A FINE-TUNED MILL POND
Mill Pond House, the waterside mainstay on Route 25A in Centerport, always has had basic appeal. The location alone is attractive. Service: professional. Food: dependable. Now, the kitchen rivals the view.
David Intonato, who earned three stars at Jamesport Manor Inn, is the executive chef at Mill Pond. He has fine-tuned the menu, adding some creative fare to the already flavorful combo of steaks and seafood. Reason to return.
Standout dishes include a seviche of scallop and shrimp with charred heirloom tomatoes; and roasted Montauk swordfish, topped with miso-wasabi aioli and toasted panko bread crumbs, on a warm quinoa, edamame, heirloom tomato and wild mushroom salad.
Twice-roasted Crescent Farm duck is juicy and rich, finished with kiwi-orange sauce. And what's billed as lobster home fries actually works: sweet shellfish, spicy cherry peppers, caramelized onions, spuds and Sriracha-spiked crème fraîche. That tiki bar is fun, too.
Mill Pond House is at 437 E. Main St., Centerport; 631-261-7663. -- PETER M. GIANOTTI
Even those on tight budgets won't feel squeezed at the new Gimme2 Sandwiches & Salads in Huntington Station.
A friend and I stopped into the bare-bones place (with a few tables) for a takeout lunch. The first thing that impressed us was the hospitality of the crew, who gave us samples of the all-natural, all-fruit berry smoothie. From the specials board, both Cuban (roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickle and mustard) and Reuben (corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing) sandwiches turned out to be meltingly good and $5.95 apiece. Then, there was a seasoned house-made roast pork sandwich with barbecue sauce on a toasted bun. A lot of flavor for $3.75.
A near-classic Cobb salad ($5.95) featured bright greens, ripe red tomatoes, moist grilled chicken, crisp bacon, sliced avocado and crumbled Gorgonzola. All that was needed to make it a textbook example was hard-cooked egg.
Gimme 2 Sandwiches & Salads is at 195 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station; 631-319-1222. -- JOAN REMINICK
ICE-COLD ICE CREAM
Nitro, Merrick's mad-science lab/ ice-cream parlor has opened at a second location, in Syosset. Ice cream and frozen yogurt at Nitro are made right in front of you by pouring liquid nitrogen directly into an ice-cream (or yogurt) base. Clouds of smoke (actually harmless evaporating nitrogen gas) billow around the industrial-strength standing mixers while they churn away. The liquid nitrogen is so cold (minus 322 degrees Fahrenheit), it turns the base into ice cream in less than two minutes.
Nitro ice cream comes in at a relatively lean 10 percent butterfat content; the yogurt is fat-free. Both ice cream and yogurt are available in sugar-free versions. The regular size is a generous 8 ounces and costs $3.50 (which includes one topping). Nitro is at 15 Jackson Ave., Syosset, 516-802-0427. -- ERICA MARCUS