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Long Island restaurants serving great appetizers

Food enthusiasts know first impressions are essential -- an appetizer can make or break a dining experience. Here's a roundup of some standout starters on Long Island, from cheesy to spicy and everything in between.

Sliders are a house special, savory and generous,
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Sliders are a house special, savory and generous, at Secrets of Flight in Port Washington.

Bayview Kitchen

Bayview Kitchen (393 Bayview Ave., Amityville): Not So
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Bayview Kitchen (393 Bayview Ave., Amityville): Not So Nachos at this Caribbean comfort food spot feature plantain chips topped with red kidney beans and the standard cheese-pico-guac combo. The result is something so healthy-scrumptious you'll forever look on standard nachos with suspicion. More info: 631-608-4785, bayviewkitchen.com

Crabcake at Bryant & Cooper

Bryant & Cooper (2 Middle Neck Rd., Roslyn):
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Bryant & Cooper (2 Middle Neck Rd., Roslyn): The generous, flavorful Maryland crabcake at this steakhouse could double as a main course. More info: 516-627-7270, pollrestaurants.com

Crab rangoon at Rangsit 11

Rangsit 11 (11 W. Marie St., Hicksville): At
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Rangsit 11 (11 W. Marie St., Hicksville): At this Thai restaurant, try the crab rangoon, a spinach-flavored wonton stuffed with cream cheese, crab, celery and carrots. More info: 516-597-5771, rangsit11.com

Lobster risotto at FatFish on the Water

FatFish on the Water (28 Cottage Ave., Bay
Credit: Daniel Brennan

FatFish on the Water (28 Cottage Ave., Bay Shore): This joyous lobster risotto is shot through with butter, herbs and winking wedges of orange. It's a starter, but could even serve as a small main course. More info: 631-666-2899, fatfish.info

Bacon and peanut butter at Maldon & Mignonette

Maldon & Mignonette (243 Glen Cove Ave., Sea
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Maldon & Mignonette (243 Glen Cove Ave., Sea Cliff): Though the menu changes seasonally, bacon and peanut butter with roasted carrot and red quinoa is a permanent fixture here that really delivers on taste. More info: 516-801-3250, maldonmignonette.com 

Char-grilled oysters at Top Hat Oyster Bar & French Quarter Kitchen

Top Hat Oyster Bar & French Quarter Kitchen
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Top Hat Oyster Bar & French Quarter Kitchen (106 Bedford Ave., Bellmore): Char-grilled oysters with garlic butter and Parmesan are straightforward and tasty at this Louisiana-style restaurant. More info: 516-900-1560, tophatoysterbar.com

Fried calamari at The Snapper Inn

The Snapper Inn (500 Shore Dr., Oakdale): Fried
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

The Snapper Inn (500 Shore Dr., Oakdale): Fried calamari is boosted by hot cherry peppers and cilantro pesto at this waterside restaurant. More info: 631-589-0248, thesnapperinn.com 

Buffalo-style cauliflower florets at Bistro 25 East

Bistro 25 East (154 Montauk Hwy., Blue Point):
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Bistro 25 East (154 Montauk Hwy., Blue Point): Crisp, fried Buffalo-style cauliflower florets are assertively spicy; a stand-up app for vegetarians. More info: 631-823-0400, bistro25east.com 

Stuffed artichokes at Ravello Ristorante

Ravello Ristorante (1277 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington): Stuffed
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Ravello Ristorante (1277 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington): Stuffed artichokes arrive quartered, well-seasoned and sporting the tang of melted Gorgonzola cheese at this Italian eatery. More info: 631-271-8900, ravelloristorantehuntington.com 

Arancino at Dodici

Dodici (12 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre): Arancino
Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Dodici (12 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre): Arancino at this Italian restaurant features lightly bound rice, and a molten center of ground veal, ricotta and sweet peas. More info: 516-764-3000, dodicirestaurant.com

Kaburamaki at Stirling Sake

Stirling Sake (477 Main St., Greenport): Kaburamaki, slivers
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Stirling Sake (477 Main St., Greenport): Kaburamaki, slivers of salmon, shiso leaves and avocado wrapped in paper-thin turnips and dotted with spicy miso sauce, is a refreshing jumping-off point at this Japanese eatery. More info: 631-477-6782, stirlingsake.com 

Arancini at Viaggio Italian Chop House

Viaggio Italian Chop House (324 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Viaggio Italian Chop House (324 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Center): Arancini, or rice balls, finished with a tasty tomato sauce, are generous and flavorful at this restaurant that carefully balances Italian and steak-and-chop house cuisine. More info: 516-208-7789, viaggiorvc.com 

Fried calamari at Prato 850

Prato 850 (204 Jericho Tpke., Commack): This Italian-American
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Prato 850 (204 Jericho Tpke., Commack): This Italian-American gastropub serves fried calamari tossed with a sweet chili sauce and toasted peanuts. More info: 631-543-1400, prato850.com 

Cream-filled burrata at Ruggero's

Ruggero's (5768 Rte. 25A, Wading River): Cream-filled burrata
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Ruggero's (5768 Rte. 25A, Wading River): Cream-filled burrata nestled with shavings of prosciutto and drizzled in basil-infused olive oil is a delicious starter at this Italian restaurant located inside the Shoppes at East Wind. More info: 631-886-1625

Grilled oysters at Kingfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Kingfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant (990 Corporate Dr.,
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Kingfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant (990 Corporate Dr., Westbury): Grilled oysters accented with peppery Sriracha-sauce-spiked mayo highlight the appetizers at star chef Tom Schaudel's seafood spot, located in The Vanderbilt. More info: 516-640-5777, kingfishoysterbar.com

Nacho Mountain at North Tavern

North Tavern (2028 N. Country Rd., Wading River):
Credit: Daniel Brennan

North Tavern (2028 N. Country Rd., Wading River): Share the Nacho Mountain, a hefty pileup with Buffalo-style chicken, cheese, salsa and house-made guacamole, at this casual, family-run restaurant. More info: 631-886-2102, north-tavern.business.site  

Bone marrow at Harleys American Grille

Harleys American Grille (283 Main St., Farmingdale): Deep,
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Harleys American Grille (283 Main St., Farmingdale): Deep, fatty innards of bone marrow are smeared with gremolata and bacon-onion jam for our hands-down favorite starter at this steak and seafood spot. More info: 516-586-8000, harleysamericangrille.com

Smoked-sausage corn dogs at Bunker Hill American Taproom

Bunker Hill American Taproom (1912 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh):
Credit: Linda Rosier

Bunker Hill American Taproom (1912 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh): This clever take on corn dogs -- smoked sausage encased in crunchy, golden cornmeal batter, and served with a formidable mustard -- aims straight for your inner child and is a don't-miss dish. More info: 516-679-1775, bunkerhillny.com

Baked littleneck clams at Piccolo Mondo

Piccolo Mondo (1870 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington): Light
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Piccolo Mondo (1870 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington): Light and appetizing baked littlenecks are finished with garlic and flavorful breadcrumbs at this Italian spot. More info: 631-462-0718, piccolomondoli.com

Loaded disco tots at Copper Pot Chicken Co.

Copper Pot Chicken Co. (65 N. Village Ave.,
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Copper Pot Chicken Co. (65 N. Village Ave., Rockville Centre): House-made potato tots at Copper Pot are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, and even better as an appetizer of "loaded disco tots," finished poutine-like with brown gravy, scallions, two kinds of melted cheese and a crown of shredded pot roast. More info: 516-600-9656, copperpotchicken.com 

Mozzarella in carrozza at Locale

Locale (15 W. Main St., Patchogue): Mozzarella in
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Locale (15 W. Main St., Patchogue): Mozzarella in carrozza, golden fried triangles of mozzarella, is served over greens with basil oil, and a side of house made marinara. More info: 631-714-5220, localeonmain.com 

Charred octopus at City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill

City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill (1080 Corporate
Credit: Linda Rosier

City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill (1080 Corporate Dr., Westbury): The best opener at City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill is this tender and smoky charred octopus, a meaty arm atop avocado salsa verde and truly smashed potatoes, finished with a vinaigrette that hints of chorizo. More info: 516-693-5400, citycellarny.com

Pigs in a blanket at The Wild Goose

The Wild Goose (75 Main St., Port Washington):
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

The Wild Goose (75 Main St., Port Washington): At The Wild Goose, start with the pigs in a blanket -- meaty chunks of bite-sized pups that are wrapped in buttery puff pastry and served with a hearty mustard. More info: 516-441-5505, thewildgooseli.com

Oysters at Finley's Seafood

Finley's Seafood (44 Green St., Huntington): Oysters, from
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Finley's Seafood (44 Green St., Huntington): Oysters, from local bluepoints to Washington Kumamotos, are briny, sweet starters at Finley's Seafood. More info: 631-351-3440, finleyshuntington.com

Sriracha deviled eggs at The Brixton

The Brixton (111 Deer Park Ave., Babylon): These
Credit: Daniel Brennan

The Brixton (111 Deer Park Ave., Babylon): These sriracha deviled eggs, topped with bacon, chives, dill and paprika, are pleasantly smoky. More info: 631-587-2000, thebrixtonbabylon.com 

Baked clam 'stuffies' at Catch Oyster Bar

Catch Oyster Bar (63 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue):
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Catch Oyster Bar (63 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue): Baked clam "stuffies" are flavored with herbs and bacon at this seafood spot. More info: 631-627-6860, catchoysterbar.com 

Barbecue duck wings at Stone Creek Inn

Stone Creek Inn (405 Montauk Hwy., East Quogue):
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Stone Creek Inn (405 Montauk Hwy., East Quogue): Here, barbecue duck wings are meaty and vividly sauced. More info: 631- 653-6770, stonecreekinn.com 

Hummus at Petra Grill

Petra Grill (373 Old Country Rd., Carle Place):
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Petra Grill (373 Old Country Rd., Carle Place): Hummus is topped with chopped grilled lamb and garnished with toasted almonds, olive oil and tangy red sumac at this Middle Eastern eatery. More info: 516-743-9045, mypetragrill.com 

House-cured slab bacon at The Preston House and Hotel

The Preston House and Hotel (428 E. Main
Credit: Daniel Brennan

The Preston House and Hotel (428 E. Main St., Riverhead): Definitely try the house-cured slab bacon at this New American spot. It features pork belly that's cured for four days, air dried for one more, then braised, then cold smoked, then served glistening with fat and perched on a concentrated tomato jam. More info: 631-775-1550, theprestonhouseandhotel.com 

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