The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Whatever Lola wants, Lola earns.
Michael Ginor, the foie-gras king who established ambitious, high-end Lola and the departed, casual Tel Aviv in Great Neck, now offers a flavor-packed, moderately priced hybrid of the two.
The original Lola, easily the best restaurant to open in Great Neck in many years, was on the pricey side but also a bold, often brilliant, eclectic place to dine. Tel Aviv began as a buoyant, Israeli-inspired kosher eatery for mezze.
Ginor's remade Lola, where he's executive chef and Lenny Messina is chef de cuisine, takes the big flavors of both, with Mediterranean, North African and Middle Eastern accents, and arrives as an excellent small-plates establishment with a few larger dishes, and a lower tab.
Standouts include lamb malawach, a Yemenite spin on pizza capped with spiced, ground lamb, tahini, caramelized onion, pine nuts and cilantro; charred octopus calcoltada, which evokes the Catalan food festival with slow-roasted leeks and hazelnut romesco sauce; and a crisp chicken schnitzel with harissa-spurred aioli.
In a nod to its predecessor, you'll also find generous, seared Hudson Valley duck breast. And you may add seared foie gras to it.
Lola, 113A Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck; 516-466-5669.