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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.

Open in Lynbrook: Casablanca

Interior shot of Casablanca in Lynbrook.

(Credit: Casablanca)

Casablanca is not only the name of a Humphrey Bogart movie and a city in Morocco, but also of a new Continental restaurant in Lynbrook. The place occupies the space that last hosted Cafe Chardonnay. According to Casablanca's co-owner Chet Cafasso, chef Gino Rosado formerly cooked at Rachel’s Waterside Grill in Freeport.

On the menu: Stuffed baked clams ($9.95), fried...

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Turquoise in Great Neck is now kosher

At Turquoise Kosher Fish Restaurant in Great Neck,

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Turquoise, the long-standing Mediterranean Great Neck fish restaurant, is now kosher and is under the supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens.

Turquoise first opened across the street from the Great Neck LIRR station in 1999. It was purchased in 2010 by Erica Bushkin, who moved the restaurant in 2012 to its current location on Middle Neck Road. It earned two stars from Newsday's Peter...

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Labor Day clambake in your kitchen

The Cuddleback Clam Pot from Schultzy's contains six

(Credit: Schultzy's )

Looking for an easy seafood extravaganza to make in your own kitchen for Labor Day weekend? Schultzy’s, a Bayville-based caterer, has you covered with four varieties of clambake buckets. All you do at home is pour two cups of water (or beer or white wine) into the bucket, place it over high heat and, once the liquid comes to a boil, leave it to steam for 15 minutes.

The Cuddleback Clam Pot...

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Closed in Albertson: Mitch & Toni’s

Chef Mitch SuDock poses for a photograph in

(Credit: Jin Lee)

Mitch & Toni’s, the New American collaboration between chef Mitch SuDock and manager Toni Contino, has closed.

The restaurant opened in May 2011 and earned 2½ stars from Newsday's Peter M. Gianotti, who praised the tender baby back ribs, the sweet Asian-accent barbecue chicken wings, bacon-wrapped monkfish and the chef's signature pistachio-crusted halibut with lemon-beurre blanc. SuDock...

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Open: True American Kitchen in Mineola

Roasted beet carpaccio -- with mache, frisee, orange,

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

True American Kitchen has opened in the Jericho Turnpike spot that was formerly Lula Trattoria (and, before that, Circa Enoteca).

True to its name, the restaurant offers regional American classics such as Louisiana shrimp and grits, New England lobster roll, Buffalo wings, Southern fried chicken and waffles, roast chicken and a burger, albeit one with slab bacon, smoked Gouda, avocado, crispy...

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Open in West Hempstead: Istanbul Doner Kebab House

Assorted kebabs at Istanbul Doner Kebab House in

(Credit: Istanbul Doner Kebab House)

The new Istanbul Doner Kebab House in West Hempstead is a Turkish and Mediterranean grocery as well as a restaurant. Owner Kerin Kayaci said that the place offers table service for those who want to stay and eat.

On the menu: shepherd salad ($4.50 small; $7.50 large), hummus ($4), falafel ($4), chicken chops ($12), lamb shish kebab ($12), house-made beef and lamb doner, or gyro ($12), chicken...

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Bosphorus Cafe Grill in Port Washington: First bites

Puffy hollow lavas bread at Bosphorus Cafe Grill

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

An outdoor table at the new Bosporus Cafe Grill in Port Washington seemed the place to be on a recent evening. But the breeze got a bit too chilly, so we ate indoors in the simply but handsomely appointed dining room for what proved a positive experience.

The ideal accompaniment for a mixed appetizer plate ($18.50) — hummus, ezme (spicy chopped vegetables), babaganush, tabbouleh (cracked wheat...

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Azafrán Colombian Restaurant in St. James: First bites

Rotisserie roasted chicken at Azafran in St. James

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Azafrán Colombian Restaurant in St. James is simple but attractive in design. You may recognize the site as the former home of Red Tomato and, before that, Attilio’s Grill. Outside the place, a life-size statue of a chef greets customers.

The house specialty, rotisserie roasted chicken, is what you want to get. I had it as part of a “bandeja,” ($11) or platter, that also included chicken...

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Open in Long Beach: Grotta di Fuoco

Grotta di Fuoco is a new Italian restaurant

(Credit: Grotta di Fuoco)

The floods of superstorm Sandy closed Caffe Laguna in Long Beach but did not destroy the restaurant’s wood-burning oven. That oven has inspired Caffe Laguna’s successor: Grotta di Fuoco, “cave of fire,” which opened two weeks ago.

The new restaurant’s chef-owner is Andrew Allotti, who worked briefly at Caffe Laguna and, before that, for two years at Sole in Oceanside. Raised in Baldwin, Allotti...

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Fairway Market offers senior discount

Fairway Market opens a new store in Lake

(Credit: Fairway Market)

Fairway Market is reaching out to older customers by introducing its 6% FOR SIXTY discount program.

Starting Aug. 26, customers 60 and older will get a 6 percent discount on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Fairway Markets in Plainview, Westbury and Lake Grove. The program was launched in the spring at Fairway locations in Paramus and Woodland Park, New Jersey, and Nanuet, New York. Seniors must...

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