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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.

Opening in Rockville Centre: Tony Colombos Italian Bistro

New to Rockville Centre is Tony Colombos Italian

(Credit: Tony Colombos Italian Bistro)

On Saturday, Tony Colombos Italian Bistro makes its Rockville Centre debut in the renovated space that last housed Cielo. It represents a collaboration between namesake, Tony Colombo (whose past culinary credits include Cirella’s in Melville, Mannino’s Restaurant & Lounge in Oakdale and the 21 Club in Manhattan) and Art Gustafson, chef-owner of the nearby Chadwick’s American Chop House &...

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KFC's Double Down sandwich returns

The Double Down -- bacon, Monterey Jack cheese

(Credit: KFC)

It's baaack. You may or may not want to eat it, but you'll probably have something to say about the limited-engagement return of the Double Down from KFC.

The 540-calorie sandwich has as its filling bacon, Monterey Jack cheese plus the Colonel’s special sauce. In place of a bun, though, are two Original Recipe chicken filets. Yes, two pieces of fried chicken standing in for bread.

The...

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Southampton beer dinner at Jamesport Manor Inn

The Jamesport Manor Inn in Jamesport .

(Credit: Randee Daddona)

Jamesport Manor Inn hosts a dinner highlighting a quartet of brews from Southampton Publick House on Friday, April 25.

The cost of the four-course dinner is $60 per person. Dinner starts at 7 p.m.

Chef Michael Mandleur's menu includes Peconic Bay oysters paired with Southampton Double White; warm Stilton cheese and pear halves, with Belgian endive and candied pecans, with the brewery's...

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Long Island restaurants: New reviews

La Marmite in Williston Park serves pan-seared red

(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

In this week’s Cheap Eats review, Joan Reminick views the menu of chef Steven Del Lima at the new Chow Down Diner in Bethpage as a “well-edited repertoire of cleverly tweaked American classics at diner prices.“ She praises such dishes as the “spunky Southwestern omelet laced with ground chorizo, black beans, jalapeño and cheese” and “plush, deftly-spiced chicken arugula meatballs.“

Critic...

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Dining in Babylon: 5 picks

Monsoon Asian Kitchen and Lounge in Babylon offers

(Credit: Doug Young)

Babylon boasts one of Long Island's livelier downtowns. And there's plenty of diversity among the restaurants. Here are five flavorful ones.

MONSOON, 48 Deer Park Ave.; 631-587-4400. This four-star restaurant excels with creative Asian fare, served in a high-style setting. The winners include kung pao-style monkfish, Beijing duck, Korean fried chicken, "shaking beef," fiery octopus, pork-belly...

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Open in Mattituck: Uncle Joe's Pizza & Restaurant

The new Uncle Joe's Pizza and Restaurant in

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

As the kind of person who brakes whenever I see banners flying outside a restaurant, it was all I could do not to run off the road when spying flags over the awning of Uncle Joe’s Pizza & Restaurant in Mattituck. Interestingly, the casual new pizza place —  which serves slices as well as whole pies — is situated right next door to A Mano, a fine dining restaurant offering more of an artisanal...

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Open in Bay Shore: Winnie's Coffee Shop

The western omelet at Winnie's Coffee Shop in

(Credit: Winnie's Coffee Shop)

For all those who have been waiting to see when Winnie’s Coffee Shop in Bay Shore would reopen comes this news: It’s open. It’s still called Winnie’s. But former owner Tony Bellucci is no longer affiliated with the place, which has been overhauled and remodeled.

It’s now owned by Pamala Wood, who said she attended the Culinary Academy of Long Island in Syosset and was sous chef at Flynn’s...

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Woody's American Grill in West Babylon: First bites

Turkey burger with hand-cut fries at Woody's American

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Raising the bar on fast food in West Babylon is the new Woody’s American Grill, which now occupies the former digs of Green Cactus Grill.

I stopped by for lunch, opting for a turkey burger ($3.69) with tomato and pickles. It turned out to be smoky and juicy, served on a potato-brioche bun with a shiny egg wash. Fries ($2.49) are hand-cut, not frozen; boxes of potatoes stacked near the counter...

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Ristegio's opening in North Patchogue Wednesday

Ristegio's restaurant in North Patchogue in April 2014.

(Credit: Ristegio's restaurant)

Ristegio's, the much-anticipated New American restaurant with chef Richard Lanza, opens Wednesday at 5 p.m. in North Patchogue.

The restaurant, which takes its name from those of owners Richard, Steven, and Joseph Lanza, is in the location that once housed Pat & Jim's, the chef's first restaurant.

Lanza has earned stellar reviews for his cooking, recently at Blackstone Steakhouse...

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Nick's Tuscan Grill in Mineola: First bites

Hot antipasto at Nick's Tuscan Grill in Mineola

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Nick's Tuscan Grill, which has a little to do with grilling and even less with things Tuscan, opens in Mineola as a friendly, satisfying spot for Italian-American specialties.

You may remember Nick's from Long Beach. The restaurant was severely damaged by superstorm Sandy, and relocated. It's on the corner that has hosted restaurants for decades, most recently Andiamo and most famously Altadonna.

Nick's...

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