Samuel Podolsky


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)


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


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


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

Five Products That Donate Sales To Hunger Relief Groups

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

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

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

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

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

3 New Restaurants To Try on Long Island

317 has a burger for everyone.


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


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


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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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

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

Girls Rising Opens New Headquarters in Sea Cliff

Girls Rising held a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside their new Sea Cliff headquarters on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2019.

Girls Rising, a nonprofit founded by all-female rock band Antigone Rising, cut the ribbon on its new headquarters in Sea Cliff on Thursday.

The nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls and LGBT children to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) was founded by rockers Cathy Henderson, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, and Nini Camps. A host of local officials were on hand for the ceremonious ribbon cutting.

“We must provide young women with a strong foundation to empower them and help them grow into successful leaders,” said New York State Sen. Jim Gaughran (D-Northport). “Girls Rising’s new headquarters will assist them with their fantastic work and service to our community, and I am thrilled to be joining them at the opening of their new location.”

Girls Rising also provides creative outlets in the form of music festivals, most recently performing at the Sea Cliff Mini Mart. Grants and scholarships are additionally offered to students in underprivileged school districts.

“We host women from all sorts of fields to speak at our workshops,” said Camps. We’ve had an astronaut, a WNBA player. We try to promote STEM fields.” 

Officials were optimistic that the new headquarters would help Girls Rising advance their mission.

“I’m thrilled to see the Girls Rising office opening as it indicates the expansion of such a wonderful organization that empowers young girls to learn skills, gain confidence, and be successful in future endeavors” said Glen Cove City Councilmember Marsha Silverman.

Girls Rising’s new headquarters is located at 247 Sea Cliff Ave. in Sea Cliff. For more information on Girls Rising can be found on their website

3 New Restaurants To Try on Long Island This Weekend

Chen's Poke serves up customizable poke bowls.


Serving up traditional native Hawaiian dishes in Mineola, Chen’s Poke invites diners to customize their meals.

Chen’s offers the delicious yet healthy poke bowls at this spot where patrons can tweak their bowl with various bases, proteins, and toppings, or choose from a diverse selection of the restaurant’s own creations.

Featuring several rice, salad, and zucchini bases as well as raw fish options such as salmon and ahi tuna, there is a bowl for everyone at Chen’s.

The eatery opened in April and the owners are looking to expand across the island with a few new locations within the coming year.

106 Old Country Road, Mineola,


The popular Philadelphia-born chain Philly Pretzel Factory that has been expanding on Long Island finally makes its way to Babylon.

Devoted to knotted bread and a wide variety of accompanying dips, Philly pretzels are twisted and fired on site into all sorts of shapes and sizes. Dips include everything from nacho cheese to tangy sriracha, brownie batter, and butter cream for the bold.

For those with even more of a sweet tooth, cinnamon twists and frozen lemonade are mainstays of the menu.

Franchisee Joe Russo, who has opened a prior location in Massapequa Park, will open the store in October. The chain also has locations in Syosset, Bellmore, Franklin Square, and Smithtown.

1150 Deer Park Avenue, North Babylon,


Greek, Spanish, and Italian food come together to form a delicious dining experience unlike any other on Long Island at Herb and Olive Marketa.

Specializing in tapas, or small plates, this market sets itself apart from other eateries by selling everything they make fresh in the attached market.

Any Feta, prosciutto, and other regional specialties are both served and sold, with all ingredients sourced from their respective homeland.

Set to open soon, Herb and Olive Marketa looks to be a unique staple of Mediterranean cuisine.

172 Plandome Road, Manhasset,