Stopped into Cheesecake Factory and got a small shocker: a new “small plates and snacks” section of the menu.
Suited my purposes, since I wasn’t up for major meal commitment. To start, I shared a little oblong Margherita pizzette, which cost $4.95: surprisingly good crust topped with melted mozzarella, tomato and a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil. Then I got a salad of arugula, marcona almonds, golden raisins and shaved Parmesan in a lemon and olive oil dressing. So bright and zesty. And also $4.95. Ahi tuna tartare with avocado and a soy-ginger-sesame sauce. Really fresh, convincingly Asian, at $6.95.
I’m not usually big on chain restaurants, but this one has integrity (virtually everything is made “from scratch” in house) as well as the drive to keep updating.
On Long Island, there are Cheesecake Factory restaurants in Huntington Station (Walt Whitman Mall) and Lake Grove (Smith Haven Mall).
Cheesecake factory handout photo of small plates