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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Cucina di Vargas: Italian family-style in Hewlett

Clams casino and chicken limone at Cucina di

(Credit: Handout)

New to Hewlett is Cucina di Vargas, a family-style restaurant that’s run by a family. The owner of the place is Erica Vargas, the manager, her brother, Danny Vargas. The chef is their father, Narciso Vargas, who was the original chef at the former Matteo's in Hewlett.

Portions here are geared to large parties, with full orders serving 3 to 4 people and half orders meant for 2. On the menu:...

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Gimme 2 in Huntington Station: Closed

Gimme 2 Sandwiches and Salads, Huntington Station

(Credit: Joan Reminick)

Gimme 2 Sandwiches & Salads, located across from Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, has closed. The little building previously housed Greek Captain and, before that, Starbucks.

While Gimme 2 was small and modest in appearance, its sandwiches — most memorably the Cuban and the Reuben  — delivered a lot of flavor for very little money....

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Lula in Mineola launches lunch

The Parma thin-crust pizza at Lula Trattoria in

(Credit: Johnny Simon)

Lula Trattoria, the likable, Italian-ish restaurant in Mineola, is now serving lunch Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef Tom Gloster says he is working on a lunch menu, but for now, the dinner menu — composed of many lunch-friendly small plates — is in effect.

Lula Trattoria is at 348 E. Jericho Tpke., Mineola, 516-747-5100....

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Thai Chef opens in North Merrick

Thai Chef is new to North Merrick.

(Credit: Joan Reminick)

New to the little community of North Merrick is Thai Chef, a diminutive storefront spot that serves both as a takeout and  — although there are only four tables — full-fledged restaurant.

The menu features such choices as papaya salad ($5.95), green curry fried rice with chicken, beef, pork, tofu, vegetables, shrimp or squid ($7.95 to $8.95), spicy basil chicken ($8.95) and tamarind duck...

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This week’s restaurant reviews

Jose Sorto has been executive chef at Benny's

(Credit: Johnny Simon)

In this week’s Newsday, Peter Gianotti bestows a rare four stars on Benny’s Ristorante, the 26-year-old Italian in Westbury. “Finding the next hot table or the trend that sparks it defines a lot of writing about restaurants,” he notes. As for the long-lived establishment, over time many “change dramatically. Benny’s hasn’t. It earned four stars in 1995 and deserves them today, too.”

Joan Reminick...

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Weekend picks: Easter dining

Roots Bistro Gourmand is a nouveau bistro in

(Credit: Alessandro Vecchi)

Easter Sunday dining is almost as popular at restaurants as it is at the family table. Here are three places where you can celebrate. Reservations are recommended.

Mirabelle in Stony Brook offers a $62 fixed-price dinner, plus tax and tip, from 1 to 7 p.m. Among the dishes: asparagus custard, asparagus-chervil salad with smoked salmon, spring pea soup, Sauternes-poached foie gras, loin of...

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Buffalo Wild Wings: March Madness to eat by

At Buffalo Wild Wings in Farmingdale, chicken wings

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

It was the calm before the storm at Buffalo Wild Wings in Farmingdale. At lunch Thursday, all the TVs were tuned to sports, as usual, but most of the patrons were concentrating on their wings. Thursday, starting at 7:15 p.m., March Madness will descend and partisans of Marquette and Miami, Arizona and Ohio State, Indiana and Syracuse, Wichita State and Lasalle will have to split their attention...

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Namaste America: Indian buffet comes to Deer Park

Vegetable biryani at Namaste America, a new Indian

(Credit: Handout)

Namaste America, new to Deer Park, is driven by the concept of Indian buffet. Owner Andy Advani adds that diners who prefer can also order off the a la carte menu.

Some dishes you’re likely to find on the table are makhani chicken (also known as butter chicken), methi chicken, which is cooked with fenugreek leaves, tandoori chicken, soy bean korma and, at the more wide-ranging dinner buffet,...

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Open Table names 4 Long Island restaurants on its 'hot' list

Monsoon Asian Kitchen and Lounge in Babylon offers

(Credit: Doug Young)

Open Table, the online reservations service, has issued its list of 100 "hot spot" restaurants nationwide, and four Long Island dining rooms have sizzled in.

Monsoon in Babylon, Toku in Manhasset, Hendrick's Tavern in Roslyn, and Honu Kitchen & Cocktails in Huntington are on the 2013 list.

The restaurants are chosen from 5 million reviews by participants in Open Table.


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Ko Gu Ryo: New and Korean in Commack

Ko Gu Ryo was a Korean restaurant in

(Credit: Joan Reminick)

Ko Gu Ryo is the name of the Korean restaurant occupying the freestanding Commack building that has housed a string of other Korean spots — most recently, Arirang House, and before that Dory and Sil La Joung.

The specialty here is Korean tabletop barbecue, with such dishes as dak gui, or marinated chicken, ($19.99) and kalbi, thinly sliced beef short rib ($24.99). You can also get japchae,...

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