Cacio e pepe at Flora's Wine Bar & Restaurant in...

Cacio e pepe at Flora's Wine Bar & Restaurant in Port Washington. Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

Pantano's Doz. Bagels, Garden City

Michael Pantano, who has opened bagel shops in Garden City Park, Levittown, Freeport and now Garden City, appeals to bagel lovers of all stripes. It’s a good thing the sesame bagels at Pantano’s Doz. are so good because, otherwise, a certain bagel purist might not take seriously a place that counts Doritos, pepperoni pizza, Buffalo-jalapeño and Oreo twist among its bagel flavors.

Specialty bagels at Pantano's Doz. Bagels in Garden City Park...

Specialty bagels at Pantano's Doz. Bagels in Garden City Park include Buffalo-jalapeño, Doritos, pizza and French toast. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

One Trick Pony, Westhampton Beach

This meticulous space transforms from an airy morning coffee bar, dazzled in sunlight, anchored in bookshelves, into a swank cocktail bar come sundown, complete with espresso martinis and trivia night, drag bingo and live music. Everything at One Trick Pony is made by hand, from the ketchup to the granola.

Tiger Sushi, Great Neck

At the new Tiger Sushi, restraint is not only a stylistic choice, but a cultural one. The intimate space has a classic Japanese aesthetic, and caters to Jewish clientele by offering a kosher-friendly experience. It's not budget-friendly, but the most memorable item is the $48 premium temaki set.

Casa Stellina, Farmingdale

Fabrizio Facchini can’t stop, won’t stop. A month after opening an authentic Italian pizzeria in Farmingdale, the chef and his partners have launched a fine-dining Italian restaurant in the adjacent storefront. Both eateries share a name, Casa Stellina. The group already own Oyster Bay’s Stellina Ristorante as well The Wine Line around the corner and two Stellina bakery-cafés, one in Oyster Bay, the other in Syosset.

Lasagna at Casa Stellina in Farmingdale.

Lasagna at Casa Stellina in Farmingdale. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Purple Elephant Café, Northport

Embracing the same mission as their restaurant, Purple Elephant, the coffees and teas here are organic, sourced from small roasters Hamptons Coffee and SerendipiTea. Food offerings are being finalized and will include local pop-up brands, as well as pastries and desserts, most of which will be made on-site and be vegan and/or gluten-free.

Blue Mermaid, Uniondale

It's a family affair at this spiffy new shop, which boasts a steam table brimming with Caribbean staples such as griot, Haiti’s national dish of citrusy deep fried pork bits, goat in Creole sauce, curry goat, plantains, black rice and more. The uninitiated may find it difficult to choose, but Blue Mermaid has combo plates. For $35, they’ll help you make a “poke bowl” of six different dishes.

Flora's Wine Bar & Restaurant, Port Washington

Port Washington has a new Main Street gem for those seeking a pasta and wine fix. The husband-wife team behind Syosset’s cozy Flora’s Pizza Café, have expanded their burgeoning Italian empire with Flora’s Wine Bar and Restaurant. The new restaurant inhabits the 40-seat space vacated by the short-lived Olive Room Meeting Pointe late last year. Its opening menu replicates Flora’s in Syosset, with handmade pastas, pizza, salads and sharables. The focus on biodynamic, natural and organic Italian wines here is wide-ranging.

Half honey pepperoni, half Margherita cauliflower crust pizza at the...

Half honey pepperoni, half Margherita cauliflower crust pizza at the new Flora's Wine Bar & Restaurant in Port Washington.  Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

Campground Craft Beer & Coffee, Sea Cliff

By expanding Campground's opening hours, it has essentially become an all-day bar: Start with a caffeine fix in the morning, do some work on your laptop in the afternoon and crack open a beer in the evening. Similar to their approach to beer, which gives patrons the ability to sample smaller breweries that aren’t readily accessible at the bar, and then purchase in their market, their coffee program will approach beans in the same way. 

Chili Baby, Miller Place

After seven years of operating Hungry?, a Thai restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Michael Distelkamp and Scene Lerdawas have decamped to Suffolk County. Chili Baby, which opened last month in Miller Place, takes the same traditional-meets-modern approach, but in a space that’s more than twice the size.

Kismet Coffee Co., Bay Shore

Kismet Coffee, which was started as a seasonal side-hustle for owner Jackson Davis in 2022, has landed ashore in a year-round operation on Bay Shore’s Main Street. The cozy cafe offers two tables for seating, as well as standing room around wine barrels within Fire Island Vines. Beans are roasted in Farmingdale by Flux Coffee.

A cereal milk latte and a cinnamon sugar cookie at...

A cereal milk latte and a cinnamon sugar cookie at Kismet Coffee in Bay Shore. Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

Five High Marketplace, Huntington

Ben Zelouf took over this spot with the idea of turning it into an upscale convenience store with a salad bar and fresh smoothies, but it's his pastrami recipe that's caught the attention of social media influencers.

Pearl Kitchen & Cocktails, Old Bethpage

Elevated comfort food is on the menu at Pearl Kitchen and Cocktails in Old Bethpage, a new restaurant dreamed up by four partners who run other Long Island eateries. There’s a pork chop with hot cherry peppers, and salmon with black lentils and a bourbon glaze. More casual: a roasted beet bowl with arugula, goat cheese, candied walnuts and quinoa that can be topped with shrimp, salmon, tuna or chicken.

Edesma, Franklin Square

Most Long Island Greek restaurants fall into one of two categories: pricey piscine palaces or cheap gyro joints. Edesma, new in Franklin Square, aims to chart its own course, offering homey, traditional Greek cuisine that does not break the bank: Construct a meal from shareable mezze (small plates) that are all less than $20. Most main dishes are under $30. All of which can be enjoyed with a glass of wine in a serene dining room.

Spanakopita, or spinach pie, at Edesma in Franklin Square.

Spanakopita, or spinach pie, at Edesma in Franklin Square. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Gregorys Coffee, Garden City

Gregorys Coffee, which launched in 2006 on 24th and Park Ave. in Manhattan, has added Garden City to its growing list of Long Island locations. The brand opened a lush, garden-themed coffee kiosk at Garden City’s Roosevelt Field Mall.

Secret Thai Kitchen, Freeport

In a space that previously housed Crabshack, Secret Thai Kitchen prepares classic Thai food and specialty dishes from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The owners, Ahmee Kalamaphichit and his mother Noki Levy, had previously operated a steam table spot Secret Thai Street Food that was tucked into the back of a Latin market on Steinway Street in Astoria.

Great South Bay Brewery, Lindenhurst

This brewery's second venue — a gastropub smack in the middle of Lindenhurst — opened in March. Aside from beer, the menu features plenty of items that seem bound for Instagram glory: Mexican street corn fries (smothered in roasted corn, spicy mayo and cotija cheese), egg rolls stuffed with crab Rangoon (crabmeat and cream cheese), white-clam ramen, a fried-fish sandwich (the “Captain Kidd pirate sando”) that’s a take on McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish and a sesame-crusted “Big Island poke pizza” topped with ahi tuna, avocado, cucumber and mozzarella.

Street corn fries at Great South Bay Brewery in Lindenhurst.

Street corn fries at Great South Bay Brewery in Lindenhurst. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Won KBBQ, Carle Place

This clubby K-pop den has opened in the same Carle Place shopping center as the conveyor belt chain Kura Sushi, near Roosevelt Field Mall. It's an offshoot of the Won KBBQ in Bayside, Queens. Patrons view the all-you-can-eat menu by scanning a QR code with a mobile phone, then choose from 19 varieties of mostly pork and beef cuts, plus a couple chicken and one spicy squid. Don't miss the thick-cut pork belly, which comes in long fat slabs of mega bacon that servers finish by cutting into cubes with scissors.

Gino's, Farmingdale

Gino’s pizza is back in Farmingdale — well, sort of. Last week, a Gino’s replaced Dalers Pizza Parlor, the short-lived pizzeria that opened late last year on the same block where Gino’s Pizza held court from 1981 to 2019. The new Gino’s has no connection to the old Gino’s.

NOVO, Lawrence

From sushi to French steakhouse, this Five Towns restaurant just got a beefy revamp. The Central Avenue space that was previously MUR sushi is now NOVO, an upscale restaurant and catering venue for kosher celebrations. You'll find a combination of Italian and French dishes on the menu, alongside a healthy list of kosher wines from places like Italy and Israel.

Paper Plate, Deer Park

This burger and chicken concept that debuted at Williamsburg’s Smorgasburg food hall in 2022 has replaced Deer Park's short-lived Ruby's Coop. flown the coop. Similar to the West Coast’s In-and-Out, Paper Plate is an everyman joint that serves burgers with all the fixings. There are also moist chicken breast tenders here, as well as grilled or fried chicken sandwiches.

A double-stacked American cheeseburger at Paper Plate in Deer Park.

A double-stacked American cheeseburger at Paper Plate in Deer Park. Credit: Ian Martin

Salvadoreños & Mexican, Island Park

Tacos appear in two sections of the menu at this new restaurant owned by Rosa Mcdermoth and her husband, Oscar Moreno, who originally hail from Honduras. Standard tacos like carne asada, pollo and crispy shell tacos with ground beef filling are listed between Mexican platters and fajitas. But it's the item on the next page that should catch your eye: Number 82: The Tacos Catrachos, deep-fried rolled tacos.

Atlas New World Bistro, Roslyn

“Fusion” doesn’t do justice to the globe-trotting menu at the new Atlas World Bistro. Is there another spot on Long Island where you can order hummus, kimchi, Caesar salad, spicy tuna and avocado roll, tom yum soup, kung pao chicken, lobster ravioli, cassoulet, lamb sliders and a New York strip steak? The aptly named restaurant is located on the bottom level of the Roslyn Hotel. It takes over what had been 1221 at MFP which opened in 2018.

Nargisi kofta (egg-stuffed lamb meatball) at Atlas New World Bistro...

Nargisi kofta (egg-stuffed lamb meatball) at Atlas New World Bistro in Roslyn. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

The George, Rockville Centre

The name may be new, but George Korten has been running a restaurant at this address since 2013, when he opened George Martin Burger Bar. Eleven years later he was ready for a change, and transformed the sport into modern American tavern The George. Executive chef Frank Greco has come up with dishes that are both hearty and whimsical: Wagyu pigs in a blanket, shepherd’s pie-stuffed potato skins, pan-roasted pierogi with truffle butter and caramelized onions. 

Casa Stellina, Farmingdale

Not content to make his mark on the North Shore, Fabrizio Facchini is heading south. The chef and his partners already own Oyster Bay’s Stellina Ristorante as well The Wine Line around the corner and two Stellina bakery-cafés, one in Oyster Bay, the other in Syosset. Now they have opened a pizzeria in Farmingdale, serving four types of pizza, as well as takeout family-style bundles that include a main (such as chicken Parm, sausage and peppers, pappardelle ragu), plus salad (Caprese, arugula or Caesar) and a side (potatoes or vegetables).

Bar Clementine, Islip

Soon after the doors open at Bar Clementine at 4 p.m., the long bar is full of locals working their way through cocktails and wine. Many are enjoying the signature Clementine cocktail: clementine-infused vodka with clementine and lime juices, Aperol, vanilla, egg white and a lime leaf. It goes down easier than a Creamsicle. Then come the bar snacks — crab-filled deviled eggs, smoked-salmon pizzas, mushroom arancini with truffled pecorino.

The signature Clementine cocktail at Bar Clementine in Islip.

The signature Clementine cocktail at Bar Clementine in Islip. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Ixchel Mexican Cuisine, Setauket

Located in a stand-alone house that used to be Old Fields Tavern, this swank Mexican spot focused on the delicacies of the Mayan people, is a real stunner. Bartenders mix beautifully hued drinks made with hibiscus, pineapple, and mango — all topped with a flower or piece of dragonfruit. Start with the sopecitos: three large discs piled high with grilled steak, buttery chicken and a crumbly chorizo that packs a nice bite. Tacos, especially the birria, are a popular starter, as is the tableside guacamole cart.

TBar, Roslyn

This new restaurant boasts the same menu that has kept its NYC location in business for decades: High-level steaks, fish, pasta and sushi. Long Island additions include pizza coming from the space’s brick oven. And although you might be full after dinner, don’t skip out on dessert. The massive strawberry sundae layered with shortcake and meringue is sublime and the warm apple crisp with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream is a classic.

Crispy sushi including spicy tuna, tuna, hamachi jalapeno and salmon...

Crispy sushi including spicy tuna, tuna, hamachi jalapeno and salmon at TBar in Roslyn. Credit: Stephanie Foley

Pho Top, Great Neck

Pho Top may specialize in the vermicelli noodle soup, but it's also one of the few places to get a bánh mì on Long Island. The menu at this small but chic space across the street from the LIRR train station is compact: Along with some appetizers and side dishes, there are a dozen varieties of noodle soups as well as a small number of the dry vermicelli noodle dishes called bún.

Noodumpling, Hicksville

Lovers of beef noodle soup, step this way … Hicksville has just welcomed a fast-casual outfit that prepares it alongside a bevy of homemade dumplings, skewers and other Chinese and Taiwanese dishes. Owner Leo Liu opened Noodumpling in the restaurant space next door to the Chinese supermarket Amart. The dining room has been toned down since its days at 365 Noodle Bar, and now has a minimalist fast casual aesthetic and comfy plush booths.

Brunch, Sayville

Bay Shore resident Michelle Panciarello, owner of the popular Eat Me, Drink Me catering trucks, has finally opened the doors to her latest, a brick and mortar that has been three years in the making. Prepare for a wait, as there are only four tables and some window bar seating — 12-15 seats at any given time — but once seated, you will be happy you invested your time. Whether it’s the countertop blueberry pop tarts that taste like summer or the whimsical oversized chocolate Ring Dings, most everything made at Brunch is made in-house or sourced locally.

Brunch in Sayville.

Brunch in Sayville. Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

Mama Chan's, Northport

This new Chinese restaurant is sleek and spare with a big fireplace. The succinct menu features 16 dishes, and there are 15 wines plus signature cocktails and craft beers.

Mac Shawarma, East Meadow

Don't step into Mac Shawarma looking for mac and cheese — you'll probably be disappointed. But if you want authentic spit-roasted shawarma (and Chinese taro balls), you are in luck. Based in an old Chinese takeout joint, this new restaurant may be the first on Long Island to specialize in shawarma wraps from the country of Georgia.

People's Pub, Bayport

Patty melts are making a comeback and the new People's Pub in Bayport is a handsome setting for a ground beef patty on rye. The bustling barroom looks fresh for being more than 150 years old, with a slick copper bar top and dark wood panels that resemble an English pub. The menu skirts between regional New England fare and British pub classics like stout stew and cottage pie.

Tony & Luigi's, Merrick

In the 13 years that cousins Lou Neglia and Anthony St. George have been in business together, they’ve opened La Bottega franchises in Syosset, Merrick and East Meadow. Having mastered the enormous takeout-friendly menu, they set their sights on a loftier goal: wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and a full-service bar. Their new spot turns out 20 classic 12-inch Naples-style pies.

Margherita pizza at Tony & Luigi's in Merrick.

Margherita pizza at Tony & Luigi's in Merrick. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Vice Doughnuts & Coffee, Farmingdale

It was 2021 when Joseph and Gina O’Brien launched their Vice Doughnuts & Coffee truck that canvassed the Town of Oyster Bay in search of java and doughnut-minded fans. They found their audience, and now, three years later, they have put down local roots at their first full-service shop on Main Street in their native Farmingdale.

Sanook Thai, Hicksville

Set in the former home of Chada Thai Bistro, Sanook is run by partners Dumrongsak “Pop” Chaichana and Sengdeuane Sisongksam, who hail from the northern Chiang Mai area and Thailand's eastern neighbor Laos, which is known for its intensely flavorful dishes. While their menu contains familiar classics such as Massaman curry and pad thai, they also serve hard-to-find dishes like stewed beef noodle soup, crab fried rice and two varieties of Laotian pho.

Khao soi noodle curry at Sanook Thai in Hicksville.

Khao soi noodle curry at Sanook Thai in Hicksville. Credit: Newsday/Andi Berlin

Takumi Taco, Roslyn

Started as a stall in Williamsburg’s popular Smorgasburg open-air food market in 2012, Takumi Taco was embraced by the public and quickly expanded. Serving a mashup of Japanese inspired flavors in various taco vessels — crispy gyoza shells and corn tortillas, for example — Takumi Taco offers a selection of tacos (starting at $5) ranging from Japanese curry beef loaded with Napa cabbage slaw and Cotija cheese; chicken adobo with cilantro and onion; spicy tuna with jicama, avocado, cucumber, and radish; and a cauliflower al pastor.

Mr. Keke Ramen Hot Pot, Great Neck

Mr. Keke Ramen Hot Pot has taken over Ramen Totem, which specialized in noodle soups and Shanghainese dishes until it closed last summer. Now the space has a Japan-meets-Disneyland feel to it, with light wood paneling and a large cherry blossom tree that shoots its pink flowers all over the ceiling. New owners Ming Ge and Derike Su plan to open 10 of these fast casual hot pot restaurants in the next year.

The special ramen at Mr. Keke in Great Neck can...

The special ramen at Mr. Keke in Great Neck can be ordered with chashu pork slices and spinach noodles. Credit: Newsday/Andi Berlin

Desi Bites Cafe, Hicksville

The delectable vegetarian menu at this new eatery focuses almost entirely on northern India’s street foods and snacks — gol gappa, falooda rabri, potato patty burgers dressed with noodles, grilled sandwiches of potato and green pepper and more — just like the first Desi Bites, which opened in the Queens neighborhood of Richmond Hill in 2020.

Caminito, Port Washington

Some of the best sandwiches in the world come from South America — especially Argentina, where the unique blend of European and New World influences creates a perfect storm of grilled meats spiked with vibrant sauces on fabulous crusty bread. Sara Damian adds yet another dimension to the mix at Caminito, a stylish new Port Washington cafe that specializes in Argentinian sandwiches and empanadas.

Sunflower Cafe and Bakery, Bayport

Stacé Hansen and her daughter Kathrine have taken over the 46-year-old French bistro Le Soir. The two kept many of the original menu items, but added their own contemporary twist to them. Options include over-the-top French onion soup, a massive Nicoise salad and a daily ice cream, which Stacé prepares in the style of French glacé by adding eggs, which thicken it like a frozen custard.

French onion soup at Sunflower Cafe & Bakery in Bayport.

French onion soup at Sunflower Cafe & Bakery in Bayport. Credit: Randee Daddona

Yoyo Chicken, Baldwin

This new halal fast food joint has been gaining buzz with its powerhouse combo of simple but well-made smashburgers and fried chicken sandwiches. It opened late November in a Baldwin strip mall and although the dining room is pretty small — it used to be a Jamaican takeout spot — you can see why the place is popular. These smashburgers are good.

Itsuki Sushi, East Meadow

Itsuki opened in November in the space formerly known as La Piazzetta Cafe II, which closed during the pandemic. Very-good-for-the-price offerings include plates of nigiri with salmon ($3.50 for two pieces), tuna ($3.50) and yellowtail ($4). Solid roll choices: A rainbow (salmon, tuna, yellowtail, crab stick and avocado, $13) and a volcano (spicy tuna and flying fish roe, $12).

Insomnia Cookies, Hempstead

Founded at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003 by an insomniac looking for sweet, warm, dorm-delivered late-night munchies, Insomnia Cookies has grown to more than 260 locations nationwide. Now, the brand’s first Long Island bakery has opened in Hempstead, near Hofstra University.

Insomnia Cookies specializes in jumbo treats.

Insomnia Cookies specializes in jumbo treats. Credit: Insomnia Cookies

Brazico, Amityville

This eatery, which opened in December, is a chicly designed fusion concept that melds Brazilian and Mexican cuisine. Their tacos get people in the door, but the classic Brazilian dishes are what really stand out here, as Brazico prepares icons like pão de queijo cheese bread and coxinha chicken croquettes, importing the dough and other products from Brazil.

Twisted Fork Brunch Company, Bellmore

This cheeky brunch spot sits in the former home of the Mediterranean Diner, a longtime staple of Bellmore's business district. The menu offers contemporary takes on nostalgic favorites, like a “bacon slab” of candied pork belly, a burrata omelet, avocado toasts and BEC-stuffed pretzels. Sweeter fare including pancakes, French toast and Belgian waffles can be made “twisted” by adding drizzled chocolate or bananas foster for an extra few dollars. But this kitchen is serious; the dishes show a high level of precision and there are surprisingly healthful spreads.

New York Fries, Garden City

This niche concept stars fresh cut, cooked-to-order French fries, served plain (with your choice of dipping sauce like ranch or chipotle aioli), or loaded with a variety of decadent toppings including beef chili, pulled pork, queso, pickled jalapeños, salsa and crumbled bacon.

Anju, Cedarhurst

Boris Safaniev and his family have opened three elegant, upscale restaurants in Cedarhurst — and all are kosher. The latest undertaking, Anju, serves contemporary Asian fusion and opened in December with Tomo Kobayashi, one of Long Island’s most accomplished Asian fusion chefs, running the kitchen. Kobayashi, the founding chef of Toku in Manhasset, has designed a menu that draws on Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisines, infusing each with a little American cheek.

The rainbow salad at Anju in Cedarhurst.

The rainbow salad at Anju in Cedarhurst. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Siam Emerald, Rockville Centre

Siam Emerald may be the most ambitious Thai restaurant on Long Island, but for now it's still a hidden gem. The small restaurant opened in late December on a quiet stretch of Rockville Centre across from the Cathedral of St. Agnes. The menu features a lot of hard-to-find Thai specialties like spicy Northern Thai sausages and the iconic crab omelet that's become a hallmark of the Bangkok street food scene.

Deng Ji, Levittown

This Chinese restaurant has two locations in Flushing, Queens, and has opened its largest, most extravagant outpost in a strip mall near Tri-County Bazaar flea market. Despite the bustling crowd, the large dining room gives off a calming, serene warmth as it's designed to look like an outdoor space at a rural temple. Don't miss the noodle soup, a spectacle with dozens of ingredients tumbling into a cauldron of milky, boiling broth.

Roast Sandwich House, Bellmore

Roast Sandwich House, the expanding mini-chain known for its fast casual soup, salad and sandwich combos, has opened its fifth store — and first on the South Shore — in Bellmore. An immaculate storefront with 18 seats for dine-in, this shop mimics the lime green and blond wood palette of Roast’s Syosset, Mineola, Hicksville and Melville locations. “People were asking for a South Shore store, and we were finally able to deliver,” said Roast’s owner, Joseph Cordaro. 

The crispy chicken alla vodka sandwich at the new outpost...

The crispy chicken alla vodka sandwich at the new outpost of Roast Sandwich House in Bellmore. Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

Honey's Bistro, Glen Head

Taking over the corner space on Railroad Avenue that used to house Flourish Bakeshop and All Day Café, Honey’s Bistro serves an all-day menu of coffee, pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches and rice bowls. Childhood friends Matthew Suckle, formerly of New York Chicken and Rice in Glen Cove, and Patrick O'Halloran, co-owner of Park Place in New Hyde Park, deliver a serene, welcoming spot bathed in soft pastels for ‘round the clock eats.

Sichuan Garden, East Setauket

This new Chinese eatery takes over the free-standing building that was the short-lived Sichuan hot-pot specialist Xiao Si Chuan. Credit for the restaurant’s early promise goes to Young Zhao and partner Kevin Lin. Born in Sichuan, Zhao was also owns Ichi Sushi & Ramen, 500 feet east of Sichuan Garden. “My customers encouraged me to open an authentic Chinese restaurant,” he said. “And they are already supporting it.”

Punjabi Chaap Corner, Hicksville

This quick-serve vegetarian restaurant, founded in India in 2012, has opened its first Long Island location in Hicksville. The draw here is the eponymous chaap, a mock meat made from soybeans that is wrapped around a wooden stick and grilled or roasted like a kebab. The menu also features paneer (cheese), potatoes, chickpeas and other pulses, plus Afghan-style momos (dumplings) and the great Indian street food, pani puri.

Marinara Pizza, Greenvale

The fare at this new pizza joint may look familiar — simple cheese, Margherita, white, Grandma and Sicilian pies; more elaborate ones topped with Buffalo chicken, eggplant Parm, Caesar salad or spinach and artichoke — but the presentation is outstanding. The most striking pie may be the MVP, with its bright, regimental stripes of marinara, vodka and pesto sauces.

The MVP pie (with stripes of marinara, vodka and pesto...

The MVP pie (with stripes of marinara, vodka and pesto sauces) at Marinara Pizza in Greenvale. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Paros Grille, Great Neck

Ten months ago, Jimmy Tsolis made the heartbreaking decision to close the Seven Seas Diner, a place he'd spent the majority of his adult life. Diners are no longer profitable businesses, the Greek native lamented at the time, and a full concept change was the only hope. That new concept is Paros, an upscale Greek restaurant serving the classics alongside a changing menu of fresh-not-frozen seafood sourced from their longtime supplier, Marine Fishery. There is valet parking in the evenings, and an emphasis on cocktails and imported Greek wines.

Viva Tulum, Baldwin

At Viva Tulum, an immaculate storefront on the south side of Merrick Road, with seven tables, four bar seats and a flat-screen TV at top volume, the offerings exceed the usual Tex-Mex fare by adding American comfort classics to the mix. In addition to the tacos, nachos and burritos, there’s also mozzarella sticks and potato skins. The standout is the trio of birria tacos with dipping consommé alongside. And don’t miss the aguas frescas.

Yankee Doodle Dandy's, Islip

Josh Gatewood is on a mission to get Northerners as excited about fried chicken tenders as are Southerners. He established three Yankee Doodle Dandy’s food trucks in Manhattan to spread the news, and with partner Anthony Mastrantonio, has now opened the first brick-and-mortar location, in Islip. The tenders can be had on a platter such as the “Winner Winner” with fries, thick-cut and griddled Texas toast and your choice of potato salad, coleslaw or a pickle spear. There's also chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese and shakes. Nothing on the menu is more than $15.

The Winner Winner at Yankee Doodle Dandy's in Islip.

The Winner Winner at Yankee Doodle Dandy's in Islip. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

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