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Long Island restaurants that aren’t romantic but have good food

Bigelow's offers both clam strips and full Ipswich

Bigelow's offers both clam strips and full Ipswich clams (with bellies, shown here) that they bread on-site just before frying. Photo Credit: Newsday / Rebecca Cooney

Maybe you’re not in a relationship, maybe you’re mad at your partner, maybe you’re just sick of Valentine’s Day. We have compiled this list of Long Island’s least romantic restaurants (with good food) just for you.

V & T

The food court at this Asian market boasts a decor that’s little down from bus depot, but it is the best place in Nassau County to get authentic Chinese roast meats — chickens, ducks, char siu, roast pork. Afterward, you can stroll (alone) into the neighboring supermarket and peruse the market’s unparalleled selection of arcane Asian greens and live carp.

12 N. Franklin St., Hempstead; 516-481-1133

Bigelow’s

Eating at a counter is the antithesis of romantic dining; it’s best done alone and, even if you’re with someone, you needn’t look at him because everyone’s attention here is focused on the fryolators around which the counter wraps. Also, the fried Ipswich clams are so dreamy, you’re apt to forget about your date.

79 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre; 516-678-3878, bigelows-rvc.com

Kensington Kosher Deli

Delis in general always strike me as deeply unromantic. Perhaps because they call to mind my paternal grandfather, a singularly unromantic figure (even to my grandmother). And anyway, is there anything less romantic than pastrami on rye? Is there any drink less seductive than Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray?

27A Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck; 516-487-2410, kensingtonkosherdeli.com

Dominican Restaurant 5

Is it the glowing neon lights? The huge hunks of meat in steam-table trays? The fridge full of cold sodas? All of Long Island’s numbered Dominican Restaurants offer big portions of good food at a great price, but none is particularly long on romance. The professional consensus here at Newsday is that Dominican Restaurant 5 in Deer Park has even less ambience than Dominican Restaurant 2 in Uniondale or Dominican Restaurant 4 in Farmingdale.

1897 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park; 631-940-9783

Kabobshak

Unless you’re turned on by the sight of tahini dripping down someone’s chin, Kabobshak qualifies as a romance-free zone. This modest, brightly lit Mediterranean eatery, located in a strip mall dominated by a defunct Island Dollar store, specializes in kebabs and shawarma wrapped in homemade pita — sandwiches that are impossible to eat without making a mess. Then again, it’s got more atmosphere than the Pudgie’s Famous Chicken across the parking lot.

680 Middle Country Rd., Selden; 631-320-3351, kabobshak.com

Slurp Ramen

Is it possible to be less alluring than when you are sucking noodles into your mouth, splattering broth all over table and shirt? At Slurp Ramen in Port Jefferson, whose sleek ambience hews more toward operating room than boîte, there’s no candlelight to obscure the eponymous business at hand: slurping ramen. On the plus side, the ramen is excellent, far more satisfying than a bad date.

 109 W. Broadway, Port Jefferson, 631-509-1166, slurpusa.com
 
Turkuaz Mediterranean Gourmet and Pasha Kebob

These two excellent Turkish establishments share the same, deeply unromantic setup: a handful of tables surrounded by grocery shelves, a steam table and an open kitchen. Once seated, you’ll probably have to get up again to fetch your food, which will come on plastic or Styrofoam. High-heel wearers beware: It’s a tossup as to which one has the worse parking situation: You’re caught between the Scylla of Turkuaz’s street parking and the Charybdis of Pasha’s tiny, potholed lot. 

Turkuaz Mediterranean Gourmet is at 493 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead, 516-280-2973, turkuazmediterranean.com

Pasha Kebob is at 656 Route 109, Lindenhurst, 631-225-7499, kebobtonight.com

 

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