Seeing the chef at work adds another dimension to dining out. Here are three restaurants where, from the right table, you'll be able to watch the whole show.
Observe Marc Anthony Bynum's big flavors come together in a small space. The menus change regularly. Some recent selections: scallop crudo with yuzu, pickled red onion, jalapenos, and lotus root; pork belly with kimchee; Meyer lemon-and-ricotta risotto; Niman Ranch pork chop; pan-roasted chicken.
291 Main St., Farmingdale; 516-293-4874.
LEFT COAST KITCHEN & COCKTAILS
Chris Randell's perpetual-motion gastropub offers a peak at the kitchen in action. Recommended: hot-and-sour "slurpee" noodles; the "Porky McPub" platter; a warm, Connecticut-style lobster roll; the chicken-and-waffle stack; lamb Bolognese arrabbiata.
1810 Merrick Rd., Merrick; 516-868-5338.
Steven Gallagher's stage is tiny but he gives a king-size performance. Notable dishes include bucatini alla carbonara, spaghetti all'Amatriciana, ricotta gnocchi with heirloom squash and hazelnut brown butter, striped bass with fingerling potatoes, dandelion greens, and lemon jam.
532 N. Country Rd., St. James; 631-584-3518.