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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Open in Island Park: Flamingo Tapas Bar & Grill Cafe

Shrimp and rice is one of the Portuguese

(Credit: Flamingo Tapas Bar and Grill Caf)

Now serving Portuguese fare in Island Park is Flamingo Tapas Bar & Grill Cafe. The new restaurant is owned by married couple Maria and Antonio Almeida, who opened Antonio’s in Oceanside before selling it some seven years ago.

According to co-owner Maria Almeida, Flamingo's current digs formerly housed a topless bar. “The pole is gone now,” she quipped.

On the Portuguese tapas roster...

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Long Island’s 10 best gastropubs

Mini Chicago hot dog sliders are the real

(Credit: Randee Daddona)

This week, Newsday launches Eat Here Now, our annual list of Long Island’s Top 100 Restaurants. We’ve organized the restaurants by category — 10 picks in 10 categories — and the first category we’re highlighting is gastropubs.

Neither pub fare nor bar food, what you find at a gastropub is pretty refined and usually creative. It's the high end of the homey, boosted with style and accompanied...

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Oatmeal, 21 ways at Empress Diner in East Meadow

From the oatmeal menu at Empress Diner in

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

A good bowl of oatmeal can make your morning. And it doesn’t have to be a winter morning, as I found out on a recent visit to the Empress Diner in East Meadow, which now has a roster of 21 oatmeal varieties.

“We’re trying to promote healthy eating,” said co-owner Mike Panagatos, who added that the jumbo bowl of cereal is also available in a smaller size. You just have to know to ask.


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Open in Huntington: Char Grille

Char Grille is the next Huntington restaurant from

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Char Grille has moved into the space at the corner of Clinton Avenue and Gerard Street that most recently housed BlonDee’s Bistro. The restaurant is owned by the same group that operates Doppio Artisan Bistro (located next door) and Doppio East in Sag Harbor.

Executive chef Bryan Dedcovich was formerly executive sous chef at Insignia Prime Steak and Sushi in Smithtown, but his menu at Char...

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Lemongrass in Oceanside: First bites

Tom kha gai, or chicken coconut soup, at

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

It's midday at the attractive new Lemongrass Thai & Chinese Restaurant in Oceanside. And the place has me at the tom kha gai.

So often, the Thai chicken coconut soup turns out to be cloying, flowery. And filled with tough, stringy pieces of chicken. The version here, though, gets the classic Thai balance of sweet-sour-salty-spicy just right. And, on top of that, the sliced chicken is ultra-tender.


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Cinque Terre in Huntington Station: First bites

Cinque Terre in Huntington Station serves a fritto

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Cinque Terre, the long-awaited restaurant now in the former home of Panama Hatties, is a warm, traditional addition to Long Island's ever-growing number of Italian spots.

It's decorated with evocative photos of the Cinque Terre, five towns that cling to the dramatic coastline between Genoa and Pisa. But this Cinque Terre is more generally Italian than specifically Ligurian.

Cinque Terre...

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Open in New Hyde Park: Sushi Republic

Sushi Republic has opened in the New Hyde

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Sushi Republic has opened in the Hillside Avenue building that, until April, housed Ara Sushi & Grill, a pan-Asian restaurant noted for its Korean cuisine. Ara’s predecessor, Imperial Seoul (2010-13) also had a large Korean menu.

Sushi Republic’s menu looks to be about half sushi, with entrees ranging from $15 to $22, signature rolls around $12. The rest of the menu is a blend of Chinese,...

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Crabcake gyros at Greek restaurant in Floral Park

Pita Park is serving gyros, moussaka and grilled

(Credit: Pita Park)

Have you ever heard of a crabcake gyro? How about an Irish one with corned beef, spicy mustard and onions? Those are two of the gyro pita sandwiches ($6-$9.95) now on the menu of Pita Park in Floral Park.

The table-service Greek restaurant is co-owned by married couple Brittany and Mina Avlonitis. Brittany is the chef; her husband, who was born in Greece and worked at Crabtree’s Restaurant...

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Closed in Huntington: Chicken Coop

Grilltisserie chicken, plus sides, from the new Chicken

(Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick)

Chicken Coop, a little Huntington takeout known for its Portuguese spin on chicken, has closed. It was under the same ownership as the Portuguese restaurant Fado, located a few blocks away.

Massive construction on an adjacent building had made the place virtually unreachable. Posted on the eatery’s Facebook page were these comments:

“Due to the enormous construction project, no parking...

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Fairway Market opens in Lake Grove near Smith Haven Mall

Hundreds of people waited in line to be

(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)

Fairway Market opened its first location in Suffolk County Wednesday, in the DSW shopping center directly across from the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove.

At 50,000 square feet, the new Fairway is smaller than the Plainview store (55,000) that opened in 2001 and the Westbury store (68,000) that opened in 2012. It is Fairway’s 15th store in the New York metro area.

The new Fairway is less...

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