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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

Arielle Ferrara is the new executive chef at The Riverhead Project, the downtown New American restaurant.

She succeeds Lia Fallon, who left the restaurant earlier this month to launch a gastropub to be called Brewology in Speonk.

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Ferrara, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, comes to the Riverhead restaurant after cooking at 1 North Steakhouse in Hampton Bays, Desmonds in Wading River and Oaklands in Hampton Bays.

Owner Dennis McDermott said The Riverhead Project would “go back to a lot more ethnic influences” on the menu, specifically  “Asian, Thai and Mexican.” He added that the menu will change weekly and will emphasize local, seasonal ingredients, with “beautiful asparagus” coming in this week.

The Riverhead Project was named best new restaurant of 2011 in Newsday.

The Riverhead Project, 300 E. Main St., Riverhead; 631-284-9300.

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