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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Stone crab claws, a seasonal luxury

People dine at Rare650 restaurant in Syosset. (Jan.

People dine at Rare650 restaurant in Syosset. (Jan. 16, 2009) (Credit: Yana Paskova)

In "The Stranger," the Albert Camus novel that follows students from high school to college and beyond, the philosopher wrote: "In the midst of winter, I have found within me an invincible summer ..."

It must have been the stone crabs.

So, think summer and think Miami Beach. Or make an investment here. These pricey delights are in cameo appearances now at some Long Island restaurants.

You eat only the tender meat in the black-tipped claws, perhaps after a dip in mustard sauce, as the fortunate do at any branch of Joe's Stone Crab. Joe's, the original of which reigns in Miami Beach, also has operations in Las Vegas and Chicago. Joe's is celebrating its centennial.

Locally, you'll find stone crabs tonight at Bryant & Cooper in Roslyn. By the weekend, they're expected at Rare650 in Syosset, too. The claws can be more expensive than lobster around here. A serving at Bryant & Cooper is going for $60. The shell, as Damon Runyon famously observed, is "harder than a landlord's heart."

So's the cost. But, during this bitter cold snap, you might as well be philosophical about it.

Bryant & Cooper, 2 Middle Neck Rd., Roslyn; 516-627-7270.

Rare650, 650 Jericho Tpke., Syosset; 516-496-8000.

Dining at Rare650.

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