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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Basil Leaf in Locust Valley: First bites

Sliced sirloin steak at the Basil Leaf Cafe

Sliced sirloin steak at the Basil Leaf Cafe in Locust Valley. (Jan. 2013) (Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti)

Call it basilico.

In its latest life, this cozy establishment is The Basil Leaf Cafe Ristorante. Owner Vito Patronelli has transformed the place.

In appearance, it's similar to what any visitor over the years remembers. Basil Leaf still looks like a handsome, local gathering spot, with two separate dining rooms, one more rustic, the other more refined.

Very good Italian food defines each one, starting with the house's thin-crust, little pizzas. Share a pie and proceed from there. Baked eggplant is fine starter, and the sliced sirloin atop arugula salad, a satisfying main course.

You'll enjoy reacquainting yourself.

The Basil Leaf Cafe Ristorante, 7b Birch Hill Rd. (The Plaza), Locust Valley; 516-676-6252.

Sliced sirloin with arugula.

Tags: Locust Valley , Basil Leaf Cafe

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