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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Island Empanada, Ronkonkoma: Cinco de Mayo party specials

Island Empanada's traditional ground beef empanada with "secret"

(Credit: Alessandro Vecchi)

If you're planning ahead for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, then you might want to take advantage of the deals at  Island Empanada in Ronkonkoma, whose 2nd anniversary just happens to coincide with the holiday. Owner Roy Pelaez has come up with some celebratory takeout specials for parties. They're available Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5. It helps to order in advance.

Here's what you...

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Island Empanada in Ronkonkoma says I heart you

Island Empanada in Ronkonkoma is making heart-shaped empanadas

(Credit: Handout)

Roy Pelaez, resourceful owner of Island Empanada in Ronkonkoma, has come up with a heart-shaped edition of his eatery's little fried pies for Valentine’s Day.

Choose any empanada from the menu and — with advance notice — you can have it made as a heart. Augmenting the regular menu of savory empanadas are new additions — spicy cheese, pernil and jerk chicken, to name a few. There are also dessert...

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Duck tortilla takeover on Asian dining scene

The duck tortilla, bringing to mind Peking duck,

(Credit: Randee Daddona)

Not long ago, at  Show Win in Northport, I noticed — and ordered — a duck tortilla roll from a menu insert of dinner specials. The crisp and alluring little cylinders ($8), made with duck, scallions, hoisin sauce and flour tortillas, are fried and then cut on the bias. They bring to mind a much costlier, more complex dish: Peking duck.

Yet this was far from the first time I’ve encountered...

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Mermaid Asian Bistro & Bar comes to Ronkonkoma

There's fire and nuance in the red curry

(Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick)

Mermaid Asian Bistro & Bar replaces the short-lived 3 Cuzins Asian Bistro in Ronkonkoma. Unlike its predecessor, this place has a sushi bar — although not in the main dining room but sequestered in a little alcove.

The night I went, I sat in the main dining space, which, truth be told, needed better heating. A bowl of robust wonton soup, with delicate dumplings, took the edge off my chill....

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Japanese food the night before T-day

The sushi bar at Daisho sends out impeccably

(Credit: Adrian J. Fussell)

On the night before Thanksgiving, eating out on the light side is a great way to give family cooks a reprieve. And who wants to overindulge on heavy food in advance of the big meal?

A Japanese restaurant seems an ideal pick. The food is nothing remotely like what will follow on Thursday night, plus it’s a cuisine that's relatively virtuous when it comes to fat and calories.

Here are...

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D19 in Ronkonkoma closes

A Cuban burger at D19 (Dec. 4, 2011)

(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

D19 Sports Lounge & Eatery, which made its Ronkonkoma debut last fall, has closed. The place earned a star and a half in a review published last December.

It was a suave looking bi-level bar and grill with no shortage of TV screens. Despite the kitchen's ambitious intentions, the place scored the most points with such pub classics as burgers — the Cuban one, with ham, Swiss, pickles and...

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This week’s restaurant reviews

Nocturne executive chef and owner Mark Hrisho finishes

(Credit: Doug Young)

Peter Gianotti visits Nocturne in Babylon, the “easygoing, French-New American eatery” that “comes across more like a sunny day than an evocation of night, a storefront-size spot full of light hues.”

Joan Reminick reviews the Brownstone Brewing Company in Ronkonkoma, where you can watch a ballgame on any one of 19 TV screens while enjoying local craft beers and a burger “sandwich that's smoky,...

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Brownstone Brewing Company opens in Ronkonkoma

This is the Santa Fe burger at Brownstone

(Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick)

Brews, burgers and televised ball games are what's on tap at the new Brownstone Brewing Company in Ronkonkoma. The bar and grill, equipped with 19 TV screens, opened in mid-May in the past digs of Long Island Grill. While there's no brewing facility on premises, the place offers three of its own brews, made locally by a private brewmaster,  in addition to 17 brews on tap, most of them from...

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3 Cuzins Asian Bistro in Lake Ronkonkoma: Closed

3 Cuzins Asian Bistro & Bar, Lake Ronkonkoma

(Credit: Newsday /Joan Reminick)

3 Cuzins Asian Bistro, which opened in early March, is now closed. This I learned the hard way, after driving to Lake Ronkonkoma for a meal and finding, instead of kung pao chicken, a “closed” sign under the restaurant’s “grand opening” banner.

3 Cuzins Asian Bistro was in a little strip mall on Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma.



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This week’s restaurant reviews

The Bell & Anchor's lobster cobb salad, prepared

(Credit: Doug Young)

Restaurant critic Peter Gianotti is won over by The Bell & Anchor, “a confident, stylish, unpretentious, full-flavored eatery, with first-class seafood, plus a water view . . . on the former "Oasis site” in Sag Harbor.

Joan Reminick reviews Chan's Sushi & Teriyaki in Lake Ronkonkoma which “gives the outward appearance of being little more than just another utilitarian strip mall...

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