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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Island Empanada in Ronkonkoma says I heart you

Island Empanada in Ronkonkoma is making heart-shaped empanadas

(Credit: Handout)

Roy Pelaez, resourceful owner of Island Empanada in Ronkonkoma, has come up with a heart-shaped edition of his eatery's little fried pies for Valentine’s Day. Choose any empanada from the menu and — with advance notice — you can have it made as a heart. Augmenting the regular menu of savory empanadas are new additions — spicy cheese, pernil and jerk chicken, to name a few. There are also dessert...

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James McDevitt leaves Jellyfish in Centerport

James McDevitt in 2009, when he was executive

(Credit: Kirsten Luce)

James McDevitt, profiled as a Newsday All-Star Chef back in 2009, has left Jellyfish. The Centerport restaurant opened in October 2012. McDevitt, whose Long Island credentials include the former Two Steak & Sushi Den, as well as K. Pacho in New Hyde Park and Four Food Studio in Melville, said he will be corporate executive chef for ESquared Hospitality, whose BLT Steak on 57th Street in Manhattan...

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Nick & Toni's, East Hampton: Closing to update dining rooms

In summer, Nick & Toni's is the toughest

(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Nick & Toni's, celebrity magnet and three-star restaurant, will close for a face-lift starting next Monday. The hardest Hamptons' table to snag on a summer Saturday, Nick & Toni's is refreshing and updating its dining rooms and bar, including floors, tables, seating, lighting. But the layout and the style of the 25-year old Mediterranean eatery are expected to remain the same. Under chef...

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Duck tortilla takeover on Asian dining scene

The duck tortilla, bringing to mind Peking duck,

(Credit: Randee Daddona)

Not long ago, at  Show Win in Northport, I noticed — and ordered — a duck tortilla roll from a menu insert of dinner specials. The crisp and alluring little cylinders ($8), made with duck, scallions, hoisin sauce and flour tortillas, are fried and then cut on the bias. They bring to mind a much costlier, more complex dish: Peking duck. Yet this was far from the first time I’ve encountered...

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Hemisphere debuts in Bay Shore

Chef Jeffery Slade plating a dish at The

(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

New to the nightlife scene in Bay Shore is Hemisphere, a supper club with a New American small plates menu from chef Jeffery Slade. Previously, Slade cooked at the former Farmhouse restaurant in Greenport and, more recently, Madison’s in Williston Park. Hemisphere co-owner Chris Cox speaks of a sophisticated cocktail menu as well as a changing roster of musical performers — mainly jazz and blues...

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Vespa in Great Neck: Sporting dinner in Great Neck

A vintage Vespa scooter

(Credit: Fotolia)

Maybe I’m too competitive but I often consider dining a sport where each course constitutes a round with a winner and a loser. At a recent meal at Vespa, I placed in the middle Vespa Cibobuono, which has stood at the corner of Northern Boulevard and Great Neck Road since 1992, closed for a while last year for renovations and reopened in October 2012. Not much has changed; it’s still a friendly...

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Bottomz Up, Carle Place: Take 2

Bottomz Up, Carle Place

(Credit: Handout)

Some call it a sports bar and grill. Others, a gastropub. The term “breastaurant” has also been bandied about.  Classify it as you will, Bottomz Up — staffed by curvaceous young women in short-shorts and tank tops — is now up and running in Carle Place. You may remember that the 6,000 square foot place with 50 large flats screen TVs opened last July, only to close in August  because...

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This week’s restaurant reviews

Adam Pitre, a veteran of Ruvo in Greenlawn

(Credit: Heather Walsh)

In this week’s Newsday, Peter M. Gianotti reviews Five. Five. 2 in St. James, “a restaurant so confident and convincing that you’ll start using 5-5-2 as lottery numbers.” In the space that used to be O’s Food and Wine Bar, chef Adam Pitré makes stylish plates, small and large. Joan Reminick visits Mermaid Asian Bistro in Ronkonkoma. In a “Long Island restaurant pool already swimming with hybrid...

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Snowfall windfall, 2013 edition

Blizzard

(Credit: James Carbone)

Since there’s going to be significant white stuff on the ground, two Long Island restaurateurs are ready, as ever, with their snow discounts. In Huntington, Tutto Pazzo co-owner Joe Petrone said he is giving a 25 percent discount tonight and upping it to 50 percent for Saturday. This goes for food only. And Uncle Bacala’s restaurants in both Garden City Park and Smithtown will give 25 percent off...

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Farewell to FeelGoods Cafe, St. James

The EdgyBurger is the specialty of FeelGoods Cafe

(Credit: Handout)

FeelGoods, Kathy Gerdes and Nicole Lawrence’s friendly little health-conscious cafe, has closed. Earlier this week the women posted on their Facebook page that after a lot of “business soul-searching,” it became clear that “closing is the difficult but necessary move.” Last March, the cafe's signature item, the vegetarian EdgyBurger, took first place in the new-product competition at the New York...

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