Dining out in Stony Brook presents you with variety and very good food. Here are five winners, distinctive and easily recommended.
This array takes you from the more affordable end to date-night treat, from traditional Korean cuisine to classic Italian.
Red Tiger Dumpling House, 320 Stony Brook Rd., 631-675-7755: The ardent pursuit of Shanghai-style soup dumplings leads to this little spot just off Nesconset Highway. Red Tiger prepares steamed pork soup buns and steamed crabmeat-and-pork soup buns (pictured). You'll also like the double-cooked pork, Sichuan beef and General Tso's chicken.
Ssambap, 2350 Nesconset Hwy., 631-675-6402: Korean barbecue highlights Ssambap. Have the short rib, thinly sliced rib-eye. Or marinated pork belly. Or consider the fiery cod stew with tofu and vegetables. Precede them with pan-fried shrimp dumplings, deep-fried sweet-and-sour pork, kimchee-scallion pancakes. (Pictured: octopus bokkum, a spicy stir fry with vegetables).
Latitude 121 Coastal Grill, 121 Main St., 631-675-9263: The newest addition to downtown dining is this refreshing New American restaurant. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recommended: mini pork wings; sliders; lobster bisque; grilled swordfish (pictured, with with roasted tomato couscous, quinoa and caper-lemon brown butter); lobster thermidor potpie; grilled strip steak; root beer float.
Mirabelle, 150 Main St. (Three Village Inn), 631-751-0555: In its 30th year, Mirabelle celebrates farm-to-table cooking, with the same menu in the restaurant and in Mirabelle Tavern. Seasonal hits include chilled asparagus, parsnip and pea soup; and roasted pork loin with baby artichokes and red onion marmalade. All-year: the two-course duck Mirabelle (pictured is part two, duck breast served over grits, with pearl onions and huckleberry sauce).
Pentimento, 93 Main St., 631-689-7755: This Italian restaurant improves year after year, with dishes such as Berkshire pork chop Milanese, vegetable stew with pesto, spinach-and-ricotta ravioli, peppers in sweet-sour sauce, fried shishito peppers, fried chickpea fritters and meatballs in tomato-basil sauce. (Pictured is a honey-pine nut tart.)