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Chow Down Diner in Bethpage: First Bites

Pan-crisped teriyaki chicken dumplings at the Chow Down

Pan-crisped teriyaki chicken dumplings at the Chow Down Diner in Bethpage in March 2014. Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

On a recent evening, dinner at the retro-contemporary new Chow Down Diner in Bethpage proved a success, both in terms of food and service. 

For starters, chef Steven Del Lima's savory pan-crisped chicken teriyaki dumplings ($8.95) rivaled those recalled from fine Asian restaurants. A terrific matzo ball soup ($4.95)  starred a huge Gibraltar of a matzo ball, surprisingly light and wholesome-tasting, rising out of a rich carrot-studded chicken broth. Lobster mac and cheese ($9.50) was opulent; meat loaf, plush and homey. Biggest surprise was that the showpiece desserts, like the chocolate Kahlua cupcake ($4.50), tasted as good as they looked.

Within the near future, the diner, which opened in February under the aegis of Gold Coast Hospitality, headed by Ruby Singh, will launch a new spring menu and offer breakfast all day. 

Chow Down Diner is at 4011 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage, 516-597-5310.