FROM PERU, JUST FOR YOU
Angel Santi used to cook Peruvian food in Long Beach for the Allegria Hotel's Monday "salsa night." Just a couple of months ago, Santi opened his own Peruvian restaurant, Inca Wasi, in Island Park. Lucky Island Park.
The new place is colorful and cozy, with cheerful service and some knockout Peruvian dishes. A gratis cassava salad was downright buoyant. And chaufa ($12.95), the Peruvian take on Chinese fried rice (laced with tender beef and chicken), took the dish to a whole other level. There was a half rotisserie chicken ($9.95) that did South America proud, as well as creamy caramel-rich flan ($2.25).
This is the kind of place where people sitting at nearby tables start chatting with one another. About -- what else? -- food.
Inca Wasi is at 116 Long Beach Rd., Island Park, 516-442-5499. -- JOAN REMINICK
SIPS AND SWEETS
There are plenty of places to have a drink in Huntington. But the newly opened XO is the first to describe itself as a "wine & chocolate bar."
The emphasis here is on small plates, wines by the glass and a few sweets that contain chocolate. Early on, the results are as mixed as a cocktail.
Better dishes: juicy sliders, meaty chicken wings, plump dumplings. Lesser: a dull crab salad and very flat smoked-salmon flatbread. Markups on the wines will test your patience and wallet. But there are some good choices, including Mumm Brut Prestige, Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc and Erath Pinot Noir.
The chocolate contributions include a "signature" chocolate soup, which is a little like the topping for a sundae, all syrup with some sliced banana and berries; and chocolate fondue.
XO Wine & Chocolate Bar is at 24 Clinton Ave., in the site previously occupied by Mare Luna; 631-923-2224. -- PETER M. GIANOTTI
EAT, DRINK AND BEAT CANCER
On Monday, March 21, Carlyle on the Green will be the site of the first Long Island Hospitality Ball, a food-industry showcase to benefit the American Cancer Society. The organizers of the ball include such heavy hitters as Keith Hart (Argyle Grill & Tavern and Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar in Babylon), the Bohlsen family (Prime in Huntington, Tellers American Chophouse in Islip, etc.), Brian Rosenberg (Sugar in Carle Place) and Jay Grossman (Two Steak & Sushi in New Hyde Park, Four Food Studio in Melville). Accordingly, the 100-plus establishments that will prepare the event's buffet dinner are among Long Island's most prestigious. In addition to those named above, participants include Besito in Roslyn and Huntington, Riverbay in Williston Park, Cipollini in Manhasset, Nisen in Woodbury and Commack, Rein in Garden City, Sweet Karma in East Meadow, Fiorello Dolce in Huntington and Cardinali in Syosset.
Tickets for the ball start at $100 and can be purchased at tinyurl.com/45mjdwl or by calling 631-300-3460.
Carlyle on the Green is in Bethpage State Park, at 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale. -- ERICA MARCUS