The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
The East Meadow restaurant scene is a sprawling one, with the majority of dining spots spread out along Hempstead Turnpike, a few scattered elsewhere.
Even so, it’s worth getting into your car to explore the range of cuisines the area offers. Here are five places you may want to try.
SACRAMONE’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT, 2366 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-513-1919
At this quality family-owned pizzeria-ristorante, matriarch Maddalena Sacramone spends a day in East Meadow with her sons making pasta. Her fresh gnocchi in a tomato ragu is a standout. Other winning dishes include the restaurant’s light and briny linguine with white clam sauce, San Gennaro-style sausage and peppers and the “old-fashioned” coal oven pie topped with fresh mozzarella, basil and crushed San Marzano tomatoes.
Jake’s is a local magnet for carnivores. Worth seeking out: the thick, juicy porterhouse for two, shell steak, filet mignon with blue cheese, and short ribs. The kitchen also prepares a fine seafood stew. New is a Sunday to Friday three-course $24.95 price-fixed option. In warm weather, there’s patio dining. $$-$$$
SABROSO, 224 East Meadow Ave., East Meadow, 516-307-1750
While the amenities are few at this Dominican spot (you may have to go through the kitchen to use the restroom), the quality of the food compensates. Standouts include a first-rate Cuban sandwich, crisp, flaky empanadas and savory chicken stew mofongo, a dish made with mashed fried plantains mixed with boneless chicken and served with gravy. Finish with the creamy, opulent flan.
Vibrant Italian food is the draw at La Novella, an inviting and consistent restaurant. Among recommendations: grilled calamari and shrimp, eggplant rollatine, gnocchi with Gorgonzola, penne with ricotta, tomato and eggplant and a stuffed pork chop. For dessert: cannoli. A $17.95 early bird dinner is an added attraction. $$-$$$
PASTRAMI PLUS, 2568 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-644-2644
In small, simple digs, deli man Sal Gawish produces an exemplary pastrami — warm, peppery and rimmed with a frill of fat. His house-made knishes are tall, flaky onion-enriched. You can even one with pastrami folded into the potato filling. Or with a hot dog stuffed inside. Gawish’s repertoire includes all the deli classics: matzo ball soup, stuffed cabbage, corned beef and brisket.