il Mulino: One of Long Island's Best Restaurants
This haute Italian restaurant is the only branch of New York City's famed il Mulino, in Zagat's Top 50 every year. Housed in an ordinary building on a business block of Northern Boulevard, the interior is absolutely elegant. On being seated, plates of pepperoni and mushrooms are waiting soon to be joined by zucchini in olive oil, hand-served bruschetta with mussels, and as in the original NYC venue, chunks of parmesan hand cut from a wheel brought to the table.
There is an extensive fixed menu with multiple specials read by the server. Appetizers on the menu are 12-20$, pastas 22-30+, and entrees 28-40$.l Prices are not listed for the more expensive items such as lobster and steak. Specials are fare more. Desserts begin at $12. Based on our experience and the recommendations of friends, everything on this menu is an adventure in dining excellence.
Sadly, service seems devoted to moving the table as fast as possible. There was constant pressure from the service staff for speedy ordering, eating, and leaving. The server attempted to get our dinner order before our drink order. We successfully delayed ordering our food till the drinks had been ordered but both arrived at the same time. The busboys tried to clear our plates before we were done eating as the waiter hovered nearby to get our dessert and coffee orders. When one diner ordered a refill on coffee, the remaining plates were cleared and the bill presented. This type of hurry up service is more appropriate to a neighborhood Chinese restaurant and unacceptable in this setting and especially at these prices.
This restaurant may offer some of the best food being served on Long Island - indeed, it does - but the experience is severely downgraded by the service.
Favorite Dish: For starters, the preliminaries were excellent and the martini was professional quality. The entree hit was two large pork chops with onions and diced roasted potatoes. Veal medallions with fresh artichokes and mushrooms was similarly superb, as was a chicken breast dish with fresh vegetables. A flourless chocolate cake was dressed with fresh berries in a zabaglione sauce - good enough to die for.
Bistro Citron: Upscale French Bistro in Roslyn
Bistro Citron is one of the few relatively reasonably priced French venues on in the north Mid-Nassau area. Set in downtown Roslyn village, the back tables overlook the delightful Roslyn duck pond. It is furnished in typical bistro fashion with framed mirrors and pictures. Service is adequate although the maitre d' has a bit of an attitude. The reservation system is bizarre- some tables are reserved with a waiting list while others are kept open for walk-ins.
The menu is typical bistro French. Appetizers at $8-15 included onion soup, tartares, escargot, and salads. Moules are available in several preparations ($13). Entrees range from $19-27 for chicken duck, hanger and steak frites, and several fish preparations. There is a selected daily special on a week-long rotating list including trout meuniere, cog au vin, and bouillabaisse. Daily entree specials are usually fish dishes.
We visit here regularly and are rarely disappointed. Martinis are above average although not spectacular.
Favorite Dish: We have been pleased with the salads. Streak frites, marinated checken, and salmon wrapped in rice paper have all been excellent entrees. For lighter dining there is an excellent but expensive hamburger with fries. The $32 roasted chicken for two is a frequent choice. And the ubiquitous french fries are very good, accompanying many dishes. There are a lot of desserts, but somehow we always end up with the very good profiteroles.
There is a small but active upscale bar scene at the attractive wooden bar in the entrance area.
Matteo's: good family-style italian dining
Matteo's has been providing good quality italian food served family style for several years at this site, large portions suitable and intended for sharing - appetizers, entrees, pastas, and desserts. For this reason, dining parties are comprised of families and generally larger groups. The underdecorated room is located in a group of storefronts and local parking restrictions require the use of valets (or a parking summons). Service seems haphazard but they do get the job done. The menu is extensive with both southern and northern Italian dishes. And surprisingly the martinis are really very good. This is not haute cuisine, just very good food at reasonable prices. 6/17/06 update - places like this never change, but we do note that the martinis have become quite expensive lately.
Favorite Dish: most everything we have eaten on multiple trips has been quite good, but if there is one thing that stands out - we never order without getting something with the drop dead good bolognese sauce, the best I have had outside italy at any cost or location. A side dish of escarole and Tuscan white beans had enough garlic to kill a few vampires and was also very good on a recent visit.
- Food and Dining
La Viola: Classic North Shore Italian Restaurant
This Syosset institution has been turning out large portions of classic Italian dishes at reasonable prices for almost 30 years. Often crowded and somewhat noisy, service is nonetheless considerate and friendly, and one never feels rushed to vacate the table. With one or two exceptions, all dishes are available for either one or two people, and there is more than enough food on every plate. Time has not dulled the use of spice or softened the excellent meals presented. For 2, appetizers run $12-20, pastas $18-25, and entrees $18-32 except the steaks and veal chops which can run up to $50 for two. Desserts are for one all at $5.75 and decent coffee is $2 and cappucino $3.50. And the martinis, while of standard size, happen to be very good. We can recommend this place highly after many visits over 25 years. It never changes.
Favorite Dish: The best entree in the house is the country style chicken scarpariello (one of the only dishes not available for one diner). Recent successes included chicken parmagiana, shrimps marinara, and filet of sole francese. All the pastas are very good - the bolognese sauce is a particular favorite. Desserts are comercial, but more than adequate. And did I mention that for a family style restaurant the martinis are well above average. Yes, we like this place.
Trattoria Diane: Upscale American With an Italian Touch
Diane's has been serving an upscale clientele in this location for many years. Housed in an old building with brick floors, simple beige walls, and a multitude of black and white framed images of Venice on two floors connected by a broad stairway. The servers are friendly and helpful, but can never seem to remember which dish goes where without holding an auction. Spacing between tables is more than adequate. Salad, soup, and assorted appetizers run $8-15 dollars with the higher prices for shellfish items. Entrees begin at $21 for chicken up to $38 for steak, with a large number of fish entrees in the middle of that range. A popular favorite is the Tuscan pot roast. All come with a side order of potatoes/rice and/or vegetables. Martinis are of average quality and wines by the bottle and glass are not cheap. A large dessert menu including profiteroles, many tarts, and cakes are all priced at relatively reasonable $8.50. Over the years, as is often the case with a successful venture, seasoning and innovation have receded into the background leaving a relatively bland and unremarkable dining experience. Reservations mandatory for weekends.
Favorite Dish: Expensive and quite adequate, but hardly worth a long detour. On our last visit, fish and duck entrees were underseasoned although otherwise properly prepared. Similarly, side dishes were not in any way special.
- Food and Dining
Saracen: Upscale Hamptons Italian Dining
Every 3 or 4 years a new name appears in front of this rambling house, signalling a new Italian upscale restaurant. Always decent and always crowded with a clientele of both hip young and sedate well-groomed older diners, it provides a decent meal canted toward Itaian preparations of grilled fish but with menu wide enough to satisfy all comers. There are steak, pork, chicken dishes offered all with an Italian orientation including a large steak done Florentine style. There is also a relatively large pasta menu, and pasta dishes seemed quite popular at neighboring tables. Decor is minimal, service is adequate (although probably better for the young well-to-do diners and the regulars) and the noise level can be high particularly with the Saturday DJ. During the winter, prix fixe complete dinnners are about $26. The alacarte prices on Saturdays during the winter and in season are quite high with appetizers $10-15, entrees $25-38 and desserts all $9.50. Our party went totally fish - mussels, 4 different entrees - and were satisfied by adequate portions prepared adequately but in no way exceptional. As is typical in the Hamptons, the martini was very average.
Favorite Dish: An appetizer of mussels was disappointing, mushy and in a tasteless broth. The fish entrees included salmon, tilapia, shrimp,and stuffed sole and were bland and unexciting but certainly not bad in any way. Just not distinguished. Each comes with a group of vegetables on the side. Assorted baked desserts including the blueberry tart were actually quite good as was the coffee. All in all, a typical upscale Hampton eatery - great crowd, decent inoffensive food, high prices.
- Food and Dining
Ravagh Persian Grill: Persian Cuisine on the Island
This Persian restaurant opened several years ago in the building formerly occupied by the horrible Roslyn Diner. Slowly it has become a local favorite by word of mouth and is quite busy most nights of the week. Typical eggplant appetizers, salads, and soups run a reasonable $3.50-5.00. Entrees are comprised of multiple kebab choices, persian stews, and simple grilled fish. Martinis are surprisingly good, and full bar service is ordered. The diner has been redecorated with subdued decor and lighting. The young service staff is helpful and reasonably efficient. Ravagh represents a pleasant and welcome change from the usual and ubiquitous grills and trattorias dotting the North Shore of Long Island and we eat in and take out regularly.
Favorite Dish: The kebabs are accompanied by saffron rice and grilled vegetables and all are quite good. Similarly, grilled fish such as salmon, trout, and striped and Chilean sea bass are specialties.
Sarin Thai Cuisine: New North Shore Thai Restaurant
this neighborhood thai restaurant includes the usual suspects on the menu including pad thai, curries, salads, vegetarian dishes. The meals are aggressively spiced (for the neighborhood) and portion size is quite good. The room is comfortable and simply decorated and service is quite adequate. The martinis are also adequate. There is no exotic martini menu but basic variants are available. This is a good local option. All six diners (all have been previously in Thailand) were overall very pleased.
Favorite Dish: an appetizer of fried squid (calamari) with a spicy plum sauce was a great starter.
- Food and Dining
Main 415: a new venue to be avoided
in the venue formerly occupied by the avaricious and unlamented Bongo Bay, Dieter and his partner have opened this American-Steak and Seafood restaurant on the water in Port Washington. The previous tropical decor has been replaced with a retro melange of dark aquamarine and dull pink with bright pink tassels described by an interior designer at the table as a disaster. As much as I just LOVE country music, Merle Haggard Jesse Colter and Waylon Jennings was not the right musical selection for dining. The ambience is not helped by food deliveries through the dining room.
Sooo - the $9 martini wasn't bad and the bread basket was terrific. Amish style roast chicken was comprised of two rather scrawny legs with a small attached unidentifiable chicken part. The chicken was more bludgeoned with spice than aggressively spiced. The accompanying vinegar based sauce was thankfully ordered on the side as it was beyond consumption (does anyone remember when consumption meant tuberculosis?). The potato crust on the salmon could not disguise the fishy taste of an aged fish. A female member of the party described this as her worst meal in years. And get the prices - appetizers $10 and up, fish and chicken entrees $20-30 and steak and veal at $30-40. We passed on dessert. An all inclusive $28 prix fixe included soup, appetizer, entree, dessert, and coffee but the entrees interested nobody at our table. Happy hour 1600-1900 with half price drinks, free appetizers -wings, bruschetta, cheese, crudite with dip. We won't be back. 6/6/05 = neighbors state than this place was really terrific when it opened recently, but their 2 most recent visits were disastrous. You can't put lipstick on this pig
Favorite Dish: martini
- Food and Dining
La Parma: Excellent Italian Cuisine
This restaurant has some of the best Italian fare on Long Island. The food is served family style, so its best to go with 3 or more people as the portions are tremendous. So bring a hearty appetite and your wallet. The prices are slightly higher but definetly worth it.
Favorite Dish: The Penne ala Vodka is the best I've had. The taste is deicious and I strongly reccommend it for any pasta lover.
Alias Smith and Jones: Great Food
Alias Smith and Jones is one of the finest local restaurants. It is located in the town of Oceanside. They serve a marvelous selection of seafood dishes, steaks and chops and local specialties such as LI Roast Duckling. There are also nightly specials. There is an extensive wine list too. The decor is modern and the staff friendly. Reservations are suggested for weekends for larger parties.
Favorite Dish: Several favorites including Duck and Steak Tidbits which are slices of Sirloin Steak served on garlic bread.
Boulder Creek: Steak is delicious!
Besides the steaks and burgers this restaurant offers grilled salmon, seafood appetizers, soups, and salads.
They also have a large selection of wines and beers.
This diner in greenport was...
This diner in greenport was the only shop that was opened those days.
The interior was like in those old Hollywood movies!
Favorite Dish: American breakfast