Restaurants aren't always about food. Some, like amusement parks, are conceived around themes. Take these FOUR, for instance.
Hollywood's Rat Pack of the 1960s lives on at these retro Italian spots, where servers in black shirts and skinny ties dish up rice balls, rigatoni and chicken scarpariello. Background music: Sinatra, Sammy or Dino. Mangia, mangia.
HAVANA CENTRAL , Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-739-7900
This sprawling chain showpiece at Roosevelt Field was designed to evoke pre-revolutionary Cuba. Eat a Cuban sandwich, sip a mojito and dance to a live salsa band. Fidel who?
JOE'S CRAB SHACK , 1195 Corporate Dr., Westbury, 516-745-6728
At any moment, dance music will get pumping, a disco ball will start to twirl and all the servers in the house will go into a choreographed routine. It's a perpetual party at Joe's Crab Shack, where the scene, more than the food, is the main attraction.
BIG DADDY'S , 1 Park Lane, Massapequa, 516-799-8877
Its always a countdown to Mardi Gras at this New Orleans-style restaurant where the decor and the menu capture the freewheeling spirit of the Big Easy. Laissez le bon temps rouler with spicy andouille gumbo, skewered alligator bites with apple-habanero hot sauce, smoky jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, blackened catfish and a poboy sandwich. There's Southern style BBQ, as well.