The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Eat, drink and be merry ... but especially eat at these three spirited gastropubs, where the food is even better than the beverages.
Creative Left Coast Kitchen excels with hot-and-sour "slurpy noodles;" pappardelle with lamb Bolognese; warm lobster roll; lobster Cobb salad; grilled and sliced "baseball cut" strip steak; and "Porky McPub" union of root-beer glazed braised pork belly, slab bacon and pork sausage. $$-$$$
1810 Merrick Rd., Merrick; 516-868-5338.
One of downtown Patchogue's winners, PeraBell stands out with courses as varied as Tex-Mex empanadas with chicken and chorizo; sliders; chicken Cobb salad; Gorgonzola-crusted flat iron steak; Thai chile-glazed tempura shrimp; and sesame-and-wasabi crusted tuna. $$-$$$
69 E. Main St., Patchogue; 631-447-7766.
Tullulah's brings a Brooklyn vibe to Bay Shore. The big-flavor food includes pork belly tacos; eggplant pakoras; shrimp ceviche; scallops with grilled polenta; crisp duck skin salad; cauliflower with Thai basil and egg; brown sugar-glazed chorizo, smoked Gouda macaroni and cheese. $$-$$$
12 4th Ave., Bay Shore; 631-969-9800.