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Great places on Long Island?

(Note: Post edited at poster request -- The Chowhound Team)

I'm having trouble finding really great food on Long Island. Can anyone suggest places I should try?

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. It is a very looooooooooong island with many great restaurants.
      Which area/town/county??

      16 Replies
        1. re: Gastronomos

          I am most familiar with Suffolk county but here goes:
          Mara's Homemade
          Arturo's
          Peter Luger

          1. re: Gastronomos

            We already know that LL Dent and Peter Luger aren't up to your standards. Maybe you should list others you've tried and rejected so folks would know what to suggest?

            As I mentioned in your other thread on this topic, you'd have to have avoided some of the best food on the Island if you haven't explored the ethnic options in Hicksville: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8725...

            I'd start at New Chilli and Curry, Royal Bukhara Grill Indian Spice Rave, West East Cafe, Dosa Diner, House of Dosas, and in Farmingdale, Caracara Mexican Grill, The Orient, Tiny Thai (haven't been to all of these, but have frequently been cited by those I trust if not visited myself).

            That's just for starters.

            1. re: mcf

              Caracara, "upscale Mexican", good food, a bit more authentic than some others... doesn't really have that "feel" or taste one might seek in a Mexican place. But a good call, thanks!

              1. re: Gastronomos

                Maybe you just don't like to eat out. ;-)

                  1. re: Gastronomos

                    So which of the restaurants I listed have you visited and found wanting or inconsistent in Hicksville? I think I asked on both threads.

                1. re: Gastronomos

                  Suffolk has more authentic Mexican than Nassau, but Little Mexico on Post Road in Westbury is very good. Not a dive in any sense of the word, but not Americanized either. (There's always a TV playing.)

                  Hope you have been to Bigelow's in Rockville Centre and Hildebrandts in Williston Park.

              2. re: Gastronomos

                Haven't been, but I've heard lots of good things about Lola in Great Neck:
                http://www.restaurantlola.com/lola/in...

                1. re: boredough

                  I was at Lola a week ago and sat at the bar and enjoyed a new menu item, Korean fried chicken. Delicious, perfectly fried, juicy and with a little spice. It came with a boring rice cake and a perfefect rendition of the papaya salad served with the fried soft shell crab at Sripraphai. Not surprising as Chef Ginor is a big fan of Thai cuisine and eats there. With an ice cold beer and an order of super thin french fries, it was a terrific snack.

                  Duh, Gastronomos, have you been to the Williton branch of Sripraphai?

                  1. re: stuartlafonda

                    Yes I have. Not sure if it's as good as the Sripriphai in Woodside, but I enjoy it anyhow. Its certainly not as crowded. I haven't been to the one in Woodside since this opened.. Is it still#1??

                    1. re: lenorel57

                      I haven't gone (Have Sri Thai nearby) but have read very mixed reviews of the WP one... not the same as the original, folks say.

                          1. re: mcf

                            I forgot to mention 2 restaurants which were very good. One is Lula Trattoria in Mineola. The other is Heirloom Tavern in Glen Head. Very good food; but it is one of the noisiest restaurants I have ever been in.

                            A restaurant that has really wonderful food is Vernick Food and Drink. I ate there March 9th. Unfortunately it's in Philly

                            1. re: mcf

                              Sripraphai WP v. Woodside, interesting question. I started at Sri Woodside when I learned about it from Chowhound and it was one small narrow room serving great Thai, but I had such limited knowledge and experience with Thai, what did I know? Well I do know what I like and as it grew and became overcrowded the food remained excellent, to my taste. Many 'hounds have moved on to other Queens Thai joints, some I have tried and enjoyed. At the end of the day I still love many of the dishes at Srip/ WP and remain loyal. Fried soft shell crab, fried watercress salad, curry puffs, pannang, or red curry, pork leg, and drunken noodles are just some of my favorites. I still don't like their deserts so we go sit at the counter at Hildebrants and enjoy the ice cream.

              3. The original comment has been removed
                1. Have you eaten in Noahs in Greenport; Brass Rail in Locust Valley; Diane's and Mp Taverna, Bistro Citron, in Roslyn. Piccolo liguria in Port Washington? Lolas in Great Neck?

                  I can't believe you've never had a good meal on the island.

                  What restaurants do you like? Where are they?

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: lenorel57

                    He won't say; have asked about 5 times so far.

                    1. re: lenorel57

                      MP Taverna of Roslyn. Very good lamb burger twice and the third was a very 'off' day. Friends ask me why we went. Otherwise I am a huge fan of Michael Psilakis. Dined at OPERA when he first opened. Still have that awesome memory with me. Thank you for the recs. I have to try some! :-)

                      1. re: Gastronomos

                        Aha. So there are at least a couple of restaurants you like.

                        1. re: lenorel57

                          Perhaps, but the question is...
                          is good food good enough for a chowhound?
                          I still seek the original mantra of this site... hyperdeliciousness... im sure anyone can get a good meal at an upscale restaurant. I'm sure that each place has a menu item or two that is their 'signature'... the rest of the menu is to please peoples wants, a la.. steak, fried calamari, etc...
                          Brass Rail is OK, definitely edible, but,
                          Even MP Taverna with a lamb burger... misses the point and the meatballs there are the worst i have ever had.
                          Even Frank Bruni wrote about how he couldn't take it anymore as fellow diners of his were always insisting on ordering a steak at each and every restaurant. He said he can't rate a restaurant based on a steak, it means nothing. So he retired from the NYT.
                          Should I post a new question "Any 'hyperdeliciousness' out there?" and the thread would be about asking "what is hyperdeliciousness"... Peace :-)

                          1. re: Gastronomos

                            Some of those in a pretty long list I posted to you are far from upscale. New Chilli and Curry, for example. But you'd have to stand there for an hour or so with all the other folks waiting for a table if you go after 5 or 5:30. It's that good. People huddle outside in the cold on line.

                            1. re: mcf

                              Tried the lunch buffet at New Chilli & Curry. Very nice. Thank you.

                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                I've never considered the lunch buffet at NCC to be notable; the dinner menu, on the other hand, is fantastic.

                                1. re: Scott_R

                                  It was a quick stop while I was in the nabe. I don't necessarily have to be hungry to eat ;-) thankfully... looking forward to my return for dinner.......

                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                    If you go early, no prob, if you go at 9:30, the wait gets shorter to nearly none.

                                    Or you can go for lunch and eat off the regular menu, too.

                                2. re: Gastronomos

                                  Waited for dinner there the other night for 45 minutes. Had such a post prandial afterglow that I told my husband that I don't know why we keep wasting any time eating anywhere else.

                                  As Scott says, you must go back for dinner. Lunch buffet is not where their best work happens, though nothing appears to be less than good.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    Can't wait...;-) after lunch at Souvlaki Palace ... again....

                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                      Glad you're finding great chow on LI with a little help from your friends here. :-)

                                      Two things, if you tell them you want "Indian hot" or the way the owners eat it, it's incendiary, for real.

                                      Personal and family faves: Manchurian cauliflower appetizer, spicy coriander soup (especially on a very cold winter day or eve), malai kebab, bhindi masala, chili chicken and lamb. Just had a Szechuan eggplant dish (we usually eat Hakka style mostly), for the first time, very, very good. The only think I like better elsewhere is the Tandoori chicken.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        My favorites, and not seen at other restaurants (except Kiran Palace): Chicken Xiacutti (chicken in grated coconut red curry) and Dahiwala Baingan (Eggplant in yogurt sauce)

                                        1. re: sbp

                                          I don't think we liked the Xiacutti (and yes, these owners are the legendary kitchen team that was Kiran Palace), but do have the eggplant often.

                                      2. re: Gastronomos

                                        If it's weekday lunch, say hi to my husband for me!

                          2. re: lenorel57

                            I enjoyed Brass Rail on two occasions. On my list to return.:-)

                          3. Since this originally posted, I requested chowhound.com to edit this post.
                            The reasons are as follows:

                            Mara's Homemade. I visited by recommendation from some on this site. I did not find this place to be a chowhound destination.

                            Sripraphai - Williston Park. Authentic may be overrated. I liked the “drunken noodles” with the servers recommendation of “chicken”, but it’s nothing to make me want anything but a well executed beef chow fun from any number of Chinese take out joints on LI. I will make another visit with company next time to taste several different dishes, including the revered ‘soft shell crab’ when in season and the watercress.

                            I enjoy breakfast out. It’s one of my favorite meals to eat out. Yes. I know. It’s the one meal that is available at every Big Box ‘greek’ “New Jersey” style diner all over LI. And the one that is the most difficult, it seems, to get done properly.
                            I don’t like everything about it, but Thomas’s Ham and Eggery is my usual stop.
                            The ‘homemade’ chicken sausage has gotten much better. Less herbs so it doesn’t taste like solid herbal tea. And it’s no longer cooked to a chokingly dry crisp, usually.
                            It’s found in the Leek & Chicken Sausage Frittata in miniscule amounts and the Frittatas in general are cooked to death, dry and unseasoned. So I order scrambled or over easy with chicken sausage in lieu of bacon or other meat. The special that comes up sometimes of cheesey grits and thick cut bacon is good, if not a reason to go. I sometimes grab a muffin to go. Some of them are tasty.
                            I once ordered a skirt steak at Thomas’s. A very rare thing for me to do is to order a steak anywhere. And yet, this was a very good steak, marinated and cooked “to perfection” (whatever that means, LOL!)
                            I think the key here is that the guy who works the grill on Sundays with the greasey truck driver hair is a better cook than the other guys, but they are all good cooks.
                            I kindly request fellow chowhounds for their advise and suggestions to eating my way through LI. Please, we all have our tastes and differences. I prefer no steak joints, burger joints, Asian restaurants, or ‘high end’ places. I can’t afford the price tags of some of these places on a regular basis. I’m sure someone on LI is cooking good quality at reasonable prices.

                            Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Gastronomos

                              I had a really superb goat cheese salad with Romanian steak on top and a really excellent, very garlicky, Greek house dressing at Premier Diner in Commack last night. Right next to the expressway.

                              Mr. MCF is loving lunches (and we both loved dinner) at Souvlaki Palace in Commack. Both are on Commack Rd. Down scale location and decor and seating, house made gyros, lots of food for the money.

                              I agree about Mara's; I liked her so much liked some of what we had, but a lot of it, while very authentic just didn't have flavors that popped for us at all. Never went back.

                              Sri Thai in Huntington Village was still very good a while back when I ate there (Thai generally has too much sugar for me).

                              If you like bistro food, Bistro Cassis in Huntington and Bistron Citron in Roslyn are good.

                              ETA: Smart editing. Just sayinzall. ;-)

                              1. re: mcf

                                Souvlaki Palace in Commack. Interesting place. Can't quite figure it out yet. Been twice already and it seems to have some cult following. Need to try some more dishes to understand what this place is all about. :-)

                              2. re: Gastronomos

                                From someone who was initially a bit offended by the wording of your original post - many thanks!!!

                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                  Since you asked so nicely this time;)
                                  I second (or third) the recommendations for New Chilli and Curry, the Orient, Little Mexico, Hildebrandt’s, Bistro Citron and the Brass Rail. And the corn bread at L.L. Dent is the best.

                                  A few more that I like:
                                  Las Vinas, a small Peruvian restaurant in Manhasset. We have only ordered off the tapas menu on our visits and we have enjoyed everything. http://www.lasvinasny.com/
                                  Main Street Bakery in Port Washington – a very small bakery/soup, salad sandwich shop. I took my aunt here for lunch takeout after Sandy, and she had a cheeseburger that she declared was one of the best she has ever had. I had a coconut cupcake and it was very good, as cupcakes go. They also do a Sunday brunch. http://www.mainstreetbakerycafe.com/
                                  Also in PW, Kazan for Uzbek food – great shish kebab. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/nyr...
                                  Salvatore’s for coal oven pizza, calzones and great salads. Also in Port Washington. http://salvatorescoalfiredpizza.com/
                                  Miraj Healthy Grill in Williston Park for really delicious Persian food, at very reasonable prices. Service is not always stellar, but I have enjoyed every meal I have had there. A review from 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/nyr...

                                  Hope you find something you like!

                                  1. re: EM23

                                    Thank you for the recs. They all sound like they are 'right up my alley'

                                  2. re: Gastronomos

                                    Try Heirloom Tavern in Glen Head. Same chef as Brass rail. Very good food...very, very noisy

                                    1. re: lenorel57

                                      I'm going to have to try it; so far, the chef alumni from Panama Hattie's have had pretty distinguished ventures. I still miss Hog House.