In the opening passage of "Moby Dick," when Ishmael senses a "damp, drizzly November" in his soul, Herman Melville figures it's about time for his whaler to go to sea. An alternative, however, is a bowl of good, bracing, autumn soup. Here are a few restaurants where you'll find one or more, at moderate prices.
Brasserie Cassis in Plainview, French in theme, appointments and taste, it is a destination for excellent soupe à l'oignon, or onion soup gratinée. It's soulful stuff, bracing and full-flavored, floating a crouton, under a lid of bubbling Gruyère cheese. Moderate.
Brasserie Cassis, 387 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Plainview, 516-653-0090, brasseriecassis.com
H20 Seafood & Sushi in Smithtown delivers a bowlful on New England with its hearty, creamy, warming clam chowder, spiked with applewood-smoked bacon. It's also on the menu at the East Islip branch of H20.
H20 Seafood & Sushi, 215 W. Main St., Smithtown, 631-361-6464; 166 E. Main St., East Islip, 631-277-4800; h2oseafoodsushi.com
LL Dent in Carle Place is a bastion of Southern-style cooking. You can enjoy a vegan kale and quinoa soup or spicy chicken soup. But the main event is called Toby's Georgia hash, a spirited and filling union of spicy ground pork and beef with stewed tomatoes and rice. Have a bowl instead of a cup.
LL Dent, 221 Old Country Rd., Carle Place, 516-742-0940. lldent.com