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.

Fried whiting at Greek Captain

Our favorite starter by a nautical mile at
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Our favorite starter by a nautical mile at Greek Captain in Glen Cove is the fried whiting, a pile of little, headless butterflied fish that you eat whole.

Littleneck clams at Greek Captain

Littleneck clams on the half shell are served
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Littleneck clams on the half shell are served with cocktail sauce and horseradish at Greek Captain in Glen Cove.

Fried fillet of sole at Greek Captain

Fried fillet of sole is one of the
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Fried fillet of sole is one of the well-done classics at Greek Captain in Glen Cove.

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Red snapper at Greek Captain

Red snapper is one of the whole fish
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Red snapper is one of the whole fish available grilled at Greek Captain in Glen Cove.

Pupusas at Cafe Bethel

Pupusas, or stuffed corn cakes, are packed to
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pupusas, or stuffed corn cakes, are packed to order at Cafe Bethel in Freeport. They come in a rotating selection of flavors, including a jalapeño and mozzarella version that pairs stringy melted cheese with flecks of fresh chili pepper, and a chicken and cheese that pairs the same mozzarella with shredded chicken.

Pollo con tajadas at Cafe Bethel

Pollo con tajadas, crispy pieces of fried chicken
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pollo con tajadas, crispy pieces of fried chicken slathered in a marinade of mayo and mustard, bathed in flour and fried to order, served with green plantains and cabbage at Cafe Bethel in Freeport.

Sweet plantains at Cafe Bethel

Sweet plantains are deep fried until their outsides
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Sweet plantains are deep fried until their outsides are crisp and paired with tart crema at Cafe Bethel in Freeport.

Sopa de res at Cafe Bethel

Sopa de res is a beef soup served
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Sopa de res is a beef soup served with hearty chunks of potato, carrot, corn and cabbage at Cafe Bethel in Freeport.

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Snow cones at Cafe Bethel

Snow cones come in flavors such as strawberry,
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Snow cones come in flavors such as strawberry, blueberry, fresh lime and passion fruit, topped with tamarind and condensed milk at Cafe Bethel in Freeport.

Wild mushroom ravioli at Basil Cafe & Restaurant

Wild mushroom ravioli stuffed with crimini, shiitake and
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Wild mushroom ravioli stuffed with crimini, shiitake and portabello mushrooms, is served with sundried tomatoes in a pink-peppercorn garlic sauce at Basil Cafe & Restaurant in St. James.

Sauteed eggplant at Basil Cafe & Restaurant

Sauteed eggplant topped with crushed walnuts and carmelized
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Sauteed eggplant topped with crushed walnuts and carmelized onion is served with pita bread at Basil Cafe & Restaurant in St. James.

Khoreshte bademjon at Basil Cafe & Restaurant

Khoreshte bademjon, braised lamb shank served with basmati
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Khoreshte bademjon, braised lamb shank served with basmati rice, at Basil Cafe & Restaurant in St. James.

Zereshk polo at Basil Cafe & Restaurant

Masterful zereshk polo, a plate of moist, long-marinated
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Masterful zereshk polo, a plate of moist, long-marinated chicken breast served with buttery, saffron-laced onions, crumbled pistachios and tart, crunchy barberry seeds, at Basil Cafe & Restaurant in St. James.

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Chocolate bread pudding at Basil Cafe & Restaurant

Basil Cafe & Restaurant in St. James serves
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Basil Cafe & Restaurant in St. James serves chocolate bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It tastes indulgent without weighing you down.

Kabuli palau at Choopan Grill

The Kabuli palau is a majestic dish that
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

The Kabuli palau is a majestic dish that features slow-cooked lamb shank under a bed of rice that's scented with cardamom, tossed with sliced almonds and draped with ribbons of carrots and plump raisins at Choopan Grill in Selden.

Sambosa at Choopan Grill

At Choopan Grill in Selden, the platter of
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

At Choopan Grill in Selden, the platter of sambosa, a less doughy version of a samosa, comes with fillings that include ground beef, ground chicken, spinach or crispy onion laced potatoes.

Badinjan Burani at Choopan Grill

Badinjan Burani at Choopan Grill in Selden is
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Badinjan Burani at Choopan Grill in Selden is a silken fried eggplant dish finished in a curry of tomatoes, onions and jalapeños.

Kadu at Choopan Grill

Kadu, chunks of caramelized pumpkin finished in a
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Kadu, chunks of caramelized pumpkin finished in a tomato, garlic and cayenne curry, is drizzled with yogurt and dusted with dried mint at Choopan Grill in Selden.

Aushak at Choopan Grill

Aushak, boiled hand-made dumplings, are filled with a
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Aushak, boiled hand-made dumplings, are filled with a garlic-laced leek mixture, topped with a tomato-rich ground "chicken sauce," drizzled with yogurt and garnished with dried mint at Choopan Grill in Selden.

Thai calamari at Pine Grove Inn

Thai calamari with a sweet-spicy chile sauce sparks
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Thai calamari with a sweet-spicy chile sauce sparks the openers at Pine Grove Inn in East Patchogue.

Rack of lamb at Pine Grove Inn

Rack of lamb, served with asparagus, is a
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Rack of lamb, served with asparagus, is a top main course at Pine Grove Inn in East Patchogue.

Tuna tartare at Pine Grove Inn

Tuna tartare, finished with sesame seeds, arugula and
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Tuna tartare, finished with sesame seeds, arugula and rounds of cucumber, stands out among the appetizers at Pine Grove Inn in East Patchogue.

Long Island duck breast and confit of leg at Pine Grove Inn

The
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The "duet" of Long Island duck breast and confit of leg arrives with garlic-mashed potatoes at Pine Grove Inn in East Patchogue.

Sauerbraten at Pine Grove Inn

Sauerbraten with red cabbage, potato pancake and applesauce
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Sauerbraten with red cabbage, potato pancake and applesauce is a specialty at Pine Grove Inn in East Patchogue.

Skewered pork at Kabayan Grill

At Kabayan Grill in East Meadow, skewered pork
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

At Kabayan Grill in East Meadow, skewered pork is marinated in soy and garlic before being grilled. Have it with a side of garlic-flecked rice.

Tortang talong at Kabayan Grill

Flattened slices of eggplant called tortang talong are
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Flattened slices of eggplant called tortang talong are dredged through eggs and fried into velvety, scrumptious amoeba-like morsels at Kabayan Grill in East Meadow.

Sisig pork at Kabayan Grill

Sizzling sisig pork, a mixture of chopped pork
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Sizzling sisig pork, a mixture of chopped pork jowl, ear and shoulder with hot pepper, lemon and scallions, is served at Kabayan Grill in East Meadow.

Chicharon buklaklak at Kabayan Grill

Chicharon buklaklak -- nut-brown slices of pig intestines
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Chicharon buklaklak -- nut-brown slices of pig intestines deep fried into porky chips -- spring to life when doused with the addictive garlic-infused vinegar that adorns each table at Kabayan Grill in East Meadow.

Ginisang ampalaya at Kabayan Grill

Ginisang ampalaya, a stir-fry of bitter melon with
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Ginisang ampalaya, a stir-fry of bitter melon with scrambled eggs, minced shrimp and bits of tomato, is unusual and bright in all the best ways at Kabayan Grill in East Meadow.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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