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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.

Vitae in Huntington's $27.95 fixed-price dinner

Vitae restaurant and wine bar is on the

(Credit: Doug Young)

Vitae, the New American restaurant in downtown Huntington, offers a summertime fixed-price dinner: $27.95 for three courses.

The special is available Sundays and Tuesdays, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday to Friday, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Chef Keith Davidson's choices include teriyaki chicken dumplings, mussels marinara, onion soup, Caesar salad and, with supplementary prices, baked...

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Long Island’s 10 best barbecue spots

A chopped brisket sandwich is served with sides

(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Last week it was gastropubs. This week in Eat Here Now, Newsday’s survey of Long Island’s top 100 restaurants, we’re focusing on barbecue.

Only a few years back, you could count the number of serious local barbecue spots on one hand. Thankfully, those days of settling for so-so ribs, chicken, brisket and pulled pork smothered in sticky sauce are gone.

So roll down your car window and...

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The skinny on The Cheesecake Factory

Lemon garlic shrimp from the Skinnylicious menu at

Eating mindfully whenever possible is part of a healthy lifestyle. Which is why whenever I end up eating at The Cheesecake Factory, I order from the chain’s Skinnylicious menu, wherein nothing tops 590 calories. Most of the time, I’ve gotten lucky. But, on a recent dinner visit, the chain’s lemon garlic shrimp with asparagus and angel hair pasta ($16.95; 560 calories) flopped.

The culprits:...

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Long Island restaurants: This week’s reviews

Restaurateur Tom Schaudel and his daughter Courtney Schaudel

(Credit: Randee Daddona)

In this week’s Newsday, Peter M. Gianotti awards three stars to Petulant Wino, “the North Fork’s newest must-eat, must-drink restaurant.” In the brightened-up former Aquebogue home of Comtesse Thérèse Bistro, the restaurant is owned by manager Courtney Schaudel and her father, restaurateur Tom Schaudel. The tapas-spurred, globally influenced menu comes from chef Lenny Campanelli, who ran the kitchen...

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Closed in Mineola: Wong's Noodle House

Cold noodles with sesame sauce served at Wong's

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Wong’s Noodle House in Mineola now belongs to history.

The casual corner spot, just steps away from the Mineola Long Island Rail Road station and Winthrop-University Hospital, opened back in 2009. It served an old-school Chinese menu and, despite its name, didn't offer that extensive a noodle roster.

Still, the restaurant served a fresh spinach noodle dish with shrimp that impressed....

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Wild Honey in Oyster Bay: A taste of summer

Red snapper stars in the Caribbean fish taco

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Wild Honey has a sweet spot at the corner of South Street and East Main in Oyster Bay. And diners who'd like some alfresco with dinner find a pleasant perch there.

It's a warm-weather scene these days, befitting the address that once housed the summer offices of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Wild Honey is a popular local hangout, where the food and the wine are fine, with service to...

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Lobster Friday at J. Michaels in Northport

J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse in Northport.

(Credit: Newsday, 2011 / Joan Reminick)

Friday is aragosta night at J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse in Northport.

The lobster special, dubbed "Lobster & Lovers," is a four-course, fixed-price dinner for $55 per person, plus tax and tip.

It starts with lobster bisque, followed by a choice of either lobster cocktail or lobster and broccoli rabe salad. The main course selections are a two-pound lobster, steamed, oven-roasted...

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Malverne farmers market tries new hours

Waldorf School of Garden City students enjoying a

(Credit: Newsday J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

The Thursday farmers market that takes place at Crossroads Farm at Grossman’s in Malverne is trying something new this week: later hours. Since it launched in May, the market has been open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. but, said organizer Lona Graepel, “We have received requests from potential customers asking if we could stay open later to accommodate working people’s schedules.” Accordingly,...

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Open in Point Lookout: Salt Air Café

Salt Air Cafe in Point Lookout serves breakfast,

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Residents of Point Lookout have a new sit-down, take-out eatery, Salt Air Café, which opened in May in a little cottage on Lido Boulevard.

Proprietor Kelly Kelleher envisioned a place where neighbors could enjoy from-scratch food made using good ingredients. She signed up with Farmigo, an online farmers’ market that acts as a conduit between farms, restaurants and consumers. She figures that,...

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Let down by Landmark Diner in Roslyn

A "skinny" turkey burger at Landmark Diner in

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Back in 2009, when the Landmark Diner in Roslyn moved a few yards east of its original location to spiffy new double-decker digs, the kitchen was under the aegis of chef Chris Palmer, whose pared-down menu was executed with care and élan.

Palmer has been gone from the diner for more than a year. During a recent brunch visit, the food tasted pretty much like typical diner fare from just about...

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