'PROST' TO OKTOBERFEST
The word "toast" stems from the German "prost." You'll be ready to say "cheers" at the new spot with the same name.
In full, it's Prost Grill & Garten, a German-style beer house and restaurant where Franklin Avenue meets the railroad tracks in Garden City. There are benches outside where you can enjoy the brews and food, as well as check on train traffic.
You'll find some first-class German beer, including Spaten Oktoberfest and Hofbrau Dunkel on draft, as well as American drafts from Samuel Adams Octoberfest to Brooklyn IPA. Good choices in bottles, too.
Husky fare prevails here. The smoked pork chops capped with red cabbage are tasty. Likewise, the bratwurst, knockwurst, bockwurst and lamb merguez. Nibble on the Bavarian pretzel. Share a platter of charcuterie and cheeses, and the potato-and-sauerkraut croquettes, too.
Oktoberfest in Munich starts pouring Sept. 22 this year.
Prost Grill & Garten, 652 Franklin Ave., Garden City; 516-427-5215. -- PETER M. GIANOTTI
WOW IN WOODBURY
Nisen Woodbury opened with great flair in 2009: dramatic dining room, lush textures, lots of color, high-style presentation. The food was very good.
Update: It's better now.
You'll still enjoy the over-the-top setting and the perpetual-motion sushi chefs. But the reasons to return include everything from the Kobe slider trio and the Kobe meatballs to roast Lola duck in a blood orange-Port wine
reduction and lobster tacos.
Traditionalists still will find fine sushi and sashimi, hand rolls and miso soup.
But there's something about that hearts of palm salad with shaved apple, arugula and a jalapeño vinaigrette. And the rack of lamb with horseradish-sour cream, roasted potatoes, asparagus and "brûléed" figs in a red-wine reduction. The main course here is surprise.
Nisen Woodbury, 7967 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury; 516-496-7000. -- PETER M. GIANOTTI
GOOD NEWS AT THE GOOD LIFE
There's a new chef at The Good Life in Massapequa Park, which, based on what I tasted on a recent visit, is starting to live up to its name. When the casual gastro pub first opened in 2010, Jon Cano was sous chef under former executive chef Ryan Augusta, who recently garnered three stars from Newsday at The Phoenix in Seaford. Now, Cano is in charge, and many of the recipes are his.
An appetizer of chicken and lemongrass pot-stickers ($8) had plenty of verve. And I don't remember the last time vegetarian three bean chili ($6) was this exciting. While I liked the Asian-style turkey burger ($10), it was a trifle dry. The showstopper was Cano's own invention, a rich and fragrant chicken tandoori ($16) that will appeal to even those who claim they don't like Indian food.
The Good Life is at 1039 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park, 516-798-4663. -- JOAN REMINICK