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Joan Reminick

In an ongoing search to find Long Island’s best restaurant values, restaurant critic Joan Reminick has plowed through more pad thai, penne ala vodka and pulled pork than she cares to admit. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joan grew up in a happy home whose only shortcomings were culinary. After a childhood of cooked-to-leather steaks, canned peas and Ore Ida fries, she made it a personal mission to seek out food that’s fresh, lively and carefully prepared. Married to her teen sweetheart, she received a B.A. from Brooklyn College and an M.S. from Hofstra University and taught English and Humanities in a Long Island high school for several years. When her two children were born, she embarked on a writing career and has had both fiction and nonfiction works published in national magazines. She also edited the Zagat Survey of Long Island Restaurants and wrote the book “Exploring Long Island with Newsday.” In addition to doing weekly “Cheap Eats” restaurant reviews, Joan hunts down restaurant news items and writes restaurant-related articles. These days, her motto is: making Long Island a better place to eat, one blog entry at a time.

Closed in Port Jefferson: Mesita Coastal Grill

Mesita Coastal Cantina, Port Jefferson: Serving frozen Margaritas,

(Credit: Mesita Coastal Cantina)

Well, that didn’t last long. Mesita Coastal Cantina opened in May and is now shuttered. The restaurant, in the Port Jefferson space that previously operated as  Tequila Jacks, was co-owned by Eric Goldberg and Matt McBride and specialized in frozen Margaritas, ceviche and tamales.

The space has been taken over by the owners of Brewology, the Speonk gastropub that opened in July. Roger...

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Open in West Babylon: AlaTurca Mediterranean Restaurant

AlaTurca Mediterranean Restaurant is new and mainly Turkish

(Credit: AlaTurca Mediterranean Restauran)

You'll find lunch, dinner and, believe it or not, breakfast at the new AlaTurca Mediterranean Restaurant on Rte. 109. The table-service restaurant serves a mostly Turkish repertoire in the former West Babylon digs of Classic American.

Owner Birnur Itil said that husband Akin Ay is executive chef - and comes from a family of chefs. Ay has also owned several full-service restaurants on the coast...

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First bites: Akebono Fusion Sushi in Huntington

Sushi platter at Akebono Sushi Fusion in Huntington

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Akebono Fusion Sushi, situated in the former Huntington digs of Azuma, doesn’t look all that different from its predecessor: a few wooden booths, some tables and a sushi bar within an oddly shaped freestanding building on Broadway Greenlawn.

On a recent dinner visit, sushi proved a strong suit, with a “fantasy” roll ($14.95) — spicy tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado and fresh jalapeño — working...

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Open in Hampton Bays: Out of the Blue Seafood

Out of the Blue Seafood is a fish

(Credit: Out of the Blue Seafood)

Out of the Blue Seafood, a fish market, seafood wholesaler and eatery, has taken over the former Hampton Bay digs of Brewsters Seafood Market.

Here, you can order at the counter and eat at a cafe table or, in good weather, at an outdoor picnic table. You can also get prepared food to go.

Currently, the place is running a Monday-to-Thursday lobster “twofer” wherein you get two 1-1/4 pound...

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Claudio's in Glen Cove now Ristorante Da Claudio

Claudio's, Glen Cove: Co-owners Claudio Zustovich and son

(Credit: Alessandro Vecchi)

What was known as Claudio's in Glen Cove has changed its name to Ristorante Da Claudio.

The action followed an allegation of trademark infringement by Claudio's, the seafood restaurant in Greenport.

Ristorante Da Claudio is in the former location of La Pace With Chef Michael, which succeeded the landmark La Pace there.

Ristorante Da Claudio earned a two-star rating in Newsday in...

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Open in Port Washington: O'Hara's Ale House & Grill

O'Hara's Ale House & Grill opened in Novemeber

(Credit: O'Hara's Ale House and Grill)

O'Hara's Ale House & Grill has opened in the Port Washington space that used to house J.T. Bullitt. The new establishment, owned by Thomas O'Hara and Ken DeNicola, has an impressive beer lineup, with about 30 brews on tap including four Irish imports (O'Hara's and Smithwick's red ales, Killian's red lager, Murphy's stout) and Magners Irish cider.

The menu, created by chef Jonathan Chevlin,...

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Born anew in East Hampton: Highway Diner & Bar

Highway Diner has reopened in East Hampton in

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

The former Highway Diner & Bar in East Hampton, which had been replaced this past summer by Shuko, a pop-up version of a Manhattan Japanese restaurant, has reopened. Well, sort of. As manager Nelly Moudime explained it, the place is under different ownership with new chefs and a new menu. The original name stays. “We felt like keeping some kind of continuity to make people feel comfortable,”...

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Open in Manorville: Papa Joseph's Italian Restaurant

Papa Josephs is new in Manorville. ( November

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Papa Joseph's Italian Restaurant is up and running in the former Manorville digs of Michelangelo.

The newly renovated dining spot/pizzeria/catering hall is owned by Joseph Passanante, whose son, also named Joseph Passanante, is chef.  Passanante previously cooked at Cafeteria in Manhattan. He described his repertoire as “traditional and more modern Italian” with dishes from both Northern...

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The Refuge opens for lunch in Melville

The Refuge takes over the Melville space that

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

The Refuge Food & Spirits, the new restaurant occupying what used to be Four Food Studio, is open for lunch. The menu is an abbreviated and slightly less expensive version of the dinner menu, with more salads and sandwiches.

Among the highlights: Guacamole ($12) is made to order and served in a heavy stone mortar. Empanadas ($3) and pizzas ($11.95 to $13.95) capture the restaurant’s Italian-Latino...

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Chef shines at Pentimento in Stony Brook

Roasted butternut squash tortelli are served at Pentimento

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Your first holiday gift has arrived.

Massimo Fedozzi is back to his stellar form at Pentimento, Dennis Young's longstanding Italian landmark. Fedozzi, who earned high praise for his cooking at the now-gone Vero in Amityville and Palio in Jericho, runs the kitchen. And his regional Italian food is excellent.

Try tortelli di zucca -- airy, slightly sweet, stuffed with roasted butternut...

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