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Long Island Craft Brewery St. Patrick’s Day 2021 Events

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Long Island Craft Brewery St. Patrick’s Day 2021 Events


St. Paddy’s Day festivities at Great South Bay begin on Saturday, March 13. Enjoy the brewery’s large-sized green blonde ambitions brew for the price of a pint or try its Irish car bomb brew, a recently-released nitro milk stout, 14 percent ABV brewed with whole Sumatran coffee beans, Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and lactose. The brewery is also offering $5 pints of green blonde ambition and apricot blonde ale throughout the month of March, along with live music every Friday through Sunday. 25 Drexel Dr., Bay Shore, greatsouthbaybrewery.com March 13-21.


This brewery and restaurant features a menu of Irish cuisine starting on Friday, March 12. Plus, don’t miss the Celtic rock band, Bangers and Mash, performing on March 21. 67 W Main St., Patchogue, brickhousebrewery.com March 12, 21.


St. Patrick’s Day is one of Long Ireland’s biggest celebrations so there will be a multitude of activities for customers to enjoy. On March 13 and on Wednesday, March 17, there will be live music and a special menu from the tap room food truck. At the end of the month, the establishment also holds its third annual Saint Baldrick’s Day event to raise money for children’s cancer research. 817 Pulaski St., Riverhead, longirelandbeer.com Free. Noon-9 p.m. March 13. 


Located on the south shore of the Island, HopWin’s is sure to have specials on the feast of Saint Patrick’s. Celebrate with $5 beers and $10 flights. HopWin’s also plans to release two new beers, the red leprechaun Irish red ale and o’HopWin’s Irish stout the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day. 1460 N Clinton Ave. Unit L, Bay Shore, March 13-14, 17.


Barnshed Brewery will be open on St. Paddy’s Day, but join them for their official celebration on Sunday, where they will have cornbeef and cabbage, as well as beer specials and the release of their Irish red ale, firemade red, that week. 100 Lauman Ln., Hicksville, barnshedbrewing.com 1-8 p.m. March 14.


How much do you know about folklore, myths, and legends? Test your knowledge at North Fork’s trivia night where you will be quizzed on mythology, urban legends, tall tales and fables, historical stories, and of course some St. Paddy’s Day folklore. The winning team leaves with a gift card to Barrow Food House. $1 off pints all night. 24 E 2nd St Suite A, Riverhead, northforkbrewingco.com $10-$30. 5:30 p.m. March 16.


In honor of St. Patrick’s, Shelter Island will be serving up a traditional corned beef and cabbage platter with boiled carrots and potatoes for under $10.00. Don’t forget the specialty beer! Blankets will be provided for outside diners. 55 North Ferry Rd., Shelter Island, shelterislandcraftbrewery.com Noon March 17.


Chocolate and beer are quite the pairing. Enjoy four flights of beers and four chocolate pairings from Chocology Unlimited at Saint James. There will be 12 beers on tap and even St. Paddy’s-themed shirts for sale. 430-13 North Country Rd., Saint James, saintjamesbrewery.com  12 p.m.-10 p.m. March 17.


Try Motion Craft’s take on green beer, an emerald pale ale with gold glitter, as well as a New England India pale ale brewed with Lucky Charms. This beer will have accents of graham, marshmallow, and lactose. 1036B Park Blvd., Massapequa Park, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. March 17.


Eastern Front will be brewing two special beers in honor of St. Paddy’s. Their flagship beer is North Shore Irish red ale, and they’ll also have a small batch of an imperial red ale, as well as an imperial version of their “Sexy MF” stout. Plus, North Fork Seafood will serve up some traditional Irish dishes at the taproom to pair with the beers.13100 Main Rd., Mattituck, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. March 17.


Known for its crafty IPAs, Destination Unknown has a special stout in store for the week of March 17: its classic red eye stout will be released on nitro. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. 1 S Chicago Ave., Bay Shore, destinationunknownbeercompany.com March 17-20.


Partake in five days of St. Patrick’s Day specials at 27A, where there will be special beers for the occasion. Paddy swerve is the brewery’s hazy double IPA, with coconut and green with glitter. They will also offer a stout infused with Lucky Charms and launch a 10 percent Irish coffee hard seltzer conditioned on coffee beans. In house pours range from $7-$8, 32oz cans to go range from $13-$14. 173 N Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst, 27abrewing.com March 17-21.


Stop at Lithology for deals on deals. This includes $5 cans, $12-$14 crowlers to go, $10 4 packs to go, and $20 green T-shirts while supplies last. 211A Main St., Farmingdale lithologybrewing.com March 17-21. 


Bellport will be hosting its first party this year and an inaugural St. Patrick’s Day celebration all in one. There will be special beer and food to enjoy. Come early, dress warm, and get ready to put some beers down. Limited space is available for both locations. 14 Station Rd., Bellport bellportbrewing.com 11 a.m. March 20.


Bring a friend to South Shore Craft’s shamrock-themed bash. Chow down on complimentary corned beef and green beer while you enjoy live music by the Tri State Alehouse band. 3505 Hampton Rd., Oceanside, southshorecraftbrewery.com March 20.

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Bob Read Memorial Fund Aids Families Struggling in Pandemic

bob read
Robert B Read. (Courtesy United Way)

Following Bob Read’s passing in January, the veteran broadcast journalist’s family has established a fund to provide Long Island families affected by Covid-19 with financial assistance.

During his 30 years at Inside Edition, Read served as senior producer for its investigative unit and as managing editor. The West Islip native won numerous awards for his skillful reporting, including the George Polk Award and the National Press Club Journalism Award.

“Bob Read was much more than just a first-class journalist,” wrote the newsmagazine’s staff in a statement on Read’s death. “He was a mentor and dear friend to so many of us at Inside Edition.”

Read tested positive for Covid-19 in December. After passing, he left behind a wife and two children. With more than 80 million adults in the U.S. struggling to pay all their expenses during the pandemic, the Robert B. Read Memorial Fund, through United Way of Long Island, helps families with children as well as seniors afford basic needs and essentials.

“United Way is local and independent so we’re able to be very responsive to whatever crisis is happening that we can respond to,” said Theresa Regnante, president and CEO of United Way. “The Read family gave us the ability, through the generosity of their friends, families, and colleagues contributing to this fund, to make more of an impact.”

The fund, which has already raised more than $40,000, expects to help at least 50 families with emergency financial assistance. Half the money in the fund will go towards these families and the other half will be put into an endowment to support more families in the future. United Way of LI works with more than 100 organizations that submit requests for those in need of aid.

Currently, the need for assistance on Long Island is extensive, according to Regnante. The group receives 20 to 30 new reports of families struggling financially every day, which may be due to unemployment, loss of a loved one, or seniors suffering from chronic health conditions who are isolated in their homes during the pandemic.

“During such a devastating time for our family, knowing that Bobby’s fund will support others has truly been our greatest comfort,” said Bob’s widow, Michele Riordan Read. “The man who would do anything to help another will continue to do so forevermore.”

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Long Island Chefs Compete on Great Food Truck Race Episode Airing Sunday

great food truck race
Breakfast for Dinner team members, Harry Poole, Kate Wurtzel and April Northdurft. (Photo by Michael Moriatis/Food Network)

Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race is back for another season, this time featuring a team of three Long Island natives Kate Wurtzel, Harry Poole, and April Nothdurft. 

Hosted by Chef Tyler Florence, Season 13 takes place in chilly Alaska where the daily temperature averaged 14.3 degrees Fahrenheit. In this culinary adventure, set to premiere on March 7, food truck teams will incorporate local ingredients into their menus during the six to eight-week challenges. The teams with the highest earnings move on to the next week for a chance to win $50,000.  

“Once Covid delayed the opportunity to compete in March of 2020, and the months passed by, it felt as though the opportunity was lost,” said Chef Harry Poole, who oversees kitchens at Jackson’s in Commack and Morrison’s in Plainview.

That’s why it came as a shock to the crew when Food Network approved filming for the new season last November. Chef Poole’s wife and communication specialist, Shelby Poole from Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue designed the team’s logo and branding. Their concept? Breakfast for Dinner (BFD).

great food truck race
Breakfast For Dinner food truck.

The BFD team’s wide-ranging experience in the restaurant industry proves useful for the competition. Mixologist and world-traveler April Nothdurft from The Brixton in Babylon serves as outside sales and public relations liaison for the team. Nothdurft also worked with Chef Poole at Jackson’s.

“We are SO. PUMPED. to officially announce that the totally awesome Harry Poole will be appearing on the upcoming season of the @foodnetwork Great Food Truck Race with his awesome team @bfdfoodtruck,” Morrison’s restaurant tweeted on Feb. 7.

Kate Wurtzel, founder of Keep It Spicy in Smithtown, is a sous chef, location scout, social media manager, and marketer who sees this opportunity as a “major growth event.” Wurtzel’s small-batch spice blends brought flavor and warmth to the team’s menu and according to Keep it Spicy, their Hawaiian, Creole and blackened spice blends will be featured on the show. 

Look out for BFD’s pink food truck and the crew’s matching caps when Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race airs on March 7 at 10 p.m.

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Six Juice Company Set to Open First Location in Sayville

six juice company
Ronald “Six” Montgomery’s Six Juice Bar is coming to Sayville.

The Garden City-based Six Juice Company, one of the few Black-owned juiceries on Long Island, is set to open its first physical location in Sayville this year.

The benefits of juicing may include weight loss, hair growth, fatigue relief, and an increase in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Six Juice founder Ronald “Six” Montgomery learned about these benefits and began juicing a few years ago to help his mother stay healthy after her battle with breast cancer. At the time, he knew nothing about the process.

“I just thought you get some fruits and you put them in a blender so that’s what I did and the first juices I made were absolutely terrible,” the Central Islip native said. “I just kept going, got better at it, and I have a passion for it.”

All Six Juices are handmade and use all-natural, non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Some popular flavors include fresh, melo, Caribbean, hurricane, power and inferno 6, which is made with fresh watermelon, beet, ginger, orange and lemon. Six Juice also offers two-, three-, or five-day juice cleansing packs for customers looking to detox and buy in bulk.

Most juice orders are made through the company’s website. Besides delivery, Six Juices can be found at markets in Bay Shore and Brentwood as well as at the Pro-Fit center in Deer Park. Montgomery wishes to expand this list to other parts of the Island in the near future.

“Every business thinks that they have to run the city and I don’t believe that,” Montgomery said. “I think there’s enough people on Long Island to help grow my business and get the word out there, so I’m taking care of home before I branch out.”

Increased demand for Six Juices pushed Montgomery to make plans for a brick-and-mortar juice bar which will allow for easier distribution of juices and new additions. The owner also plans to provide protein shakes, vegan and vegetarian-friendly meals, and a children’s line of juices at the new location, looking to open in mid-April.

“Through this experience I’ve learned patience and endurance. You have to be patient because nothing comes overnight and with endurance, I have to be there no matter what,” said Montgomery. “If you’re getting into a business for money, you won’t make it. You have to have a passion and love for it, to endure the hard times.”

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Try These 3 New Restaurants on Long Island

new restaurants on long island
The Pizzeria in Bayport.

Are your taste buds craving something new for a change? Try these three new restaurants on Long Island!


#ramen #koreanfood #newyork #beefbulgogi #bibimbop #amazing #family #goodfordiner #hangout #messapequa #koreancuisine #japaneseramen #lunchspecial

One of Massapequa’s new establishments, Spoonsticks, specializes in Korean cuisine and Japanese ramen.

Start with Japanese-style steamed buns ($5-$6), soy garlic wings ($12-$20), jeon (Korean-style pancake [$10]), or mandu (fried dumpling [$9]). For dinner, try kimchi fried rice ($16), japchae (stir-fried glass noodles with vegetables [$15-$18] and beef or pork bulgogi (marinated, grilled meat [$22-$24)]. Ramen lovers can also choose from regular or spicy miso ($19), tantanmen (made with chicken broth [$17]), shoyu (vegetable or mushroom broth [$16]), or tonkotsu, made with pork broth ($17)

Spoonsticks is open seven days a week and is available for dine-in, takeout and delivery though UberEats, Grubhub and DoorDash.

4348 Merrick Rd., Massapequa, 516-200-4755, spoonsticks.square.site


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This upscale resto-lounge, taking advance reservations only, just celebrated its grand opening last December. 

Whether you choose dine-in or pickup, Prime 39 offers a wide range of both land and seafood options. Some seafood favorites include mini lobster rolls ($18), mussels with garlic ($16), barbecued salmon ($24), crabmeat-stuffed shrimp ($32) and seafood linguine ($32). On the land side, there are lamb chops ($18-$36), sliders ($16), steak ($36-$75), and Southern fried chicken ($21). Along with a selection of signature cocktails and dessert wine, customers can finish with vanilla bean cheesecake, carrot cake, apple Tatin, or chocolate molten lava cake ($9).

Prime 39 is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

39 Atlantic Ave., Lynbrook, 516-837-3939, prime39.com


May be an image of food

The Pizzeria has recently opened a second location in Bayport; the first is at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove.

Stick to the basics with plain ($17.95), Sicilian ($18.95), and grandma pies ($19.95) or try one of their specialty pizzas: buffalo chicken, bruschetta, vodka Margherita, meatball burrata, or the Bayport, made with sweet tomato sauce and mozzarella on an olive oil crust ($24.95). Besides pies, this pizzeria also has sandwiches, pasta dishes, and salads on the menu.

The Pizzeria opens for dine-in and pickup at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at noon on Sundays. Orders for pickup can be made through the website.

606 Montauk Hwy., Bayport, 631-472-5959, thepizzeriany.com

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Cutthroat Kitchen Champ DJ Chef, of Long Beach, Takes on Supermarket Stakeout Next

CJ Chef
DJ Chef

DJ Chef, of Long Beach, who won Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, continues his competitive cooking show stardom next month on Supermarket Stakeout, hosted by chef Alex Guarnaschelli.

DJ Chef, whose real name is Marc Weiss, is slated to appear March 9 on the reality show in which four chefs compete in three rounds to create dishes using grocery items from supermarket customers. 

“Let’s go! I’m back on #FoodNetwork #SupermarketStakeout March 9 @10pm! DVR Alert,” the chef tweeted about the show, expressing his excitement, last month.

DJ Chef has also made appearances on Food Network’s What’s Hot!, What’s Cool!, MSNBC’s Entertainment Hot List, and Discovery Channel’s Party Planner with David Tutera in the past.

DJ Chef began his career as a DJ at 15 years old and later attended culinary school in Manhattan, where he trained under top chefs such as Matthew Kenney and Bobby Flay. After catering private parties and working as a corporate chef with Sodexho-Marriott, he decided to combine his love for cooking and entertainment by preparing gourmet meals while he DJs. Now he provides “cooking party” entertainment for large-scale events like executive functions, celebrity parties and food festivals across the country.

Although he has trained in international fine dining, DJ Chef tailors his dishes for all preferences, and his catering and entertainment experience are the reasons why.

“I’m still working with all the precision it takes to make a dish but I use everyday ingredients and kind of make that creative and fun because you’re cooking for 20, 40 people,” he said in an interview with Donna Drake last year.

DJ Chef performs for several charity events on Long Island each year, including the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women luncheon at Crest Hollow Country Club and a luncheon for Northwell Health in February. Marty Lyons Foundation, which grants wishes to children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, is another charity he works with.

“I always had a day job and trying to support it, in the beginning was a lot of ups and downs,” the culinary entertainer previously stated. “To be doing it on my own full-time is a feat in itself.”

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8 Restaurants Where You Can Celebrate Mardi Gras on Long Island

Mardi Gras on long island
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Fat Tuesday is just around the corner — Feb. 16 — and that means Cajun food and drinks are in order. Here are eight Long Island restaurants that capture the New Orleans essence so you can celebrate Mardi Gras from afar this year.


Joie de vivre! Enjoy specialty seafood boils or po’boys and sliders at Hook & Reel, one of the newest Cajun restaurants on Long Island, with two locations to choose from. Its menu includes seafood boils, po’ boys and sandwiches, pasta, a raw bar, and more.

694 Sunrise Hwy., Valley Stream, 516-460-8411, hookreel.com/location/valley-stream

363 Broadway Mall, Hicksville, 516-719-0388,  hookreel.com/location/hicksville


Both locations of The Cajun Bucket offer classic Cajun options, from boiling hot seafood to fried, juicy chicken and shrimp. The restaurant also serves a signature “Adult Capri Sun” in a pouch and other alcoholic drinks to help you celebrate Mardi Gras this year.

472 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead, 516-344-5434, cajunbucket.com/hempstead

2757 Long Beach Rd., Oceanside, 516-806-2188, cajunbucket.com/oceanside


Big Daddy’s kicks off its Mardi Gras Madness Week on Feb. 10. This action-packed celebration, ending on Fat Tuesday, includes a black and white Zulu ball on Feb. 15 with live music, 2-for-1 oyster shooters, and $5 hurricane happy hour, as well as daily specials. Taco Tuesdays, smoked prime rib Wednesdays, and steak night Thursdays are a few of this establishment’s usual daily specials.

1 Park Lane, Massapequa, 516-799-8887, bigdaddysny.com


This sandwich shop, serving breakfast and lunch, offers authentic Louisiana cuisine perfect for the occasion. Try the fried catfish or crab cake po’ boys, Creole shrimp, chicken gumbo, red beans and rice or a Fat Tuesday omelette for breakfast, made with bacon, cheese, andouille, chorizo and bayou sauce, home fries, and buttered toast. 

488 Merrick Rd., Oceanside, 516-442-9838, louisianajoes.com


Join in the Fat Tuesday festivities on Feb. 16 at Biscuits and Barbeque, open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., with traditional dishes from New Orleans. Crawfish, jambalaya, po’ boys, king cakes, and Louisiana gumbo are sure to be on the menu. 

106 East 2nd St., Mineola, 516-493-9797, facebook.com/BiscuitsBarbeque


Bring your Mardi Gras beads to this bar and eatery in Sayville where seafood is the specialty. Open from noon to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week, Blackbirds’ Grille offers a raw bar with choices of oysters, clams, shrimp or tuna, as well as gator bites, Cajun burgers, and their mudbug boil, a spicy crawfish bowl with steamed garlic, white wine, and lobster consomme.

553 Old Montauk Hwy., Sayville, 631-593-4144, blackbirdsgrille.com


Mara’s Southern Kitchen serves up Cajun and barbecue dishes daily. Some customer favorites include the smoked BBQ ribs, jambalaya, country-fried steak and macaroni and cheese. This Syosset-based kitchen will also be accepting orders for king cakes in celebration of Mardi Gras. Choose between four flavors: cinnamon sugar, pecan sugar, cream cheese or nutella and order by Feb. 5 just in time for Mardi Gras.

236 West Jericho Tpke., Syosset, 516-554-5510, marasouthernkitchen.com


Founded eight years ago, family-owned Po’Boy Brewery has a large selection of rotating craft beers and ciders, plus weekly food specials. This microbrewery and cidery’s tasting hours begin at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and at noon Saturdays and Sundays.

200 Wilson St., Port Jefferson Station, 631-828-1131, poboybrewery.com

-With Briana Bonfiglio

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Mended Little Hearts Offers Love and Support For Kids With Heart Defects

mended little hearts
Two CHD warriors, Aidan and Clare, helping to gather and sort toys for the Mended Little Hearts of Long Island Toy Drive.

Mended Little Hearts of Long Island serves local communities by educating and advocating for families of children with congenital heart defects, the most common birth defect in the country.

Approximately 25 percent of children born with critical congenital heart defects need surgical procedures to survive, but many families are not aware of this until after birth. Mended Little Hearts was founded in 2004 to provide national support as well as educational services for these families. With more than 300 local chapters nationwide, the nonprofit also offers peer-to-peer programs on a local level. 

“We try to network families as best we can but we also try to make sure that we provide an outlet for our kids so they can come together and see that ‘Hey, I’m not the only person who has to go to a special doctor for my heart’ or ‘Hey, I’m not the only kid who maybe has a scar down their chest,” said Shannan Pearsall, lead coordinator for Mended Little Hearts of LI.

Hospitals and doctors of children in MLH’s programs work closely with the organization by participating in fundraising events, educational forums and providing resources. Every year, the nonprofit hosts a holiday drive to collect items like toys, books and crafts for New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. In December, donations were sent directly from its Amazon wishlist to the hospital, and hospital staff informed families about MLH’s services during toy distribution.

Oftentimes the first connection a family will have with MLH comes during a fetal diagnosis. Pearsall learned about the organization after her son, Aidan, was born without a fully functioning heart.

“If I had the connection with this organization and this network of amazing families back then, the road would’ve still been a challenging and really scary one but it would’ve been one where I felt uplifted because I would’ve had that support,” Pearsall said.

The organization’s bravery bag program supplies items to families of hospitalized children post-heart surgery. These items include basic necessities like dental products, deodorant, and lotion as well as tea, food, books and information about MLH. Hospitals, local schools and other chapter coordinators normally contribute to or host fundraisers for the bravery bags.

“Creature comforts are things that make a hospitalization, whether it’s a planned stay or unexpected stay, just a little easier,” Pearsall said.

For more information, visit longisland.mendedlittlehearts.net.

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Try Three Cultural Cuisines At These New Restaurants on Long Island

new restaurants on long island
Hook & Reel is opening two more LI locales. (Photo by Rachel Ayotte)

Ready to spice things up a bit? Here are three new restaurants on Long Island that serve different kinds of tasty, cultural cuisine.


Peri-Peri Guys founder Hafeez Raja has brought traditional South African spices to Nassau County. Peri-peri sauce is made from African bird’s eye chili peppers and has a history dating back to the 15th century. 

Wings ($7.89-$14.89) can be served with peri-peri sauce, and burgers and sandwiches ($9.89-$15.89) with peri-peri mayo. The choice of spice level is yours. Choose from plain, lemon and herb, mango and lime, mild, hot, and lastly, extra hot. Sides include mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, peri rice, and peri-peri fries ($3.99-$4.99).

Peri-Peri Guys is open Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. The restaurant offers dine-in service, takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery. A third local location is coming soon to South Shore Mall in Bay Shore.

285 South Broadway, Hicksville, 516-470-0303, periperiguys.com


With locations in more than 20 states, this Cajun seafood restaurant’s second Long Island outpost — its first opened at Hicksville’s Broadway Mall — in Valley Stream.

Hook & Reel’s menu offers a selection of made-to-order seafood boils as well as half-pound mini-boils ($8-$15.50). If you prefer not to create your own, there are always combo boils, the biggest being “the reel catch”: snow crab leg clusters, lobster tails, and a choice of two more options ($49). Seafood lovers can also enjoy their breaded-and-fried lobster tail, shrimp, catfish, flounder, and shrimp baskets ($12). All baskets come with regular or sweet potato fries.

Hook & Reel is open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery, seven days a week.

694 Sunrise Hwy., Valley Stream, 516-460-8411, hookreel.com


Named after the Greek word for “together,” Mazi aims to bring people together with classic Mediterranean dishes.

This Greek kitchen serves steak kebab platters ($29), souvlaki, New Zealand lamb chops ($34), chicken or beef and lamb gyros, and spanakopita, a savory spinach, and cheese pie ($12). Gyros and souvlaki are offered as both platters ($19) and pita sandwiches ($12). Look nowhere else for dessert either. Mazi has many options: chocolate cake, ice cream, baklava, fruit salad, Greek yogurt, and galaktoboureko, a pastry made with custard and honey syrup ($8).

Offering dine-in service as well as takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery, Mazi is open seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

326 West Jericho Tpke., Huntington, 631-425-1196, maziny.com

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We Connect The Dots Fosters Future Innovators in STEAM

we connect the dots
Student participating in a prior We Connect The Dots STEAM activity.

We Connect the Dots has been inspiring and creating opportunities for underprivileged children and young adults interested in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) since 2013.

With women making up only 27 percent of the nation’s computer science professionals, the Westbury organization was created to include more women; its mission has expanded since then. Students can form career goals and receive real-world experience through innovative programs. Most participating students are from the tri-state area, specifically Nassau and Suffolk County.

“We help under-utilized populations find out about these opportunities and learn about the skills that they really need,” said Laurie Carey, founder of WCTD. 

The nonprofit’s virtual coding programs teach computational skills necessary for a career in STEAM. Students collaborate on projects and earn accomplishment pins. Students in the Community Ambassador Program can also teach coding classes to beginner students.

“I’ve interned at NASA and I’m not sure that’s something I would have had the opportunity to do without some of the experiences I’ve had with We Connect the Dots and other high school programs,” said Caeley Looney, a former WCTD ambassador who founded a nonprofit for women in STEM, Reinvented Magazine.

WCTD also hosts an annual Code-A-Thon, where youth learn and advance their coding and technical skills. This year’s fully virtual Code-A-Thon takes place from January 29 to 31.

WTCD offers scholarships, including one for the after-school coding program as well as the Code-A-Thon. The CreatingSTEAM Summer Program awards a student with $1,350 for the 10-day program’s expenses and transportation.

Computer science teachers are also trained by industry experts in WCTD so that they can teach skills to their own students, according to Carey.

“It’s really about a community impact, not just the students but the teachers, the whole community,” Carey said, calling the program a really amazing model that brings people together. “They say, ‘Hey, I got through this, I created a career here, let me go back and be a coach…or a trainer for somebody else and help other students.’” 

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