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12. ORTO, Miller Place Why: The offspring of
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12. ORTO, Miller Place
Why: The offspring of Kitchen A Bistro and Kitchen A Trattoria, rustic, eclectic and satisfying.
(Credit: Johnny Simon)

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Best Fine Dining restaurants of 2012

The last time two restaurants earned four stars during 12 months in Newsday, the Berlin Wall came down, Harry met Sally and a gallon of gas was 97 cents. So, 2012 stands out for diners across Long Island, and not just for Monsoon in Babylon and Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton. The Plaza Café in Southampton was upgraded to three and a half stars. And a record nine restaurants earned three stars.

In this year of so many challenges, economic and otherwise, you could count on finding a stellar meal. Here are my Top 12 new or remade kitchens of 2012. --PETER M. GIANOTTI, peter.gianotti.com