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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Azafrán Colombian Restaurant in St. James: First bites

Rotisserie roasted chicken at Azafran in St. James

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Azafrán Colombian Restaurant in St. James is simple but attractive in design. You may recognize the site as the former home of Red Tomato and, before that, Attilio’s Grill. Outside the place, a life-size statue of a chef greets customers.

The house specialty, rotisserie roasted chicken, is what you want to get. I had it as part of a “bandeja,” ($11) or platter, that also included chicken...

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Open in Long Beach: Grotta di Fuoco

Grotta di Fuoco is a new Italian restaurant

(Credit: Grotta di Fuoco)

The floods of superstorm Sandy closed Caffe Laguna in Long Beach but did not destroy the restaurant’s wood-burning oven. That oven has inspired Caffe Laguna’s successor: Grotta di Fuoco, “cave of fire,” which opened two weeks ago.

The new restaurant’s chef-owner is Andrew Allotti, who worked briefly at Caffe Laguna and, before that, for two years at Sole in Oceanside. Raised in Baldwin, Allotti...

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Fairway Market offers senior discount

Fairway Market opens a new store in Lake

(Credit: Fairway Market)

Fairway Market is reaching out to older customers by introducing its 6% FOR SIXTY discount program.

Starting Aug. 26, customers 60 and older will get a 6 percent discount on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Fairway Markets in Plainview, Westbury and Lake Grove. The program was launched in the spring at Fairway locations in Paramus and Woodland Park, New Jersey, and Nanuet, New York. Seniors must...

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The Refuge to succeed Four Food Studio in Melville

The Refuge Food & Spirits, under construction on

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

The construction has been going on for months, but the sign has now gone up to announce the successor to Melville’s sprawling Four Food Studio & Cocktail Salon. The new restaurant’s name is The Refuge Food & Spirits. Plans for the menu include a blend of Italian and Latin comfort foods. 

“We wanted to serve food that was accessible, immediately understandable. The Latin guys kept...

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Open in Port Jefferson: Mesita Coastal Cantina

Frozen Margarita and sangria at Mesita Coastal Cantina

(Credit: Mesita Coastal Cantina)

Mesita Coastal Cantina is serving frozen Margaritas, ceviche and tamales in the Port Jefferson space that last hosted Tequila Jacks. The place is co-owned by Eric Goldberg and Matt McBride, who is also an owner at Parlay Gastropub in Rockville Centre.

In charge of the kitchen is chef Victor Chicas, who last cooked at Parlay Gastropub. On the mostly Mexican menu: pork tamales ($8.50), blackened...

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Open in Mineola: Spaghettini Pizza Trattoria

Counter at the new Spaghettini PIzza Trattoria in

Old-fashioned Italian cooking is at the heart of the new Spaghettini Pizza Trattoria, which replaces the departed Michelangelo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant on Mineola Boulevard.

The place is owned by the Vetrano family. You may be familiar with Joe Vetrano, who owns Skinny Pizza in Roslyn Heights and Roosevelt Field. “It’s my brother Pasquale Vetrano who is in charge,” said Vetrano, adding...

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Long Island restaurants: New reviews

A special at Magic Taco Corp. in Islip

(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

In this week’s Newsday, Joan Reminick reviews Magic Taco Corp., the quirky new Islip Terrace eatery that is “anything but your average taqueria.” The amenities at this brightly painted little shack are minimal, but the innovative, cross-cultural tacos (and pupusas and Asian buns) wrought by Steven Scalesse (chef-owner of Tulullah’s in Bay Shore) and longtime collaborator Devin Delgado are good to...

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Open in Atlantic Beach: Anthony's Family Style Restaurant

Anthony's Family Style Restaurant serves an Italian menu

(Credit: Anthony's Family Style Restaurant)

New to Atlantic Beach is Anthony’s Family Style Restaurant, which takes over the site that once housed Chez Peter.

Owner Anthony Brew previously owned Serata in Long Beach, which closed following superstorm Sandy. Brew said that he and his new restaurant's chef, Oscar Contor,  worked together at several Matteo’s restaurants. Brew said that the two started out together at the Matteo’s...

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Relish in Kings Park to go on 10-day vacation

Chef Steve Cardello makes a delectable cheeseburger at

(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

If you’re craving the ricotta pancakes, cheeseburger with hand-cut fries or Philadelphia roast pork sandwich at Relish in Kings Park, better get there by Sunday.

From Monday until Wednesday, Sept. 3, chef co-owner Steve Cardello and the entire crew will be taking a late summer vacation. During that time, said Cardello, the place will also get a minor renovation.

Relish is at 2 Pulaski...

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Open in Huntington: Stella Blue

A mural of Jerry Garcia decorates an outside

(Credit: Stella Blue)

New to Huntington is Stella Blue, a casual, counter-service breakfast and lunch eatery that occupies a long-vacant site on New York Avenue, on the North end of town near Heckscher Park. On its outer brick wall is a mural depicting Jerry Garcia.

“I wanted to bring Woodstock down to Long Island,” said chef co-owner Robert Koopman, who added that the interior is “very hippie” in terms of look...

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