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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

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Joan Reminick

In an ongoing search to find Long Island’s best restaurant values, restaurant critic Joan Reminick has plowed through more pad thai, penne ala vodka and pulled pork than she cares to admit. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joan grew up in a happy home whose only shortcomings were culinary. After a childhood of cooked-to-leather steaks, canned peas and Ore Ida fries, she made it a personal mission to seek out food that’s fresh, lively and carefully prepared. Married to her teen sweetheart, she received a B.A. from Brooklyn College and an M.S. from Hofstra University and taught English and Humanities in a Long Island high school for several years. When her two children were born, she embarked on a writing career and has had both fiction and nonfiction works published in national magazines. She also edited the Zagat Survey of Long Island Restaurants and wrote the book “Exploring Long Island with Newsday.” In addition to doing weekly “Cheap Eats” restaurant reviews, Joan hunts down restaurant news items and writes restaurant-related articles. These days, her motto is: making Long Island a better place to eat, one blog entry at a time.

Open in Albertson: Grillmark

Dimitri Londos, left, and Nick Marinos, are co-owners

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Billing itself as a “healthy eatery,” Grillmark has opened in the Waldbaums shopping center on Willis Avenue in Albertson. It occupies the spot that, briefly, was Prime Burgers and, before that, Deli on Rye.

The very attractive order-at-the-counter restaurant is decorated in an up-to-the-moment industrial-farmhouse style, with reclaimed wood, old-timey light bulbs and white subway tile. Also...

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Craft beer dinner at Anthony's in Commack

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in Commack is staging

(Credit: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza)

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Commack will be staging a four-course craft beer dinner featuring brews from Fire Island Beer Company at 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 25.

The beer-driven family-style meal, $30 a person (inclusive of tax and gratuity), begins with Sea Salt Ale paired with both a fresh mozzarella and tomato salad and classic Italian salad. Next comes Lighthouse Ale paired with eggplant...

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Closed in Commack: Main Catch

Main Catch in Commack

Main Catch, a seafood restaurant on Jericho Turnpike in Commack, has closed. The place opened in 2012 in the former digs of Southside Fish & Clam Restaurant and operated under the same ownership as the long-standing Southside Fish & Clam in Lindenhurst.

Main Catch received a one-star review from Newsday’s Peter M. Gianotti, who liked its sushi bar offerings and recommended some of...

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Closed in Merrick: Surf ’n Turf Mediterranean Grill

A shrimp and chicken kebab dish at Surf

(Credit: Newsday Photo / Robert Mecea)

Surf ’n Turf Mediterranean Grill has closed. The restaurant — whose menu was a combination of Turkish, Greek and American cuisines — was sold more than a year ago by owner Al Avci (who currently is the owner of Prime Catch in Rockville Centre). Surf ’n Turf continued under new owners, but now the windows are papered over, the website kaput....

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Tim's Shipwreck Diner in Northport gets surprise makeover

Tim's Shipwreck Diner in Northport got a Food

(Credit: Tim's Shipwreck Diner)

Tim’s Shipwreck Diner in Northport, featured in a pivotal scene in the 1997 film “In and Out,” is getting another star turn. While owner Tim Hess was away in Montauk, Food Network engineered a makeover for an upcoming series called "American Diner Revival." Work began on Thursday, Aug. 14.

When Hess returned on Monday, he was flabbergasted. “There was a fire truck out in front,” he said, adding...

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Tony Colombos in Rockville Centre: First bites

Rice balls filled with beef ragu and peas

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Tony Colombos, full of good feeling and Italian-American favorites, is the newest entry in Long Island's most-competitive cuisine.

The restaurant, on the former site of Cielo, keeps the red sauce flowing and makes some tasty additions to the familiar repertoire. You'll like it.

Try the rice balls, filled with beef ragu and sweet peas, set on tomato sauce. Sample the fennel salad, updated...

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Sesame noodles at Din Din in Syosset

Cold sesame noodles are one of the starters

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

I was overcome with a yen for cold sesame noodles and, in the dim recesses of my brain, I recalled having a good experience at one of the incarnations of the Chinese restaurant that sits at 6600 Jericho Tpke. in Syosset. Was it way back when it was Empire Szechuan Gourmet? Or was it at one of ESG’s successors: Tao, Dao or Ao? Since May the restaurant has been rechristened Din Din, and that’s where...

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Joe's Garage and Grill setting up winery food stand

Tokyo Drift sliders (pictured), steamed Asian buns, enfolding

(Credit: Randee Daddona)

Every Saturday and Sunday through the fall, Joe’s Garage and Grill of Riverhead (recently named one of Newsday's top 10 gastropubs and top 100 restaurants)  will have a food stand set up outside the tasting room of Macari Vineyards in Cutchogue. Weather permitting, of course. (Macari Vineyards was recently named the state's "winery of the year" at the 2014 New York Wine & Food Classic).

While...

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Open in Hewlett: Istanbul Grill & Bar

Adana kebab is one of many Turkish specialties

(Credit: Istanbul Grill and Bar)

Istanbul Grill & Bar is serving hummus, falafel and shish kebab in the Hewlett space that formerly hosted Mermaid.

According to owner Aydener Aykanat, the place has a liquor license and also offers local delivery. In charge of the kitchen is chef Yasar Ilik, who formerly cooked at Chicken Kebab in Roslyn Heights.

Here's some items from the menu: Babaganoush, or eggplant salad ($6.75),...

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Texas Taco in Sayville: Soggy saga

Fire Island tacos, made with shrimp, salsa, cabbage

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Texas Taco opened earlier this summer in Sayville, serving a Tex-Cal-Mex assortment of tortilla-based dishes: tacos, nachos, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, wraps and taco salads.

On a recent visit, I ordered the Fire Island tacos ($9.95) from the “specialty trio taco” menu and was presented with a very pretty troika of soft-corn tortillas, each cradling cabbage slaw, salsa, shrimp and chipotle...

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