Feed Me

The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Nassau County's culinary time warp

People enjoy a meal at the old cafeteria

People enjoy a meal at the old cafeteria at the clubhouse at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale in the 1950s. (Credit: Bethpage State Park )

Is there an invisible dome over Nassau County that shields it from current food trends? I am so very tired of being served dinners that would have seemed dated 15 years ago.

Balsamic reduction drizzled with abandon; mesclun deployed wherever a leaf is required; clunky, complicated platings; pink tomatoes; cottony, soulless bread; out-of-season strawberries flanking every dessert.

Chefs, this is not New American cooking. This is Bad American cooking.

A lot of Nassau restaurants (and “gastropubs”) give lip service to “fresh,” “seasonal,” “letting the ingredients speak for themselves.” Very, very few of them practice what they preach. Honestly, I’d rather eat a big plate of baked ziti from my neighborhood pizzeria than endure another one of these “innovative” Long Island meals.

There are evidently some holes in the invisible dome—some of them directly over Lola in Great Neck, Market Bistro in Jericho and Trattoria Diane in Roslyn—but, in general, Suffolk seems to be a few decades ahead of Nassau.

And I’m not just talking about the North and South Forks. Four in Melville, Old Fields in Greenlawn, Relish in Kings Park, Mosaic and Kitchen A Bistro / Trattoria in St. James, Mirabelle in Stony Brook, Roots Bistro Gourmand in East Islip, the Lake House in Bay Shore are all restaurants that embrace both seasonality and restraint. They are cooking for 2013.


 

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