Billy Joel admits that he was going for applause when he said onstage once that the Italian restaurant in "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" was Christiano's in Syosset. "It was like saying 'Yankees' when you're playing in New York," he said, adding that it was a restaurant he frequented back in the day. (The inspirations for "Italian Restaurant" are actually in Manhattan -- Il Cortile in Little Italy and Fontana Di Trevi in midtown.)
These days, Joel has a new set of favorite Italian restaurants:
Serata, 160 Mill River Rd., Oyster Bay: "That's a really good one," he says.
Sant Ambroeus, 30 Main St., Southampton: "My favorite restaurant," he says. "I think it's the best Italian restaurant here."