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Peter Gianotti

Peter M. Gianotti is Newsday's restaurant critic and wine-and-spirits columnist. He's the author of "A Guide to Long Island Wine Country," "Newsday's Guide to the Wines of Long Island," "Dining Out with Newsday" and co-author of "Newsday's Long Island Restaurant Guide" and "Eats NYC." Before reviewing restaurants, Gianotti was a Washington correspondent, economics writer, book critic and New York City reporter. Gianotti received his master's degree from Columbia University, where he also was a Bagehot Fellow; and his bachelor's degree from Fordham University, where he has taught journalism. He was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and lives on Long Island.

Dining in Babylon: 5 picks

Monsoon Asian Kitchen & Lounge in Babylon.

(Credit: Doug Young)

Babylon boasts one of Long Island's livelier downtowns. And there's plenty of diversity among the restaurants. Here are five flavorful ones.

MONSOON, 48 Deer Park Ave.; 631-587-4400. This four-star restaurant excels with creative Asian fare, served in a high-style setting. The winners include kung pao-style monkfish, Beijing duck, Korean fried chicken, "shaking beef," fiery octopus, pork-belly...

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Ristegio's opening in North Patchogue Wednesday

Ristegio's restaurant in North Patchogue in April 2014.

(Credit: Ristegio's restaurant)

Ristegio's, the much-anticipated New American restaurant with chef Richard Lanza, opens Wednesday at 5 p.m. in North Patchogue.

The restaurant, which takes its name from those of owners Richard, Steven, and Joseph Lanza, is in the location that once housed Pat & Jim's, the chef's first restaurant.

Lanza has earned stellar reviews for his cooking, recently at Blackstone Steakhouse...

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Nick's Tuscan Grill in Mineola: First bites

Hot antipasto at Nick's Tuscan Grill in Mineola

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Nick's Tuscan Grill, which has a little to do with grilling and even less with things Tuscan, opens in Mineola as a friendly, satisfying spot for Italian-American specialties.

You may remember Nick's from Long Beach. The restaurant was severely damaged by superstorm Sandy, and relocated. It's on the corner that has hosted restaurants for decades, most recently Andiamo and most famously Altadonna.

Nick's...

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Harbor Bistro in East Hampton reopening

Harbor Bistro in East Hampton

(Credit: Handout)

So, it looks and feels like late fall instead of early spring.

And did you get your taxes filed on time?

Before these facts start you ranting about TV meteorologists or the Alternative Minimum Tax, know that Harbor Bistro, the waterfront restaurant in East Hampton, is slated to open on Thursday, at 5 p.m. to be exact.

Chef Damien O'Donnell's New American kitchen sometimes seems...

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Sterling wines to highlight dinner at Vitae in Huntington

Vitae restaurant and wine bar is on the

(Credit: Doug Young)

Wines from Sterling Vineyards will be poured at a tasting dinner April 16 at Vitae restaurant in Huntington

The cost is $70, plus tax and tip. Reservations are required. The Wednesday dinner starts at  7 p.m. Sarah McLaury of Atlantic Wines & Spirits will be the guest speaker.

Pairings include the 2011 Sterling Napa Valley Chardonnay with crab salad; 2011 Sterling Carneros Pinot...

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'Mad Men' and Don Draper's old fashioned: Finding the cocktail on LI

16. Don Draper: Jon Hamm's "Mad Men" portrait-in-black

(Credit: AP)

The mixology of "Mad Men" takes in the Gibson and the Gimlet, the Manhattan and the screwdriver, the whiskey sour and the Tom Collins.

But the drink you most often envision Don Draper making and downing is an Old Fashioned.

It's a classic cocktail, one that lent its name to a specific glass. The drink is traditionally made with rye, but now just as often with bourbon.

The "Mr....

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A World's Fair reverie

The classic Disney ride debuted at the 1964

April 21 will mark the golden anniversary of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.

That's right: 50 years.

It will rekindle memories of seeing the Pieta, while moving along on a conveyor belt; standing in line to board the Ford "Magic Skyway" and GM's "Futurama"; first hearing Disney's "It's a Small World"; learning about "The Triumph of Man" via Travelers Insurance and dinosaurs courtesy...

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Latitude 121 in Stony Brook: First bites

Maple-bourbon-brown sugar braised pork "wings" with sweet potato

(Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti)

Spend the day at Latitude 121 in Stony Brook. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This very enjoyable new restaurant has moved into the former site of the Brook House. Beadboard and nautical images decorate the bright dining area. But fans of its predecessor will be glad to know that adjoining it is an ice cream parlor.

Executive chef James Cavorti comes here from George Martin's...

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Nisen One Ten in Melville: First bites

Kobe beef sliders are an appetizer at Nisen

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

The eagerly awaited Nisen One Ten has opened.

But ignited or detonated might be more accurate.

To judge by the first month, this has to be the most in-demand lunch spot in the full field that is Route 110. The joint almost pulsates midday with an overflow of customers. The decibel level rises to match.

It's the latest member of the Nisen group, which includes Nisen Sushi in Commack...

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Nick's Tuscan Grill, damaged by Sandy, reopens in Mineola

Pizza is served at Nick's Tuscan Grill in

(Credit: Nick's Tuscan Grill)

Nick's Tuscan Grill has relocated from Long Beach to Mineola.

The Long Beach restaurant was severely damaged by superstorm Sandy and never reopened. It takes over the former site of Andiamo on Mineola Boulevard.

But the menu at the new spot will appeal to devotees of the original.

Antipasti include baked clams, fried calamari, eggplant Parmigiana and a selection of cured meats...

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