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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

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Erica Marcus

Erica Marcus has covered food for Newsday since 1998. She has written features about the origins of Grandma pizza, the controversy over matzoh brei, the mystery of the soft-shell lobster and many many articles that attempt to justify the hundreds of dollars she spends every year on knives and knife-sharpening. Since 2005 she has written a weekly column, Burning Questions, in which she answers readers' questions. In 2002 her article “A Knish is Still a Knish” was nominated for a James Beard award, and in 2003 she won the New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page award for her “Food Without The Fuss: a history of TV Dinners.” After graduation from Swarthmore College, Erica took a job at Crown Publishers, first in production and later in editorial. She rose to the rank of Senior Editor and worked on a wide range of books, including many award-winning cookbooks. She left book publishing for newspaper journalism the same year she left Manhattan for her ancestral home of Brooklyn, where she still lives. She eats most of her meals on Long Island.

LI farmers markets move indoors

The offerings at the winter farmers market at

(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Most of Long Island's farmers markets take their final bow at Thanksgiving, but a few intrepid souls have organized winter markets where folks can continue to shop until the crocuses come up. The produce offerings are slim, of course, but onions, cauliflower, local hothouse salad greens and potatoes are nothing to sneeze at. And all the markets round out their merchandise with baked goods, jams,...

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Viaggio Tapas opens in Rockville Centre

Viaggio Tapas is a new small-plates restaurant in

(Credit: Viaggio Tapas)

Here's a late-breaking entry to 2014's crop of small-plates restaurants: Viaggio Tapas is open for dinner in Rockville Centre.

The restaurant is a collaboration between Ronny Jaramillo, a former general manager at Besito, and RoseAnn Vercillo. They have transformed the space that used to house The Manhattan Bar & Lounge. Now it's all rustic wood, subway tiles and copper pots — plus hooks...

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Cooking classes at MarGene Farms, Mattituck

MarGene Farms is a certified organic farm in

(Credit: Ian J. Stark)

MarGene Farms, one of Long Island’s only certified organic farms, is holding a pair of Tuesday-night cooking classes with local chefs.

The lineup:

Dec. 16: Steven Amaral, owner-chocolatier at North Fork Chocolates and former owner of Amarelle in Wading River

Jan. 20: Taylor Knapp, chef at First & South in Greenport

The chefs’ menus will be focused on seasonal produce...

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Cheesecake Factory opens in Bay Shore

The Cheesecake Factory chain has opened a restaurant

(Credit: The Cheesecake Factory)

The Cheesecake Factory has opened its fourth Long Island location at Westfield South Shore Mall in Bay Shore. (The other three are at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington, The Mall at The Source in Westbury and Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove.)

The national chain is known not only for its eponymous cheesecakes, but for an eclectic, crowd-pleasing menu of generally high-caliber dishes that include...

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New finds at Bosphorus Cafe Grill, Port Washington

A ring-shaped simit is served with tahin pekmez,

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

When you’ve enjoyed a meal at a restaurant, it’s tempting to order the same dishes the next time you dine there. In fact, I recently returned to Bosphorus Cafe Grill in Port Washington for the express purpose of reliving such happy memories as the startling puffy lavas bread and the crispy-gooey-nutty-aromatic kunefe dessert. But in between those two dishes were some new ones.

In addition...

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Long Island restaurants: New reviews

The chef's choice, or omakase, of sashimi and

(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

In this week’s Newsday, Peter Gianotti reviews 110 Japan, which opened in the huge former Best Buffet site just opposite Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station. “Fancified and definitely improved,” he writes, the restaurant comprises a “bright, blue-light lounge,” a “serene main dining room and sushi bar, and the 12-table, spatula-clanging, hibachi space that provides sound effects throughout.”...

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