Long Island Press

The Long Island Press

Long Island Restaurants’ Standout Single Dish Selections

Long Island Restaurants

Any good restaurant can make quesadillas or sushi, but if you add a twist like a quesadilla with gyro meat or a bagel-and-lox sushi roll, then you’re part of the latest trend in Long Island eats—traditional with a twist. So, just because you know that a good steakhouse will wow you with its chops or a seafood joint with its swordfish, don’t bypass their potentially addictive reinventions or their updated classics. Here are some of the best single dishes on LI, from Floral Park to West Islip, that do just that. Expect the unexpected.

2144 Jericho Tpke., Garden City Park
Consider this the Hellenic home of the reinvention trend: An innovative storefront eatery where you can get quesadillas or Philly cheesesteaks made with gyro meat. This is Greek like you’ve never seen, and it’s a gem of a find.
Best Dish: Wings—All of them
The Greek Place’s Athenian Wings are prepared with a spicy creamy feta and are juicy, flavorful and damn delicious. The Spartan Wings, perhaps my favorite, feature the tang of lemon oreganato. And don’t forget to try the Chef’s Special Wings with feta and owner Pete Kantoulakos’ own terrific tomato balsamic dressing.

60 Nesconset Hwy., Smithtown
Anthony Scotto’s upscale steakhouse delivers first-rate food and quality service but it’s the seemingly simple, but surprisingly bold bisque that will knock your socks off.
Best Dish: Lobster Bisque
With all of that excellent high-end food, it was our starter, the remarkable Lobster Bisque. Simply put, it’s the best I’ve had in years. Filled with chunks of buttery, meaty lobster and mushrooms, the broth hit the impossible spot between sweet and savory. I would have been satisfied to order bowl after bowl throughout the night.

1020 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park
Thanks to Chef John Orphanos, the menu at Maggie’s is inventive and quality goes well beyond expectation. I was impressed by every single dish we ordered but, alas, I must pick one.
Best Dish: Chianti short ribs
The Chianti Braised Short Ribs were served over a stunningly delicious creamy Gorgonzola polenta with grilled asparagus and topped with a roasted tomato demi glace and crispy onion strings. If you’ve had better, more tender, short ribs, I want to know where.

1095 Jericho Tpke., Commack
631-486-8664; 631-486-8865
Many Long Islanders know its sister location, the venerable Southside Fish & Clam in Lindenhurst, which opened in 1934. This is the upscale version.
Best Dish: Bar Harbour Lobster
This 1.25-pound lobster, prepared in an insanely delicious, chardonnay lemon garlic sauce, will have you licking every last morsel off your plate. A gallon of sauce to go, please!

3209 Horseblock Rd., Medford
You can’t miss at this Italian eatery, and this pick is totally cheating and really unfair to you, because it’s about a dish they no longer serve. However, if you all call and ask for it, they might just add it back.
The unreal, heavenly Pumpkin Ravioli is drizzled with an amaretto and sage sauce and topped with homemade whipped cream. ’Nuff said.

39 Roslyn Ave., Sea Cliff
From soup to dessert, I enjoyed every single item I experienced here, but nothing beats the burger.
Best Dish: Fancy Burger
The Bistro’s Fancy Burger, moist and flavorful with chopped short rib, grilled red onion and Manchego cheese, is my favorite burger on Long Island, period.

31 S. Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck
Modern Japanese food with a focus on small, seasonal plates makes Miraku a true foodie destination.
Best Dish: Everything Bagel
signature sushi roll
The Everything Bagel Signature Roll, with smoked salmon, scallion, cream cheese, and “everything” seasoning is the extremely clever epitome of sushi reinvention. Simply genius.

2849 Jerusalem Ave., Wantagh
Traditional Japanese cuisine with a modern twist is what you’ll get at Mizuno.
Best Dish: Tuna cracker
An inventive selection, the Tuna Cracker Appetizer is unlike any I’ve had before. Tuna, mango, apple, avocado, tobiko, with a special chef’s sauce, all on a surprisingly crisp potato chip, this dish was fresh, innovative and filled with the perfect marriage of ingredients and textures. It’s probably the best single bite I’ve had all year.

299 Raft Ave., Sayville
The menu is huge, the service is attentive and friendly, and the food, especially their seafood, is first-rate.
Best Dish: Caliente calamari
Piled high with incredibly tender fried calamari, heated with jalapeños and Cajun spices, and served with sweet marinara sauce, this is the best calamari dish I’ve ever had.

111 Mineola Blvd., Mineola
156 Gardiner’s Ave., Levittown
Their signature green sauce, fresh ingredients and large variety of Greek specialties are worth the a stop at either location.
Best Dish: shrimp Souvlaki
Tender, marinated, char-broiled shrimp served with pita, lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

186 Jericho Tpke., Floral Park
This low-key, 44-year-old Italian restaurant is well worth the ride from…well, almost anywhere.
Best Dish: Chicken Chestnuts
The showstopper here is the Chicken Chestnuts, tenderized thin, with a sublime chestnut and red wine sauce that is almost fruity and completely reinvents the poultry flavor profile.

778 Montauk Hwy., West Islip
Villa Monaco is somewhat of an institution in West Islip—a local Italian favorite for nearly four decades.
Best Dish: Shrimp orange
Lightly breaded shrimp wrapped in prosciutto and melted mozzarella in an orange sauce flavored by Triple Sec, this dish also can be made with chicken or veal. There’s an old adage that you don’t mix cheese and seafood, but this dish proves that sometimes old adages are just plain wrong.

147 Mineola Blvd., Mineola
Vinoco itself is like a tapas—a small, unlikely treat. The food is as hip and sophisticated as culinary fare you’d find in trendy Manhattan. The inventive offerings and sauce combinations here are brilliant.
Best Dish: Skewers & shooters
The Vinoco Marinated Chicken is flavorful, and arrives with a shot glass of Black Olive aioli. The Drunken Lump Crab Cake with its spicy Pina Colada shooter is another jaw-dropping dish with fresh ingredients and unexpected flavor combinations.

172 Main St., Port Washington
I haven’t eaten here since Chef Roberto Baez left, but many of his exquisite dishes are still on the menu. The intimate, romantic Wild Honey is full of bold, rich flavors and subtle finesse.
Best Dish: Oven roasted french cut chicken
The Oven Roasted French Cut Chicken with whipped Idaho potatoes, smoked garlic spinach and dark pan sauce was a spectacular twist to a classic.

Brooklyn Found to Be Part of Long Island; Flatbush Home Values Plummet!

Illustration by Jon Moreno
Illustration by Jon Moreno

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom DUMBO to Coney Island, shock and disbelief gripped residents of Brooklyn when surveyors confirmed that Brooklyn was actually part of a very long island known as, well, Long Island.

“No doubt about it,” said Chief Surveyor Eudora Fletcher, “Brooklyn is really the western end of an island, 118-miles long, that juts out into the Atlantic.”

The survey was on everyone’s mind at a local bar in Cobble Hill.

“I didn’t spend all this money moving to Brooklyn just to live on Long Island,” said one clearly annoyed patron. “They shudda told me where the house was located before I bought it.”

“Look,” said another Brooklynite, “my 11201 ZIP Code has got real status. What will people think when they find out it’s on Long Island?”

Two men wearing dark suits, obviously visitors, sat quietly in a booth across from the bar.

“Where youse guys from?” asked a local resident, noticing the strangers.

“Yaphank,” one man replied.

“You’re kidding. There’s a place named Yaphank?” said the guy at the bar.

“It’s on Long Island,” the man said.

“So whatta you guys doing in Brooklyn?”

“We’re theft consultants.”

“Theft consultants?”

“Yes, sir. You people stole the Islanders out from under our noses, and you’ve got Long Island worried. We’ve been hired to find out what Brooklyn is going to steal next.”

“This is a joke, right?”

“Nope. We’ve even heard talk about building a wall across the whole island. Or taking over Queens as a de-militarized buffer zone.”

“Jeez. What do the other boroughs think about all this?”

“Well, Queens is nervous, of course. The Bronx isn’t worried—they’re sure the Yankees are too classy to ever move to Brooklyn. And, as usual, nobody really knows what they think in Staten Island,” said the consultant.

“And Manhattan?”

“Most people in Manhattan can’t even find Long Island on a map,” he laughed. “The only the people who know where Long Island is have houses in the Hamptons.”

“Listen,” said the guy at the bar, “Brooklyn is nuts about sports. And we didn’t just nab the Islanders, we got the Nets, too. You gotta problem with that?”

The Long Islander shrugged. “What’s done is done. But Long Island accounts for a lot more interesting people than just athletes.”

“Yeah, like who?”

“LL Cool J’s from Long Island.”

“O.K. But Jay-Z’s a Brooklyn boy.”

“Alec Baldwin’s from Massapequa.”

“Eddie Murphy comes from Bushwick.”

“How about Jackie Kennedy?”

“Classy, but we got Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

“Long Island’s Billy Crystal.”

“Brooklyn’s Woody Allen.”

“Rodney Dangerfield came from Babylon.”

“Brooklyn’s got Bob Guccione.”

“But you have to admit that Long Island’s way ahead when it comes to corrupt police officials.”

“On the other hand, Bugsy Siegel and Al Capone were both born in Brooklyn.”

“Fair enough. But who’ve you got to match our Bill O’Reilly?”

“Hmmm. How about Curly from the Three Stooges?”

The man from Yaphank called out to the bartender: “A glass of Brickhouse Red from Patchogue for our friend at the bar, please.”

The guy at the bar laughed, “And two Brooklyn Lagers for my buddies in the booth.” He came over and sat down.

The Long Islanders smiled. “So tell us, do you have anything worse than the LIE?”

“What?! You guys have never been on the BQE?”

The bartender brought over their beers.

“So,” asked the guy from Brooklyn, “seeing as we share an island and all, do you think Long Island and Brooklyn will ever understand each other?”

“Well,” said one of the Yaphankers, “we could run a ‘Know Your Neighbors’ event, so Brooklyn could find out what’s happening in foreign places like Mineola and Hicksville.”

“And even Suffolk County,” said the other consultant. “You think Brooklyn people would be interested?””

“Not a chance in hell.”

They raised their glasses.

The Long Island Press: A 10 Year Retrospective

Long Island Press Ten Year Retrospective
Long Island Press Ten Year Retrospective

Long Island Press 10 Year Retrospective

Letter From The Editor - Long Island Press

For the past decade we have strived to keep you informed about the most important issues and happenings affecting the nearly 3 million of us who call this Island home. For the past decade we’ve kept you entertained, with comprehensive arts and culture features, music reviews, profiles and an event listings section unrivaled in its scope and breadth. For the past decade we’ve educated you through in-depth reporting, leave-no-stone-unturned news coverage and eye-opening, revelatory investigative pieces on everything from politics and the environment to business and government.

For the past decade, we’ve told your collective story, Long Island, and have been blessed to do so.

As you might know, the Press began as a bi-weekly newspaper called The New Island Ear in 2002, when The Morey Organization (TMO), then owners of pioneering alternative rock station 92.7 WDRE/WLIR-FM, purchased the bi-weekly music publication, the Island Ear.

Taking our name from the daily Long Island Press, which published for 156 years before shutting its doors in 1977, we re-launched as an alternative newsweekly in January 2003 under the direction of Publisher Jed Morey and the guidance of Editor-in-Chief Robbie Woliver and took the Island by storm.

We ran a freight train through local news, politics, government, you name it. Fueled by an insatiable thirst for the truth and having a complete and total blast along the way, we put our own stamp on what the Island and its residents deserved to know; no longer were they held captive by the singular monopolistic take presented by our lone daily Newsday and News12.

We focused a light on many underreported topics and analyzed many already-reported subjects through a new, unique and independent set of lenses, refusing to take things at face value and always aggressively, yet patiently, pursuing the truth behind every person, institution and issue.

We brought our own style of journalism to Long Island, one that bled heart.

We’ve done a lot of damage, exposed a lot of misdeeds and held a great many public and private officials accountable for their action—or inactions. We’ve influenced the way this island thinks about some things and unquestionably opened people’s eyes about others. We’ve made an impact on issues of public policy and matters of public concern, from our neglected sewage treatment plants and how to address the Island’s ongoing heroin epidemic to corruption within our police departments and among our elected officials. We’ve sparked dialogue among taxpayers and lawmakers alike, doing our best to keep the latter honest.

Since 2003 we’ve been disrupting the status quo, shaking things up, raising hell, and having a whole lot of fun in the process. We have been a positive force for change on this Island and the region—and both are better off because of it.

That freight train continues to roll on, and next week will take the shape of a larger, more-encompassing monthly magazine. A different format, perhaps, but still furiously adhering to the same principles, spirit and commitment to quality upon which we have built and solidified our reputation over the past 10 years. I promise you that.

I joined the Press in 2002 as an editorial assistant for the about-to-be-launched New Island Ear. I was among its first hires and despite a roughly three-year hiatus to Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and The Washington Post, I stand as the last one remaining from the original edit crew: Woliver, Bill Jensen, Michael Patrick Nelson and Lauren E. Hill. Edith Updike, Kenny Herzog, Brendan Manley, Tim Bolger and an army of others joined the ranks shortly afterwards and helped shape who I am today as a person and a journalist.

Armed with curiosity, imagination and the omnipresent spirit of Johnny Cash, I was set loose; learning primarily by doing and writing for every section of the paper in the process—though more and more drawn to those stories that required digging. Countless are the tales from the battlefield.

I’ll never forget the time Jon Sasala and I, acting on a tip, ended up in protected wetlands behind a Suffolk County trailer park infested with feral cats to discover a literal mountain of undelivered Newsday products that’d been dumped. Or staking out recycling drops, utilizing a homemade anti-fraud tool my father fashioned for me out of a broomstick, and going undercover inside a junkyard to catch those in the act—just a few scenes from what became a nearly 20-part investigative series into the daily paper’s gross circulation fraud, possibly the largest in newspaper publishing history.

I’ll never forget the time a sewage worker threatened to cut me up into little pieces and stuff my dismembered body down the sewage pipes of the deepest bowels of Cedar Creek sewage treatment plant (this conversation taking place while in the plant). The scar I later received as my head was ripped open by a rusty sewage pipe thanks to the negligence of Nassau County officials and their disregard for state and federal health and safety laws is another permanent reminder. Or the time a billionaire called to try and get me fired. Or when a top police official reamed me out in an attempt to kill a massive exposé.

I could write volumes—the near-daily walks to the Gorm with Nelson and Jensen, the countless hours honing pieces with Woliver and Updike, the eternal debate about lunch, the endless days, nights and weekends hunting down stories with Bolger, Spencer Rumsey, Jaclyn Gallucci, Rashed Mian and so many others—as could all the people behind the bylines at the Press.

We could have gone many different routes with this very special issue. For our fifth year anniversary, for example, we reprinted 6,000 words of past ledes. Something so monumental and celebratory as 10 years of entertaining, 10 years of informing, 10 years of truth-telling, 10 years of shining a light on some pretty dark places, and, I’d argue, 10 years of inspiring (especially in this ever-changing mediascape)—warranted something more.

We felt it only fitting, therefore, to have many of those who made this newspaper what it was and what it now is share the Press’ history in their own words and voices.

Throughout these pages you will hear from many people who worked so hard to bring you years of Long Island stories, people who strove for perfection down to the last comma or ellipsis, people who cared enough to raise their hand and say, “No, everything is not okay!” who spoke out of turn, stood up and tried to do something about it, each in their own special way.

People who have feasted on the Press’ legendary lunches.

For some of you this issue will be a re-introduction to some writers, editors and former interns from years past, a reminder of all the stories we’ve told along our beautifully impossible journey. For others it’ll be a warm first encounter. (Sadly, former Press columnist, “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher did not respond to our request for a contribution.)

Consider this issue not merely a grand celebration (which it is), but a love note and a sincere thank you. Thanks for welcoming us into your thoughts, whether or not you agreed with what we told you. Thanks for listening.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring.

Christopher Twarowski
Editor in Chief

Top Image: Original Crew – Editor-in-Chief Robbie Woliver, Staff Writer Lauren E. Hill, Managing Editor Bill Jensen, Arts and Listings Editor Michael Nelson and Editorial Assistant Christopher Twarowski jazz it up at the press’ old Garden City headquarters.

The Long Island Press Has Gone Monthly. Here’s Why.

Long Island Press

Long Island PressSince the days of WLIR and WDRE, breaking new ground is in our DNA. It’s who we are, so it’s what we do. So while it may look as though the Long Island Press is downshifting, in reality we are moving forward full throttle.

Click here to read the full “The Press Is Going Monthly. Here’s Why.” on JedMorey.com.

Staff Picks: January, 2013

Long Island Press - Staff Picks January 2013

Long Island Press - Staff Picks January 2013


Jack Reacher’s RulesDon’t let Tom Cruise’s role as crime-busting Jack Reacher fool you. The fictional former military officer is as tough as it gets and this book explains why. Reacher’s “Rules of Coffee” are a must-read!


Andy Warhol Campbell’s Tomato Soup Limited Edition: The soup tastes the same, but these limited-edition, Warhol-inspired cans are way better. They come in four styles, are available at Target stores and each come with a nugget of wisdom from the pop art icon. Get them while you can—their 15 minutes are almost up!


Wiretap Crash’s Hand Over Fist EP: Wiretap Crash is a kick-ass post-hardcore band from LI that’s best experienced live. A super-group of sorts—with former members of Mind Over Matter, The Movielife and Dearly Departed, among others—this EP, Hand Over Fist, their only release to date, is the perfect introduction.


Hallucinations by Oliver Sachs: Are the pink elephants real? They are if you think so. In Hallucinations, the brilliant professor of neurology, Oliver Sachs, shows how substantial our curious apparitions can be, and what their appearance says about the brain and its grip on reality. He says hallucinating is a vital part of the human condition. Come along as this wise guide explores the far reaches of our minds.

The Rundown – January, 2013

The Rundown - January, 2013
Palmer Vineyards in Aquebogue has come up with a line of beverages that screams Long Island—495 Wines


1. SIP 495 WINE

Chardonnay, merlot… Pick your exit. Palmer Vineyards in Aquebogue has come up with a line of beverages that screams Long Island—495 Wines. They all come with an Interstate 495 label that, depending on how your commute went, will make you either smile or swear as you savor the bouquet.


Smart phones are great, most of the time. But if you’ve ever sent a quick email or text message, only to have it butchered by autocorrect, then the hilarious, sometimes vulgar, miscommunications compiled here are a must-read.

desktop-dumpster3. GET A DESKTOP DUMPSTER

It’s January, a time for making New Year’s resolutions you probably won’t keep come February. If yours is to get organized, this mini dumpster from SteelPlant.net will do the trick, and look awesome holding your pens, scissors, mini liquor bottles, or whatever else you keep in your desk. Hey, we’re not judging.


Director Pablo Berger’s fairy tale/drama remake of Snow White set in 1920s Seville tells the tale of Carmen, her evil stepmother and a band of roving, bullfighting dwarves. Need we say more? The movie hits theaters Jan. 18.


If you have an iPhone, don’t risk your safety using Apple Maps any longer. To avoid ending up in a desert with no water or dangling off a cliff, download the new Google Maps app for iPhone. It’s free and it just might save your life, literally.


From William Shakespeare to Mark Twain to Jack Kerouac to Maya Angelou, this wall calendar features insightful quotes and photos of authors with that rock-star edge. Get it at Amazon.com.


An unknown visitor—or visitors—known as the mysterious “Poe Toaster” has celebrated Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday every year since 1949 in the early morning hours of Jan. 19 by leaving a bottle of cognac and three roses at Poe’s grave in Baltimore. But the Poe Toaster has been MIA for the past few years… Hint, hint.



Casting calls are open for Furries (people who dress up in animal fur suits); Drunkorexics (those who skip meals to save calories for alcohol); Re-sex-changers (those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery, then changed their minds)—and many others. Visit MTV.com for details.



A&E’s spin-off comes to our stomping grounds in 2013, and follows a group of modern-day treasure hunters on their journeys every Tuesday at 10 p.m. beginning Jan. 1.



A $30 stargazing permit from New York State Parks allows you entry after sunset to six LI parks—Hither Hills, Jones Beach, Montauk Point, Robert Moses, Wildwood and Sunken Meadow—to observe the skies above. Card-carrying stargazers are limited to the parking lots, so running into the ocean naked at 3 a.m. will still get you kicked out and/or arrested.

The Number – January, 2013

Long Island - The Number - Jan. 13

[colored_box color=”blue”]


The Nassau & Suffolk County unemployment rate as of November 2012, according to the New York State Department of Labor, up from a rate of 6.8 percent in November 2011.


The Photo – January, 2013

India Gang Rape

An Indian protester holds a placard during one of many protests sparked by the Dec. 26 gang rape of a young woman who was thrown from a moving bus in New Delhi, India. The 23-year-old medical student, who was raped for nearly an hour, was flown to a Singapore hospital, where she died three days later from severe internal injuries. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The Target – January 2013

Long Island - The Target

Long Island Press - The Target-January 2013


BULL’S EYE A petition is posted on WhiteHouse.gov to legally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its extremist ideologies against homosexuals, Jews and even their fellow Christians, as a hate group. With hundreds of thousands of cyber signatures so far, it’s the most popular petition ever posted since the Obama administration launched the site last year. Amen to that.


BULL’S EYE After five years of arguing over a basement, Donald Trump’s massive on-again off-again luxury restaurant and catering facility that would have eaten up 86,000 square feet of Jones Beach with a two-story building, formal terraces, etc., is off again, after waves from super storm Sandy flooded the site. The risk of the same thing happening again sends the billionaire packing—back to his Manhattan penthouse. #1PercentProblems


PARTIAL SCORE Lisa Jackson steps down as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, issuing a statement that she is confident “the ship is sailing in the right direction” but doesn’t mention any reason for her decision. Hey, maybe she got a job on the board of directors over at Monsanto. It wouldn’t be the first time the agency charged with protecting the environment and the corporate giant set on destroying it swapped employees! We wish we were kidding.


OFF TARGET A genetically modified salmon mutated to grow twice as fast as natural salmon is on course to become the first GM animal in the world declared safe to eat, after the Food & Drug Administration gives it the OK, meaning mass production of the fish is just around the corner. So, the FDA, whose current deputy commissioner for foods is a former vice president of GM food giant Monsanto, has backed a mutant fish that will make the industry millions? Shocker!


OFF TARGET Botox users are warned that doses of the drug received by nearly 400 medical centers in the U.S. are unapproved and from foreign sources, putting patients at risk. But what those risks are is still unclear. We’re sure it’s just the government overreacting. Injecting paralysis-inducing neurotoxins between your eyes—what could go wrong!?


PARTIAL SCORE Sexting app Snapchat, which allows users to send videos that last only for a specified amount of time before spontaneously combusting, is outsmarted by the techies at BuzzFeed, who detail exactly how to get those files back permanently after they supposedly disappear… And the publicists of B-list celebs around the world get a belated holiday bonus this year.