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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

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Erica Marcus

Erica Marcus has covered food for Newsday since 1998. She has written features about the origins of Grandma pizza, the controversy over matzoh brei, the mystery of the soft-shell lobster and many many articles that attempt to justify the hundreds of dollars she spends every year on knives and knife-sharpening. Since 2005 she has written a weekly column, Burning Questions, in which she answers readers' questions. In 2002 her article “A Knish is Still a Knish” was nominated for a James Beard award, and in 2003 she won the New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page award for her “Food Without The Fuss: a history of TV Dinners.” After graduation from Swarthmore College, Erica took a job at Crown Publishers, first in production and later in editorial. She rose to the rank of Senior Editor and worked on a wide range of books, including many award-winning cookbooks. She left book publishing for newspaper journalism the same year she left Manhattan for her ancestral home of Brooklyn, where she still lives. She eats most of her meals on Long Island.

The new Old Fields in Port Jefferson: First bites

Shrimp and grits is an appetizer at Old

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Old Fields, a landmark in Greenlawn, is on its way to the same status in Port Jefferson.

Owner Dave Tunney's new branch, in the former quarters of Pace's steak house, delivers generously portioned and equally fine food, an unpretentious manner and the excellent service that Greenlawn regulars have enjoyed for years.

The menu is identical to the one in Greenlawn. Both are a bit more expensive...

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Riverhead Project closed for now

The Riverhead Project in Riverhead, seen in 2011,

(Credit: Heather Walsh)

The Riverhead Project, the big, stylish restaurant that stands at the gateway to the North Fork, shut its doors on Sept. 6. Owner Dennis McDermott said that he was notified by his lawyers that some of his permits were no longer valid.

“I took on a new partner earlier this week,” he said, “and we have a new corporation. I thought that we could continue to operate under the old permits, but...

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Long Island restaurants: New reviews

Smoked pork belly served with a bourbon-maple bean

(Credit: Doug Young)

In this week’s Newsday, Peter M. Gianotti reviews Brewology, the Speonk gastropub whose kitchen is run by Newsday All-Star chef Lia Fallon. “It looks terrific,” he writes, "full of reclaimed wood and recycled metal, exposed brick and subway-style tile” and the bar boasts 24 taps. “Fallon's fare generally complements the brews,” though its execution presents more of a challenge to the chef ...

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Grillfire in Syosset: First bites

Cedar-planked salmon with Chinese mustard and Brussels sprouts

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

The new, sharply focused Grillfire in Syosset differs from its namesakes in Merrick and Rockville Centre, in style and cost.

This one, a collaboration between George Korten of the George Martin Restaurant Group and Richard Cutler of Mim's Hospitality, clearly veers more upscale. Grillfire, yes, but by way of George Martin of Rockville Centre and Mim's of Roslyn Heights.

It's on the former...

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Open in Holbrook: Izumi Sushi & Hibachi Steak House

A special order sashimi plate at the new

(Credit: Izumi Sushi & Hibachi Steak House)

Knives are clanging, vegetables flying and fish getting cut and rolled at the new Izumi Sushi & Hibachi Steak House in Holbrook, which takes over the renovated former digs of Sonoma Grill (now in Holtsville). The offshoot of the cavernous Commack Izumi, recently profiled in a Newsday article on Long Island's hidden restaurants, features 16 communal hibachi tables on one side of the restaurant,...

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Kashi open in Syosset

The Syosset branch of Kashi Japanese restaurant is

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Glittery and colorful, the new branch of Kashi is open in Syosset.

It's the third Kashi Japanese restaurant on Long Island. The others are in Huntington and Rockville Centre.

In full, this one is called Kashi Sushi Lounge. But, in addition to traditional sushi, sashimi and more than 50 sushi rolls, it offers plenty of the cooked fare and east-west combinations that also define the franchise.


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Mama Mia of Northport: First bites

Linguine with white clam sauce at Mama Mia

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

If it's true that the key to success for any neighborhood Italian restaurant is its red sauce, then the new Mama Mia of Northport starts life ahead of the game.

The offshoot of a successful Huntington red-sauce spot, Porto Fino, Mama Mia has a pizza counter on one side, a dine-in space on the other. The night I ate there, one waitress had to handle the entire dining...

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Happy at The Burger Spot in Garden City

At The Burger Spot in Garden City, a

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

What a pleasant, well-run, well-priced spot is The Burger Spot. And what a pleasure, in these waning days of summer, to dine outside on Garden City’s Seventh Street — with its wide sidewalks and attractive shops, it really should be called Seventh Boulevard.

The burgers have a lot to recommend them, too. My bacon cheeseburger was meaty and rich, cooked, as requested, medium-rare and topped...

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Storyville American Table in Huntington offers 4-course prix-fixe

Jambalaya at Storyville An American Table at Finley's

(Credit: Newsday Joan Reminick)

Storyville American Table, a New Orleans-style restaurant in Huntington, is offering a four-course $24.44 price-fixed dinner four nights a week. The meal is available  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and features four choices for each course.

Among first course selections is a soup or gumbo; appetizer possibilities include chicken-fried shrimp as well as mussels; as entree...

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Tate's in Southampton: Best new flavor

The new cookie at Tate's in Southampton in

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Tate's Bake Shop, the Southampton landmark and local capital of the cookie world, always is a delightful stop. But when a sign says "NEW," that means it's even more so.

And what's new are sensational vanilla cookies -- wafer-thin, sweetness restrained, and absolutely addictive. The last new Tate's taste, still terrific, was the double chocolate chip cookie. A dark and grand creation, it even...

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