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Samuel Podolsky

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3 New Must-try Restaurants on Long Island

The Shed serves up a champion breakfast.

I•T•A KITCHEN

Short for Italian American Kitchen, chef and owner Salvatore Sorrentino incorporates into his new eatery his decades of experience working at Matteo’s and Andreas 25.

The cuisine includes the very best Italian has to offer, with items such as SJ’s Veal Chop, a bone-in breaded veal chop neatly set in truffle Marsala sauce, with truffle fries set aside. Some items diners won’t see just anywhere include the avocado burrata toast, which is adorned with candied prosciutto and roasted red peppers, adding a tasteful Italian twist to the trendy dish.

I•T•A also boasts an impressive bar with happy hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays excluding Monday. Other drink specials are available throughout the week.

45 W Main St., Bay Shore, itakitchenbayshore.com

KUNG FU TEA

The prolific tea chain with more than 250 locations nationwide is opening its third Long Island tea room, in Williston Park.

Specializing in bubble tea, this Taiwanese drink consists of milk teas, each batch brewed fresh every three hours, combined with the signature chewy tapioca pearls, which make up the “bubble” portion. Served cold or hot, there are various types of milk to choose from, with flavors such as milk green tea, coffee milk tea, and coconut milk tea, among others.

Other beverage options include classic tea, espresso, Yakult brand yogurt drink, tea, and ice-blended slush, as well as seasonal flavors.

434 Hillside Ave., Williston Park, kungfutea.com

IN THE SHED

Boasting one of the best brunches on the Island, this chic eatery in Huntington opened a second location in West Sayville.

All the classic brunch staples are here, whether it’s buttermilk pancakes, Belgian waffles, omelets, salads, or cheeseburgers. What’s different is that the gluten-free choices taste as great as they are good for you. Take the breakfast bowl, which combines two poached eggs, avocado, home fries, sautéed spinach, onions, corn, jalapeño, and chipotle hollandaise. Pan-seared salmon and grilled chicken paillard are other impressive additions for those with gluten allergies.

Soup, catch, and butcher’s cut of the day make up the best parts of the dinner menu, along with baked clams, mac and cheese, and other small bites. The full-service bar includes 13 beers on tap, original cocktails and mocktails.

21 Main St., West Sayville intheshed.com

10 Places To Find Winter Fun on Long Island

RHUM Igloos
Patrons can expect either one round of drinks or two carafes of rum
punch, margaritas, or sangria on the house for each reservation. $150 for a two-hour
reservation. Seats up to six people. 13 E. Main St., Patchogue, 631-569-5944, rhumpatchogue.com

Montauk Igloos
Choose from a host of themed igloos, from Santa’s Workshop to Roaring 20s and many more, all with themed cocktail menus exclusive to their respective igloo. All proceeds are donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. $25 per person for a two-hour reservation. Seats up to six people. Gurney’s, 290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk, 631-668-2345, gurneysresorts.com/montauk

The Witches Brew
This cozy hideaway features some of the best hot cocoa on the island, in addition to a vast array of teas such as passion fruit papaya to blood-orange kiss. No cover. $3.75 for the signature hot cocoa. 311 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead, 516-489-9482, facebook.com/the-witches-brew

Sledding at Bald Hill
One of the highest points on Long Island, this park is geared toward the most thrill-seeking of sledders. Free. Patchogue-Mt. Sinai Rd., Farmingville.

Sledding at Bethpage State Park
With both steep slopes and rolling hills, there is fun to be had for riders of all skills and ages. Free. 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale, 516-249-0700.

Long Beach Polar Plunge
Held annually on Super Bowl Sunday, the largest polar bear plunge on Long Island supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Donations encouraged. Long Beach oceanfront, longbeachpolarbears.org

Captain Lou Fleet
Warm drinks, a toasty cabin, and an onboard naturalist providing in-depth information on seals and other wildlife make this cruise a winter essential. $40 per person. Children three and under ride free. 31 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport, 516-623-5823, captloufleet.com

Muttontown Preserve
Wide-open fields, dense woodlands, and historic estates comprise the 550 acres of Nassau County’s largest nature preserve. Free. 34 Muttontown Ln., East Norwich. 516-571- 8500, nassaucountyny.gov/2839/Muttontown-Preserve

Long Island Curling Club
Beginners are matched with more experienced curlers to keep every game competitive in this weekend league. $50 for 2 1/2-hour Learn to Curl Night. $75-$150+ for annual membership that turns over in May. 165 Eileen Way, Syosset, 516-900-2875, licurling.org

Long Island Aquarium
There’s more than just fish at this aquarium, with indoor and outdoor exhibits housing birds, reptiles, and all sorts of aquatic oddities. $24-$33 per person. 431 E Main St., Riverhead, 631-208-9200 ext. 426, longislandaquarium.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 New Restaurants on Long Island To Try

Gnocchi Al Pomodoro E Basilico at Abbracciamento is made with fresh ricotta gnocchi, San Marzano tomato, and fresh basil. (Photo by Dave Giordano)

ABBRACCIAMENTO

Brooklyn’s iconic Italian restaurant Abbracciamento on the Canarsie Pier is being reincarnated in Lynbrook thanks to longtime restaurateur Frank Abbracciamento and wife Aniko Molnar. 

From antipasto such as steamed mussels with tomato and basil in garlic and white wine to main courses including line-caught crispy salmon smothered in savory Prosecco Zabaglione sauce, the menu proves to be true to the spirit of authentic Italian cuisine. Molnar, a graduate of the International Culinary Center, handles the baking and pastry components, creating from scratch all the bread, pasta, and desserts. 

A bar made of quartz seats 14, with a wine list that sources from Long Island, California, Italy, and much more. The restaurant will expand its seating to the outdoors along with the addition of brunch in the spring.

174 Merrick Rd., Lynbrook abbracciamento.com

CATPURRCHINOS CAT CAFE 

Fusing baked goods, artisanal coffee, and cute cats, this brand new café is one of Long Island’s most unique offerings.

It acts as both a café and animal rescue organization. One portion of the space has muffins and other assorted pastries, and offerings such as grilled cheese sandwiches are served alongside its signature coffee. The other portion, accessed via an additional fee, houses the cat room, structured like a living room and full of cats, all of which are available for adoption. 

Those who are allergic or do not want to eat inside the cat room are welcome to enjoy the view from an expansive window in the café. Proceeds from the café, including 100 percent from the cat room entrance fee, support the 90-plus cats and the café’s rescue service, Feral to Family.

322 Main St., Huntington catpurrccinos.com

FOGO DE CHAO 

With more than 50 restaurants worldwide, this upscale steakhouse chain is bringing the flavors of rural Brazil to Carle Place, its first Long Island location.

Fogo De Chao specializes in gaucho, or the process of slow-roasting meats over an open fire and then carving the meat directly onto patrons’ plates. Offerings include steak, pork, chicken, or lamb. Those with an empty stomach may opt for the full churrasco experience, an unlimited helping of meats served alongside the seasonal market table, which provides a selection of salads and other gourmet dishes.

A full-service bar offers a host of beverages and happy hour specials, with the most notable drink being Brazil’s very own cachaça, a spirit made of distilled cane sugar.

235 Old Country Rd, Carle Place fogodechao.com

Five Products That Donate Sales To Hunger Relief Groups

GLOBAL GOODNESS
A worldwide selection of verything from beauty products to household cleaning supplies are readily available at Brandless, and regardless of what is purchased, a meal is donated through Feeding America. All food and drink are non-GMO certified and all chemical-based cleaning supplies are U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Safer Choice certified, with most items going for less than $10. Find what you’re looking for until May 15, 2021 at brandless.com.

OUT OF THE BOXNames can be deceiving. As it turns out, BoxLunch does not offer boxed lunches, or any food or beverage for that matter. That doesn’t stop the pop culture merchandise store from donating one meal for every $10 spent in-store or online, so people can feel slightly better about themselves when purchasing an ugly “X-Men” sweater. Browse the catalogue before February 1, 2020 at boxlunch.com.

READY, SET, BAKEPampered Chef pastry molds promise to up the quality of whatever is in the oven, and a purchase of the Boat Press Set, Cookie House Molds, Donut Pan, and/or Mini-Loaf Pan will provide at least 10 meals to families in need. Promotion runs through February 29, 2020 at pamperedchef.com.

PIES SO FRESHPumpkin Praline. French Chocolate Silk. Bananas Foster. Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter. Purchase any of these cream pies in the bakery cold case at at The Fresh Market, and $1 or 10 meals are given to those in need. The Take a Slice Out of Hunger campaign runs through Nov. 30, with more information at the local store at 138 East Main Street in Smithtown, or visit thefreshmarket.com

WATCH YOUR WAISTIt doesn’t have to be New Year’s Day to begin the long and arduous journey that is weight loss. WonderSlim makes the eating part easy, with meal replacements that taste every bit as good as their unhealthier counterpart, whether it’s pancakes or cheese steak macaroni. Each box bought guarantees that two meals are given to a family who needs it, from now until Feb. 14, 2020. More information can be found at wonderslim.com.

3 New Restaurants To Try on Long Island

317 has a burger for everyone.

317 MAIN STREET

Two-time Chopped champion Chef Eric Levine has a new hot spot in Farmingdale, named for its address: 317 Main Street.

The gastropub pairs American grill classics like filet mignon with more unique offerings such as Asian short-rib tacos and roasted octopus. Brunch, dessert, and an extensive cocktail menu make for a near-limitless amount of reasons to visit.

Off-Broadway plays and musical acts make 317 Main their home, as the venue inside hosts a variety of ever-changing acts, such as the band Nine Days and the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

For those looking to pursue something different, patrons can reserve seats at the Chef’s Table, where one can order, drink, and eat while granted an audience with Levine as he cooks for you.

317 Main Street, Farmingdale 317mainstreet.com

RED CRAB

This family owned, Florida-based seafood franchise recently opened its first Long Island location in Rockville Centre.

Patrons can choose from its specialty, Cajun seafood boil, or a vast array of shellfish, including blue crab, lobster tail, multiple types of mussels, and shrimp. Patrons select a sauce and spice level, ranging from no spice to extra hot. All seafood is accompanied by potatoes and corn on the cob.

The menu also includes wings, po’ boys, daily seafood specials, and full-service bar.

The restaurant’s other locations are mostly in the South, but it has plans to open another New York location in Brooklyn.

294 Sunrise Highway, Rockville Centre redcrabseafood.com

PEACH & PINE

Health-conscious diners in Patchogue and beyond will rejoice at the forthcoming opening of Peach & Pine, a brand new vegetarian and vegan café.

The menu plans to redefine typical café mainstays by incorporating fresh, planet-based products in addition to more unique offerings. Baked goods range from everything from croissants, to bear claws, to owner Ashley Rowland’s signature brioche donuts.

Beyond doughy treats, the café intends to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Vegetarian or vegan hash browns and eggs, truffle Gouda grilled cheese, and umami burgers dot the meatless menu.

Rowland, who also has an online baking company called Sugar Lane Cake Shop, plans to open in either winter or early spring.

38 South Ocean Avenue, Patchogue

10 Long Island-made Thanksgiving Feast Ingredients

Cranberry Relish
A new take on an old classic, Relish Harbor Market and Kitchen’s cranberry relish incorporates oranges and walnuts, resulting in a unique flavor profile. Orders must be placed in advance by Nov. 15. 184 Division St., Sag Harbor, 631-725-4433, harbormarket.com

Stuffing 
Choose between traditional stuffing, or indulge yourself with the delicious herb and sausage variety at The Culinary Studio. Both are $9.99 a pound, and must be ordered by Nov. 25. 136 Wall St., Huntington. 631-385-8500, theculinarystudio.com

Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes
The green beans and sweet potatoes at Golden Earthworm Organic Farm are among the best available for making casseroles and candied potatoes. 652 Peconic Bay Blvd.,
Riverhead, 631-722-3302, goldenearthworm.com

Creamed Corn 
At $19.44 a quart at Elegant Eating, this large portion of the Thanksgiving favorite serves between six and 10. Orders must be placed by Nov. 21. 739 Smithtown Bypass (Rt. 347), Smithtown, 631-360-2211, eleganteating.com

Turkey 
Family-owned Miloski’s Poultry Farm has been providing fresh whole turkeys and other whole poultry and parts since 1946. Whole turkeys are $5.10 per pound. 4418 Middle Country Rd., Calverton, 631-727-0239, miloskispoultryfarm.com

Smoked Ham 
Go to Goodale Farms to purchase the high-quality smoked ham on premises, or order different amounts of ham online, sent straight to your door. 250 Main Rd., Riverhead, 631-901-5975, goodalefarms.com

Duck 
Quality meets variety at Crescent Duck, where fresh and frozen whole ducks, as well as Confucian style, are raised in the finest conditions. 10 Edgar Ave., Aquebogue, 631-722-8000, crescentduck.com

Assorted Pies 
Made on premises at Briermere Farms and from scratch, flavors range from traditional apple, to combinations such as peach cherry, to sweet-tooth favorites like chocolate cream. 4414 Sound Ave., Riverhead, 631-722-3931, briermere.com

Apple Cider
Pick up gallons, half gallons, or pints of cider made with no preservatives. Choose from apple, apple peach, and mango apple cider. Jericho Cider Mill, 213 Jericho Oyster Bay Rd. (Rt. 106), Jericho, 516-433-3360, jerichocider.com

Hard Cider
Riverhead Cider House stocks a multitude of stores across the island, but offers its latest creations, such as blackberry habanero, on draft at their Calverton location. 2711 Sound Ave., Calverton. 631-591-0217, riverheadcider.com

Related Story: Long Island Wines That Pair Well With Thanksgiving Dinner

The Book Fairies Aims To Break Guinness World Record For Longest Book Chain

Book Fairies volunteers help sort donations at the nonprofit's Freeport headquarters.

Vying to set the world record for longest chain of books is The Book Fairies, a Freeport-based nonprofit dedicated to fighting illiteracy by providing free books to at-risk youths and communities.

The organization is leading an effort to gather around 25,000 books to form a line that spans more than three miles on Nov. 14, which is Guinness World Record Day. This book chain will wind through two schools in Wyandanch. Afterward, the books will be distributed to members of the community. 

“We need to make sure that we have enough books to break the record,” said The Book Fairies Executive Director Eileen Minogue. “We are going for three-plus miles, so that in and of itself is a lot of work. And then we have to do it within the time that is allotted is another hurdle we have to deal with. When we finally lay out the books, we must make sure they are all within the requirements: they have to be in a line, they all have to be touching, and they can’t crisscross.”

Once all the books are lined up, auditors will count them and measure the distance to determine if the act sets a world record.

The spectacle is just one way the nonprofit hopes to attract more book donors. Participants can contribute by sponsoring a book for $5, either doing so by themselves, or as a fundraiser or part of a team. 

So far, more than $38,000 of the $125,000 goal has been met, with all funds raised going toward the donation of 500,000 additional books for the communities that need them the most.

“Breaking the world record is a great thing, but really it’s more than that,” Minogue said. “It’s raising awareness and bringing books into underserved communities. It’s a very unique and different type of fundraiser and awareness event, so that was why we chose it. But at the end, what is really cool is that the community of Wyandanch will be infused with 25,000 to 30,000 books.”

To donate or acquire more information on the event, visit  thebookfairies.rallybound.org/guinness-world-record/

Related Story: Book Fairies Marks 2 Millionth Book Donation

Related Story: Bellmore Mom Fighting Illiteracy One Book at a Time

Plainview’s Marina Chello Cut From NBC’s The Voice

Marina Chello
Marina Chello

Marina Chello of Plainview came to the end of the road on NBC’s The Voice Monday night in spite of a powerful performance, losing out on a chance at $100,000 and a record deal on the first night of the knockout stage of the competition. 

The 37-year-old wife, mother, and catering hall manager found herself up against Nashville singer songwriter Cali Wilson. The two of them faced off for a spot on Coach Blake Shelton’s team. After delivering an inspired performance of Tom Jones’ “I (Who Have Nothing),” Shelton tipped in favor of Wilson’s performance of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”

“You know, this is what you hope for, I guess, as a coach,” Shelton said moments before making the difficult decision. “But when it comes down to this moment, this is horrifying, because both of you two deserve not only to be on the show but to be on the damn radio, honestly.” 

He later reasoned that he had to do what he did.

“I think Marina did what we all knew she could do,” he said. “I think Cali did what none of us thought she could do. And I had to reward her for that.”

Chello had come a long way, as she blazed through the blind audition and the battle rounds. Despite her loss, Chello’s performance was well received by both the audience and judges, with not only Shelton, but coaches John Legend, Gwen Stefanie, and Kelly Clarkson all singing her praises before she got the axe.

Following her exit, Marina left with grace and dignity.

“I am so thrilled to have had this experience,” she told Shleton. “It’s a huge honor. Thank you so much for everything. Thank you.”

New Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Debuts

Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Stony Brook University Children's Hospital on Oct. 17, 2019.

A much-anticipated new four-story expansion of the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital debuted Thursday as officials showcased its cutting-edge treatment options in a setting designed to make kids feel comfortable. 

The new nautical-themed facility features single patient rooms, a live stream of the Long Island Aquarium, and an abundance of playrooms, lounges, homework areas, and a garden. As for the medical side, 180 pediatric specialists in more than 30 pediatric specialties work around the clock utilizing the latest in painless medicine. Hospital beds even record and upload patient information directly to the patient’s chart.

“This beautiful new, state-of-the-art children’s hospital will expand Stony Brook’s capabilities to meet the growing healthcare needs of children and their families across Long Island,” Michael Bernstein, interim president of Stony Brook University, told reporters during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Stony Brook campus.

Billed as Long Island’s only children’s teaching hospital, the new facility it part of a $450 million expansion at Stony Brook Medical Center. The $73 million poured into the children’s hospital took the form of a 71,500-square-foot facility adjacent to the general university hospital. 

The university reports that funds were gathered from a mixture of $25 million from 3,584 donors, $50 million in funding from two local New York State senators, $35 million from the governor and the State University of New York, and $50 million from philanthropists Jim and Marilyn Simons.

“The new hospital was designed with patients at the center of our thinking and planning, to promote their safety, well-being and healing,” said Dr. Margaret McGovern, Knapp Professor of Pediatrics and Physician in Chief of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. She added that it will “combine the best practices in modern pediatric medicine with a child-first, family-first philosophy.”

Delaney Unger, a 13-year-old Osteosarcoma survivor from Selden who received a unique amputation called rotationplasty at Stony Brook Children’s in 2017, praised the hospital.

“I am a little jealous of the new beautiful Stony Brook Children’s Hospital,” Unger said. “I can attest that not only will the children who stay here get the best possible care, but they will also do so in a fantastic new facility designed with them in mind.”

A community open house will be hosted on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Long Island Nurse Launches Project to Help Feed Haitian Orphans

Nina Ng, center, with some of the Haitian orphans that shes raising funds to help feed.

A nurse at Syosset Hospital is asking online donors to help her make a difference in the lives of Haitian children by providing them the nutritional staples that they are lacking.

Nina Ng, the hospital’s assistant director of nursing, was inspired to take up the cause after she visited Mounia’s Orphanage in Bon Repos, Haiti, where she noticed the lack of nutritional diversity in the children’s meals during a medical mission trip in 2012. In an effort to introduce a wider range of nutrients that extends beyond the typical rice and pasta-based carbohydrates that make up an average orphan’s food, Ng set up a fundraiser to fund the shipment of more nutritious food.

“The fact that they lack certain nutrition stunts their growth, so what we are trying to provide for them is a more steady influx of fruits, vegetables and meats so that they can grow like healthy children,” Ng told CBS New York.

To support the mission, she started a GoFundMe fundraiser, aptly titled Passion Project: Haiti, that has so far raised $1,500 of its $8,000 goal. The project sends shipments food such as chicken, eggs mangos, watermelon, spinach and yucca to the 20 to 25 children of Mounia’s Orphanage. Sept. 13 marked the first delivery of $200 worth of food, which included four chickens, 30 eggs, 17 eggplants, 18 oranges, 12 pineapples, and three packs of vegetables, mangos, and cherries.

More shipments are being planned. Donations can be made at gofundme.com/f/passionprojecthaiti