Plenty of fine Italian restaurants line Sunrise Highway between Lynbrook and Rockville Centre. One is San Remo, known as Dino’s until last fall, and a bastion of Ligurian specialties like pesto and grilled seafood.
Owner-chef Rafael (Ralph) Mekic, formerly the chef at Alberto’s in Forest Hills, hails from Montenegro and embraces Liguria’s coastal flavors and nutty tastes. We opened our meal with balsamic-drizzled grilled calamari (Jeff) and grilled octopus (Vera); both choices delighted.
Vera selected Veal Ossobuco alla Milanese featuring a traditional gremolata sauce: garlic, anchovy, parsley, and lemon zest. Jeff got veal scaloppini, here called Veal alla San Remo, bearing vivid grilled tomatoes and Buffalo mozzarella in Barolo wine sauce.
We shared house-made black ink linguini, starring fleshy pieces of shrimp, firm shitake mushrooms, hearts of artichokes, peas and cherry tomatoes in a virgin olive oil and garlic sauce. From the wine cellar, we picked a white, Villa Rosa Gavi di Gavi ($36) to escort the seafood, and a red, Giribaldi Barbaresco ($55) for the meats. Both satisfied.
Chose tiramisu for dessert: it’s smooth, scrumptious and firm. If you go – and go you should – leave enough time for a leisurely meal. Faicon comodo, as they say in Italy.
San Remo, 328 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre, 516-764-0800. Week-
days prix fixe three-course menu, $28. Pastas $17.50-$28. Entrees $21-$39.
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Billy Joel dined with Gov. Andrew Cuomo al fresco at Nick & Toni’s one recent Saturday evening … Kevin James was spotted at The BBG in Williston Park, snacking on appetizers … Also at Nick & Toni’s Labor Day week was Scarlett Johannson and Colin Jost, tete-a-teting over a late dinner … Sir Paul McCartney and his family dined at Duryea’s in Montauk … Retired Yankee great Bernie Williams chowed down on a steak at the bar at Indian Wells Tavern, East Hampton … Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake got their barbeque fix at Townline BBQ.
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If you’re tired of the usual Indian lunch buffet cliches, try New Chilli & Curry in Hicksville. The menu comes in Hindustani (Northern Indian), Hakka (Indian-style Chinese) and Thai flavors for appreciative, multi-culti midday crowds. The buffet table groans with goat masala, diwani handi (wok-fried mixed vegetables) mapotofu (Szechuan meets New Delhi vegan), tandoori chicken and more. Owner Kumar Chhetri presides serenely over the multilingual feasting.
Lunch buffet, $9.74; Tues-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 106 Woodbury Road, Hicksville. 516-932-9180.
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Oktoberfest specials abound. Oak Chalet at 1940 Bellmore Ave. in Bellmore is Bavarian year ’round, but never more so than during October. Sample German specialties accompanied by the music of accordionist Frank Rapuano.
Mirabelle Tavern at the Three Village Inn (150 Main St., Stony Brook, 631-751-0555, hosts a four-course beer pairing dinner on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. The evening features a four-course prix menu paired with Oktoberfest craft beers. Cost: $58 per person including tax and tip.
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Like doughnuts, but hate the heavy taste? Foughnuts – think faux doughnuts – of Great Neck has added Pina Colada and Mango Passion Fruit to their array of baked (not fried) doughnuts. More new flavors are coming.
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Somm like it hot. The third batch of Wölffer Pink Gin is in and we hear it’s selling fast. So is its new batch of 139 Cider. Wölffer now produces more cider than wine. You heard it here first.
Lieb Cellars has introduced Long Island’s first canned wine under their Bridge Lane label. It was only a matter of time.
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Chef Enko Purisic, also from Montenegro and former owner-executive chef at La Bistecca in Valley Stream and Branzino in Lynbrook, is now executive chef at Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano on 46th St. in New York, near the Chazz Palminteri Broadway hit, A Bronx Tale.
Michael Ross is now executive chef at Salt & Barrel in Bay Shore. Prior, Michael was sous chef at Jewel and owner-chef at Fiddleheads.