The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
In this week’s Newsday, Joan Reminick reviews Cucina di Vargas in Hewlett. The eponymous chef-owner, Narciso “Bien” Vargas, spent years at the helm of Hewlett's now-departed Matteo’s, which “earned him a sizable local following. Now, at the Italian restaurant that bears his name, he proves he hasn't lost his touch.”
Peter M. Gianotti visits the revamped Rein at the Garden City Hotel. Both the hotel and the restaurant are under new management, and “chef Michael Mandato prepares some very good food here." But “the dining room itself is beginning to show wear” and most of the very expensive New American menu “remains risk-averse, general-interest and notable mainly if you're staying at the hotel.”