The best things to eat on Long Island

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You don’t have to go searching around for something good to eat this week. Newsday critics have done it for you, ordering their way through menus expensive and cheap. Here are their picks for the best things to eat on Long Island, drawn from their most recent reviews. Order with confidence.

Shrimp tacos at Swell Taco

The piquant, snappy shrimp taco in a corn
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The piquant, snappy shrimp taco in a corn tortilla is the spiciest of the bunch at Swell Taco in Patchogue.

Surf Wax Rum Punch at Swell Taco

Surf Wax Rum Punch, with a dark-rum float
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Surf Wax Rum Punch, with a dark-rum float and a wedge of pineapple, is strong and seductive at Swell Taco in Patchogue.

Chicken flautas at Swell Taco

Chicken flautas, flour tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Chicken flautas, flour tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken and cheddar cheese, and fried, are served with a chipotle cream sauce at Swell Taco in Patchogue.

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Carnitas tacos at Swell Taco

One of the best tacos on the menu
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

One of the best tacos on the menu at Swell Taco in Patchogue is the succulent carnitas taco, a corn tortilla filled with shredded, slow-cooked pork shoulder, pickled onions, cheese and salsa.

Ricardo burrito at Swell Taco

The smooshy, cheesy Ricardo burrito is filled simply
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The smooshy, cheesy Ricardo burrito is filled simply with fatty refried beans and melted cheese, and topped with salsa verde at Swell Taco in Patchogue.

Appetizer platter at Olde Trading Post Tavern

The appetizer platter at Olde Trading Post Tavern
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

The appetizer platter at Olde Trading Post Tavern in New Hyde Park comes with loaded potato skins, wings and mozzarella sticks -- with all the relevant sauces.

Pan-roasted salmon at Olde Trading Post Tavern

Pan-roasted salmon reposes on a bed of vegetable-studded
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Pan-roasted salmon reposes on a bed of vegetable-studded rice pilaf at Olde Trading Post Tavern in New Hyde Park.

OTP double stacked burger at Olde Trading Post Tavern

The OTP double stacked burger features two beef
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

The OTP double stacked burger features two beef patties, bacon, Cheddar, onion rings and barbecue sauce at Olde Trading Post Tavern in New Hyde Park.

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Shepherd’s pie at Olde Trading Post Tavern

Don't pass up the shepherd's pie at Olde
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Don't pass up the shepherd's pie at Olde Trading Post Tavern in New Hyde Park, an example of the kitchen's humble artistry. Coarsely ground lamb and beef are tempered with sweet peas and carrots, spooned into a cast-iron skillet and then topped with a browned cap of mashed potatoes.

Chicken quesadilla at Olde Trading Post Tavern

The chicken quesadilla at Olde Trading Post Tavern
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

The chicken quesadilla at Olde Trading Post Tavern in New Hyde Park has the right proportions of crispy and gooey, spicy and mellow.

Samosa chaat at Nanking

Samosa chaat, savory pyramids of pastry filled with
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Samosa chaat, savory pyramids of pastry filled with lightly and mildly spiced potatoes, peas, cashews and raisins, and capped with a chickpea-fueled sauce, is among the winners at Nanking in Melville.

Lettuce wraps at Nanking

Nanking in Melville prepares a workmanlike lettuce wrap

Nanking in Melville prepares a workmanlike lettuce wrap that you'll pack with modestly seasoned chicken.

Thai chicken curry at Nanking

Light, mild Thai chicken curry is finished with
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Light, mild Thai chicken curry is finished with coconut milk at Nanking in Melville.

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Tandoori mixed grill at Nanking

Tandoori mixed grill includes a sampler of chicken,
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Tandoori mixed grill includes a sampler of chicken, lamb and shrimp dishes at Nanking in Melville.

Malai kofta at Nanking

At Nanking in Melville, malai kofta, or cheese
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

At Nanking in Melville, malai kofta, or cheese and potato dumplings, come in onion-tomato and cream-chile sauce.

Nashville-style 'hot' fried chicken at Henley's Village Tavern

The crisp coating of Nashville-style
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The crisp coating of Nashville-style "hot" fried chicken prickles with spice at Henley's Village Tavern in Brightwaters. It's served atop a hillock of mashed potatoes and wilted greens.

Kale Caesar salad at Henley's Village Tavern in Brightwaters

Kale Caesar salad, showered with hard-boiled egg and
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Kale Caesar salad, showered with hard-boiled egg and shaved Parmesan cheese, sheds all vestiges of bitterness at Henley's Village Tavern in Brightwaters.

Haricot 'frites' at Henley's Village Tavern

Haricot
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Haricot "frites" dusted with Cajun spices arrive with a porter-style beer cheese at Henley's Village Tavern in Brightwaters.

Striped bass at Henley's Village Tavern

Striped bass, served perched atop a summery, corn-studded
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Striped bass, served perched atop a summery, corn-studded succotash, is among the most artful of the dishes at Henley's Village Tavern in Brightwaters.

Kentucky bourbon-soaked pound cake at Henley's Village Tavern

Kentucky bourbon-soaked pound cake, served with vanilla ice
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Kentucky bourbon-soaked pound cake, served with vanilla ice cream, berries and bourbon maple syrup, is swoonworthy at Henley's Village Tavern in Brightwaters.

Cuban sandwich at BabaluNY

The Cuban sandwich at BabaluNY in Huntington is
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The Cuban sandwich at BabaluNY in Huntington is filled with Serrano ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, housemade mustard and pickles, then pressed in ciabatta bread.

Spanish cheese plate at BabaluNY

The appetizing Spanish cheese plate includes guava paste,
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The appetizing Spanish cheese plate includes guava paste, machego cheese, Serrano ham and fig jam at BabaluNY in Huntington.

The 'Hemingway' sandwich at BabaluNY

The 'Hemingway' sandwich features spiced chicken, roasted peppers,
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The 'Hemingway' sandwich features spiced chicken, roasted peppers, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and olive oil on ciabatta bread at BabaluNY in Huntington.

Tuna ceviche at BabaluNY

Tuna ceviche, with avocado, grape tomatoes, goat cheese,
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Tuna ceviche, with avocado, grape tomatoes, goat cheese, chives and olive oil is served with tostones at BabaluNY in Huntington.

Pernil at BabaluNY

Pernil, or marinated and slow-roasted pork shoulder, is
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pernil, or marinated and slow-roasted pork shoulder, is served on rice, with black beans and carrots at BabaluNY in Huntington.

Peking Duck at Tao's Peking Duck House

Peking Duck service, a Beijing delicacy that is
(Credit: Steve Remich)

Peking Duck service, a Beijing delicacy that is carved tableside, is the main event at Tao's Peking Duck House in Glen Cove.

Golden mushroom at Tao's Peking Duck House

The golden mushroom pairs angel-hair like enoki mushrooms
(Credit: Steve Remich)

The golden mushroom pairs angel-hair like enoki mushrooms with a subtle rice wine vinaigrette at Tao's Peking Duck House in Glen Cove.

Double-cooked pork at Tao's Peking Duck House

Double-cooked pork, crispy slices of thinly sliced pork
(Credit: Steve Remich)

Double-cooked pork, crispy slices of thinly sliced pork belly coated in spicy black bean sauce, is served at Tao's Peking Duck House in Glen Cove.

Sichuan-style dumplings at Tao's Peking Duck House

Ground pork-filled Sichuan-style dumplings arrive bobbing in a
(Credit: Steve Remich)

Ground pork-filled Sichuan-style dumplings arrive bobbing in a fiery chili oil broth at Tao's Peking Duck House in Glen Cove.

Soft tofu with sliced fish at Tao's Peking Duck House

The generically titled
(Credit: Steve Remich)

The generically titled "soft tofu with sliced fish" is layered with spicy chili oil and tingly Szechuan peppercorns that cling to velvety tofu and firm flounder at Tao's Peking Duck House in Glen Cove.

Montauk Pearl oysters at Lulu Kitchen & Bar

Crisp, creamy Montauk Pearl oysters come with a
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Crisp, creamy Montauk Pearl oysters come with a pitch-perfect mignonette at Lulu Kitchen & Bar in Sag Harbor.

Grilled Montauk squid salad at Lulu Kitchen & Bar

A salad of grilled Montauk squid is tumbled
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

A salad of grilled Montauk squid is tumbled with greens and dressed with a gingery citrus dressing at Lulu Kitchen & Bar in Sag Harbor.

Surf-and-turf at Lulu Kitchen & Bar

Lulu's version of surf-and-turf brings together grilled lobster
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Lulu's version of surf-and-turf brings together grilled lobster and corn with baby-back ribs, charred scallions and grapes in a slick of butter at Lulu Kitchen & Bar in Sag Harbor.

Whole roasted branzino at Lulu Kitchen & Bar

The charred skin of a whole roasted branzino
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

The charred skin of a whole roasted branzino comes away to reveal flaky, tender flesh at Lulu Kitchen & Bar in Sag Harbor.

Wood-fire roasted beets at Lulu Kitchen & Bar

Wood-fire roasted beets are served with baby greens
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Wood-fire roasted beets are served with baby greens and pea shoots over local goat cheese and sprinkled with pistachios at Lulu Kitchen & Bar in Sag Harbor.

Margaritas at Margarita's Cafe

Margaritas are a special at Margarita's Cafe in
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Margaritas are a special at Margarita's Cafe in Williston Park, whose bar stocks more than 100 tequilas.

Sopa Azteca at Margarita's Cafe

Sopa Azteca features strips of tortilla, queso blanco
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Sopa Azteca features strips of tortilla, queso blanco and avocado in a chicken-tomato soup at Margarita's Cafe in Williston Park.

Guacamole at Margarita's Cafe

Guacamole is made in an imported molcajete at
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Guacamole is made in an imported molcajete at Margarita's Cafe in Williston Park.

Steak fajitas at Margarita's Cafe

Steak fajitas are served on a sizzling cast-iron
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Steak fajitas are served on a sizzling cast-iron skillet with onions and green peppers at Margarita's Cafe in Williston Park.

Fried chicken at Copper Pot Chicken Co.

The fried chicken at Copper Pot Chicken Co.
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

The fried chicken at Copper Pot Chicken Co. in Rockville Centre is brined for 24 hours, breaded in a batter that includes matzo meal and fried twice for extra crunch.

Loaded disco tots at Copper Pot Chicken Co.

Loaded disco tots are finished poutine-like with brown
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Loaded disco tots are finished poutine-like with brown gravy, scallions, two kinds of melted cheese and a crown of shredded pot roast at Copper Pot Chicken Co. in Rockville Centre.

Bacon candy at Copper Pot Chicken Co.

The jerky-like bacon candy at Copper Pot Chicken
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

The jerky-like bacon candy at Copper Pot Chicken Co. in Rockville Centre comes coated in brown sugar and pepper for sweet and spicy punch.

Fried pickle chips at Copper Pot Chicken Co.

Fried pickle chips, a mix of battered sweet
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Fried pickle chips, a mix of battered sweet pickles and onions, are served with a shallot lime aioli at Copper Pot Chicken Co. in Rockville Centre, a nice change from more typical blue cheese or ranch.

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie at Copper Pot Chicken Co.

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie offers a slightly boozy
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie offers a slightly boozy finish at Copper Pot Chicken Co. in Rockville Centre.

Seafood salad at Il Giardino

The well-dressed, ample seafood salad brings in octopus,
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The well-dressed, ample seafood salad brings in octopus, shrimp, calamari, scungilli and mussels at Il Giardino in Aquebogue.

Spinach fettuccine at Il Giardino

Local spinach fettuccine is a pleasing course finished
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Local spinach fettuccine is a pleasing course finished with garlic and olive oil at Il Giardino in Aquebogue.

Sicliian salad at Il Giardino

The Sicliian salad of oranges, fennel, olives, asparagus,
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The Sicliian salad of oranges, fennel, olives, asparagus, string beans and potatoes is bright and refreshing at Il Giardino in Aquebogue.

'North Fork paccheri' at Il Giardino

(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

"North Fork paccheri," akin to plump rigatoni, is sparked by goat cheese, with zucchini and arugula at Il Giardino in Aquebogue.

Sicilian-style orecchiette at Il Giardino

White beans and escarole bring satisfying flavor to
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

White beans and escarole bring satisfying flavor to the rustic, Sicilian-style orecchiette at Il Giardino in Aquebogue.

Mozzarella in carrozza at Locale

Mozzarella in carrozza, golden fried triangles of mozzarella
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Mozzarella in carrozza, golden fried triangles of mozzarella over greens with basil oil, is served with a house made marinara at Locale in Patchogue.

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