushi
H2O in Smithtown
Fat Fish in Bay Shore - looks very good and on the water.

I guess I'm leaning towards seafood because the proximity to the water, but would appreciate any good recommendations for any type of food. Thanks.

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  1. Kotobuki is excellent. Never been to the other places, sorry.

    1. Kotobuki and Fat Fish are both good, especially if you have lunch on the deck at FF, looking at the Great South Bay. H20 is uneven; some good recipes executed properly roughly half the time. Deafening loud when busy.

      Branchinelli's has wonderful pizza, it's on the Smithtown Bypass. Dining room is decent, too.

      1. Thank you both.

        Kotobuki is very close to where I'm staying so that looks like a winner. It's my first time to the area and my favorite places are local treasures. Are there any off the beat places that you like to go ?

        4 Replies
        1. re: PoppiYYZ

          Not too far away is a cash only place, chef run, where you just walk in, find your seat for lunch or dinner and are welcome to BYOB, if you want, no corkage fee, they just hand you a corkscrew. It's Kitchen a Bistro in St. James. There's a well thought of Thai place nearby in Islandia, I think it is, but the name escapes me... probably the only one in the area, though.

          1. re: mcf

            Thanks mcf,

            Kitchen sounds fantastic. I like the idea of a chef preparing what is available and also what they want. Kinda like going home for dinner, except with a chef cooking.

            1. re: PoppiYYZ

              Kitchen a Bistro is great, definitely worth the experience. Kotobuki is truly delicious. The sashimi lunch special is the best $14 I've ever spent; about 10 pieces of super-fresh fish, soup, salad, rice, half a house special roll and a small dish of cajun seared salmon in some kind of horseradish hollandaise.

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              Kotobuki Restaurant
              1530 Old Northern Blvd, Roslyn, NY 11576

              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                It's a unique place; the prix fixe lunch is a great deal, but any meal is a treat there. It's all about the food, genteel surroundings, rock music (not blasting) and whatever he feels like making that day. His original site is now Kitchen a Trattoria right nearby. I'm sure it's great but I haven't eaten there yet.

                If you think of it, let us know where you've eaten and how it was?

                Have a great visit.

          2. Thank you all so much.

            I'm still trying to schedule three restaurants into two meals which as you know isn't an impossible task ! I'll let you know how things work out...

            1. Sorry I didn't sum up sooner, but after a late flight, late afternoon traffic from JFK, and truncated meeting schedule, it turned out to be a two restaurant in one meal trip.

              Headed straight for Fat Fish for a couple of small plates and unfortunately it was terrible. Bad guitar guy strumming old soft rock set the mood and the calamari were completely dessicated. Honestly haven't eaten anything that bad (or dehydrated) for some time. Two grilled scallops were expensive and just OK.

              Undaunted, sought out Kotobuki shortly after checking into the hotel. Friendly service was excellent (sat at the sushi bar), great vibe with a full house and staff happy and smiling, a la carte sushi was delicious, and I know sushi purists might frown, but the special eel roll (Tiger Baby ?) was mind blowing. Saw orders of the sushi / sashimi combo going out and it looked fantastic too. Overall an excellent place.

              Really missed trying Kitchen a Bistro, but it is top of the list for next trip. Thank you all for the suggestions.

              5 Replies
              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                I'm so sorry you had a bad experience at Fat Fish! I haven't been there in a year, but have had only very good lunches with MIL on the deck outside any time I've been there. Usually a salad with steak or grilled fish. I don't even recall a small plates menu there. Glad you liked the others, hope you get to Kitchen a Bistro.

                1. re: mcf

                  Thanks again mcf,

                  For clarification, one was a starter, the other a tapas.

                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                    Well, either way, I'm really sorry that one of my reccos turned out badly for you, but glad you got to Kotobuki!

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                    Kotobuki Restaurant
                    1530 Old Northern Blvd, Roslyn, NY 11576

                    1. re: mcf

                      Sorry, but the special Kotobuki roll was called Tasty Boy (I found the receipt - hey, at least I got the two letters right !). If you like eel, this is 14 bucks of pure deliciousness...

                      1. re: PoppiYYZ

                        I love eel, I just don't eat rice. :-)