Long Island's best restaurants: New spots you have to try

Feed Me’s 10th Top 100 list chronicles and celebrates the changes wrought over the last decade.

These new restaurants demonstrate the continued vitality and energy of Long Island’s food scene. 

1653 PIZZA COMPANY

80 Gerard St., Huntington; 631-824-6071, 1653pizzaco.com

There’s a lot going on under the hood at this Huntington spot, one that’s not quite a pizzeria, but serves superlative pie, and not quite a wine bar, but pours some of the most interesting wines in town. Think about starting with a sparkling Vouvray and plates of blistered, subtly briny artichoke hearts, crisp orbs of cacio e pepe suppli (rice balls) or oven-charred prawns. Then segue to a supple house pasta or the coal-oven maneuverings of pizzaiolo Michael Vigliotti. A clam pizza, for instance, is vibrant with pickled banana peppers and lemon zest; another pie is smeared with pistachio pesto, piled with folds of mortadella and dotted with stracciatella cheese. Friendly yet serious, unpretentious yet elegant, 1653 sets itself apart. —Corin Hirsch

The white clam pizza at 1653 Pizza Co. in Huntington.

The white clam pizza at 1653 Pizza Co. in Huntington. Credit: Linda Rosier

HERMANAS KITCHEN AND COCKTAILS

136 S. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst; 631-991-8999, hermanaslindy.com

It hasn’t been the smoothest road: Opening just weeks before the first pandemic-era lockdown, the three friends who own Hermanas (“sisters” in Spanish) powered through with vibrant, imaginative Mexican, Tex-Mex and Central American food that, even in a takeout container, exuded style and pulsed with flavor. The layered, Technicolor tacos range from pernil (slow-cooked pork shoulder) or tequila-lime marinated shrimp to novel vegetarian versions, such as roasted rainbow carrots sheathed in al pastor sauce. Those who simply want to sip exceptional cocktails can snack on small plates: crunchy tostones, empanadas filled with Manchego cheese and mushrooms, cotija-showered elote (grilled corn on the cob) and a changing roster of ceviche and quesadillas with bright, racy accents. — Corin Hirsch

Left: Partners Lauren Nash, Kristen Lapof and Sara Pesserillo at Hermanas Kitchen and Cocktails in Lindenhurst. Top: Roasted rainbow carrot taco with al pastor sauce, curtido and cotija cheese at Hermanas Kitchen and Cocktails. Bottom: Turn the Beet Around cocktail with tequila, lime, beet, celery and agave at Hermanas Kitchen and Cocktails. Photo credit: Yvonne Albinowski

ANKER

47 Front St., Greenport; 631-477-1300, ankerny.com

Anker goes full steam ahead on local fish and a gill-to-tail ethos with a menu that’s unlike anything else on Long Island. Executive chef Will Horowitz, who was raised in Orient, and chef de cuisine Diego Garcia grill local oysters and rich-flavored fish collars, dust fried local shark with Madras curry and turn local porgy into merguez sausage. The fish-and- chips, made with black sea bass, comes with a guajillo tartar sauce; the mussels, with roasted fennel and a complexly flavored broth. For carnivores: steak frites, hickory-smoked lamb brisket. The roof deck offers a great view of Greenport harbor. — Erica Marcus

A selection of dishes at Anker in Greenport.

A selection of dishes at Anker in Greenport. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

BLUEBIRD KITCHEN

2405 Merrick Rd., Bellmore; 516-962-9600, bluebirdkitchenli.com

When New York City chef Al Di Meglio and his partners opened Bluebird Kitchen in what had been a Red Robin, they expunged every vestige of fast-foodery. At the core of the menu are elevated takes on American com- fort foods, skillfully executed by Di Meglio’s deputy, Brock Katz. Buttery dinner rolls are made in-house, the pigs in a blanket are kosher franks wrapped in puff pastry seeded in a house-made “everything” spice blend, the burger is topped with Adirondack Cheddar. Di Meglio’s Italian heritage slips in via the chicken Parm with house-made rigatoni or carbonara made with his own spaghetti alla chitarra. A handful of dishes, such as a dry-aged strip steak or halibut with bok choy and oyster mushrooms, would be at home in a much fancier restaurant. — Erica Marcus

Left: Housemade brioche dinner rolls with roasted garlic herb butter and sea salt at Bluebird Kitchen in Bellmore. Top: The dining room at Bluebird Kitchen. Bottom: Braised lamb shank with cauliflower puree, roasted root vegetables and cauliflower salad at Bluebird Kitchen. Photo credit: Alejandra Villa Loarca / Newsday

LAURA’S BBQ

76 Shore Rd., Glen Cove; 516-715-1500, lauras-bbq.com

Chef-owner Lloyd Adams, who hails from a tiny town between Austin and Fort Worth, is an unfailing wizard of the pit, and for years, he and his wife, Laura, catered high-profile Long Island events before going brick-and-mortar in Glen Cove. Adams’ beef is all smoky succulence, dependably tender without courting fattiness, and as genuine as anything you’ll find in the Lone Star State. The same is true of the ribs and barbecued chicken. The vibe is as friendly as the food, especially at the outdoor bar and patio, which plays host to live music and even a little two-stepping from time to time. — Scott Vogel

A pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw at Laura's BBQ in...

A pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw at Laura's BBQ in Glen Cove. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

RUTA OAXACA

30 E. Main St., Patchogue; 631-569-2233, rutaoaxacamex.com

Oaxaca may be thousands of miles away, but on the back patio of its Patchogue namesake, a grilled pineapple mezcal margarita in hand, you could be transported to Mexico’s culinary capital. At this stylish offshoot of the Astoria original, chefs Carlos and Felipe Arellanos finely tune cochinita pibil tacos and shrimp-calamari ceviche, quesadillas jammed with rajas and Oaxaca cheese, melting seafood enchiladas that fuse the ocean with creamy habanero-spiked salsa. There are multiple spins on mole (a complex sauce that can have dozens of ingredients) and the slow-cooked baby back ribs practically fall apart under your gaze. — Corin Hirsch

Left: The dining room and bar at Ruta Oaxaca in Patchogue. Top: A cocktail at at Ruta Oaxaca. Bottom: Elizabeth Cruz makes drinks at the bar at Ruta Oaxaca. Photo credit: Linda Rosier

BEIT ZAYTOON

468 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead; 516-483-3941, beitzaytoon.com

What’s rarer than a good Lebanese restaurant on Long Island? One that serves kibbeh naye, a sublime lamb tartare and bulgur wheat combo. The soft, pink, modestly spiced kibbeh naye at Elias Ghafary’s year-old establishment is authentic and exceptional, as is the more common fried kibbeh, terrifically fresh fattoush, expert babaganoush, house-made sausages, chicken livers punched up by a pomegranate sauce and creamy hummus with a minced lamb topping. For dessert, there is rose water–scented rice pudding. — Scott Vogel

A selection of dishes at Beit Zaytoon in West Hempstead.

A selection of dishes at Beit Zaytoon in West Hempstead. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

IBERICO

412 Rte. 25A, St. James; 631-307-5620, ibericony.com

At Iberico in St. James, Jake Perdie and Cynthia Alfonso’s menu lists about 20 tapas, including tortilla Española (a plump potato omelet), pulpo a la Gallega (octopus and potatoes tossed with smoked paprika) and gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic sauce). Create your own board of Spanish cheeses and cured meats or move on to larger dishes such as piquillo peppers stuffed with oxtail, cod with chickpeas or cooked-to-order paella for two. Iberico’s wine list is almost all Spanish and a great opportunity to go beyond sangria, Rioja and Cava into Priorat, Xarello, Txacolina and more, as well as sherries and vermouths rarely seen on Long Island. — Erica Marcus

Left: Pulpo a la gallega at Iberico in St. James. Top: The dining room at Iberico. Bottom: Chef Celio Berdomo with Tortilla Espanola at Iberico. Photo credit: Linda Rosier

O MANDARIN

600 W. Old Country Rd., Hicksville; 516-622-6666, omandarin.com

It took Peter Liu more than two years to transform the former Mio Posto in Hicksville into an opulent tribute to Chinese culture. Many of the building materials—reclaimed bricks and tiles, a replica of a Tang-dynasty temple—come from China, and the food, courtesy of James Beard award–semifinalist chef, Eric Gao, is as grand as the interior. The authentic recipes are drawn from all over China, and the presentations are designed to impress: a ziggurat of wok-braised shrimp crowned with microgreens, succulent jasmine tea–smoked duck reposing on a bed of ruffled shrimp chips, a whole pork shank cradled in an enormous lotus leaf. “We buy the best meat, fish and produce,” Liu said. “We are serious about what we do. Chinese food, Chinese culture has a 5,000-year history. I believe that my generation has the responsibility for transforming American people’s perceptions of what Chinese cooking is about.” — Erica Marcus

Mandarin pork shank with onion, jalapeno, scallion, wild pepper and...

Mandarin pork shank with onion, jalapeno, scallion, wild pepper and potato at O Mandarin in Hicksville. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

MAHAL

290 Glen Cove Rd., Roslyn Heights; 516-686-6983, mahalny.com

Gold flatware, white-tablecloth sophistication and an overall sense of occasion are a spectacular setup for chef and co-owner Santokh Singh’s equally spectacular fare. For years, Singh honed his skills in Manhattan, at Dawat and as head chef at Tamarind Tribeca. Now you’ll find him in Roslyn Heights and his magic is evident right from the start. Singh’s lacquered, tender Peshawari lamb chops are definitive, and his shrimp moilee—a coconut shell loaded with prawns floating in a thick suspension of coconut milk spiked with turmeric and ginger— demonstrates a flair for the dramatic. On the menu, creativity may be found wherever you look—even in the malai naan, its cilantro-flecked dough neatly stuffed with clotted cream and accompanied by a peppery tomato dipping sauce. — Scott Vogel

Left: Chef Santokh Singh inside the kitchen at Mahal in Roslyn Heights. Top: Peshawari lamb chops at Mahal. Bottom: The dining room at Mahal. Photo credit: Randee Daddona

KUTTANADAN

248-54 Jericho Tpke., Floral Park; 516-305-5083, kuttanadanny.com

This takeout-only Floral Park spot—which specializes in dishes from Kerala, on India’s Malabar Coast—dazzles with dishes such as “devil beef,” crunchy fried sardines and peppery garam masala pork roast. Equally splendid are sides that include thoran, a coconut and cabbage stir-fry, and avial, a hearty vegetable curry. Fine sauces, a key component of many of the menu choices, almost commands you to sop them up with light, layered malabari paratha. — Scott Vogel

"Devil beef" at Kuttanadan in Floral Park.

"Devil beef" at Kuttanadan in Floral Park. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski