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3 restaurants that are hidden gems

Turkuaz Grill, located in Riverhead, serves Turkish and

Turkuaz Grill, located in Riverhead, serves Turkish and Mediterranean authenic cuisine. Turkuaz has tables that face the Peconic Riverfront. (June 15, 2011) Credit: Randee Daddona

Some restaurants are right in your face, situated on well-traveled thoroughfares. Others, you have to know about. We give you three worth the hunt.

PITA HOUSE, 100-27 S. Jersey Ave., East Setauket, 631-675-9051

Heritage Square is barely a strip mall -- it's more like a building with a parking lot. That building, situated well behind the Wild by Nature market in East Setauket, houses this surprisingly large Turkish restaurant, a source of savory dips as well as juicy kebabs.

TURKUAZ GRILL, 40 McDermott Ave., Riverhead, 631-591-1757

Hidden from street view is this charming Turkish restaurant near the Riverhead Aquarium, off the municipal lot that fronts the Peconic River. A major lure is the river view from the restaurant's porch. Another, is the food: a vibrant shepherd's salad, an assortment of lively meze (small plates) as well as grilled marinated kebabs. 

BISCUITS & BARBEQUE, 106 E. Second St., Mineola, 516-493-9797

Secreted away in an industrial section of Mineola is a sideways-facing 1940s vintage railroad-car diner serving up satisfying Louisiana-style food. Try the hot flaky biscuit with andouille sausage gravy or the fiery-sweet blackened catfish. Swell house-smoked chicken and ribs, too.


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