The trip from farm to table is a popular, increasingly trendy one. You'll enjoy the result at Market Bistro.
This relaxed, friendly restaurant is an offspring of West End Cafe in Carle Place. Bill Holden, executive chef-owner of West End, and his son, Chris Holden, who worked at db Bistro Moderne in Manhattan, run the kitchen here. Adam Acerra, also a West Ender, is part maitre d', part sommelier.
Here, the look is country-meets-city, a little lower Manhattan by way of the North Fork. Once inside, you definitely won't think you're headed for dinner in a shopping center with windows on the parking lot. And it's unlikely you'll have any recollection that this address once housed the pan Asian-vegetarian Green Melody.
The design is marked by subway tiles and exposed brick, a big blackboard delivering specials and their provenance, plus a buoyant bar and a view of the kitchen, where they know exactly what you want to eat today. It adds up to an easygoing, very satisfying way to start a year of dining out.
So, nibble on some snacks: good deviled eggs; mellow rice balls with fontina cheese and roasted-garlic aioli; crunchy pickles; tasty dips, including turmeric-tinted potatoes and cool-yogurt raita, each waiting to be scooped with wafer-thin papadum, the crisp Indian bread.
Move on to an appetizer of well-made meatballs, served with creamy polenta and grilled sourdough bread; or the house's version of panzanella, starring roasted squash, romaine hearts and plump Medjool dates.
Also recommended are the refreshing blue claw crab salad; and baby beets with toasted hazelnuts, pickled onions and horseradish crème fraîche. But the tarte flambé arrives as an overdone flatbread with extra-dry smoked pork and fromage blanc.
The menu changes daily. But coq au vin deserves to be a regular, juicy and just vinous enough. The hamburger is obligatory, capped with either Gruyère or blue cheese, accompanied by hand-cut fries and garlicky aioli. Of course, the braised short rib is fine. Loin of pork, with apples and fork-crushed potatoes, offers a stylish spin on a rustic dish.
But you can skip the kabocha-and-spaghetti squash ravioli in brown butter, which are on the dry side; and the bland ragu of braised lamb with cabernet-shaded rigatoni. Sample one of the creamy risotti, instead.
For dessert, dive into the gingerbread sundae and the house-made sorbets. There's a solid selection of beer on draft and an ambitious wine list, by the glass or bottle. You can toast the very welcome newcomer with a root-beer float, too.