FROM FOOD WRITER ERICA MARCUS
Near the very top of the list of “Italian restaurants worth a drive” is Southold’s Caci North Fork, where chef Marco Pellegrini combines the elemental cuisine of his native Umbria with a New American innovation. To accommodate the season’s day trippers, Caci is open for both lunch and dinner on weekends. Wine aficionados may want to make the trip this Sunday, Oct. 2, when the restaurant is hosting a wine dinner with the respected Piemontese wine maker Pio Cesare. Among the five courses are bruschetta with black summer truffles (2014 Dolcetto d’Alba), and wood-grilled lamb chop with caramelized figs and vanilla (2011 Barolo). The festivities start at 6 p.m., the price per person is $125 (exclusive of tax and tip) and reservations are required.
56125 Main Rd., Southold, 631-765-4383, cacinorthfork.com
FROM RESTAURANT CRITIC MELISSA MCCART
What a relief to visit S.T.A.G.S Tap House in Huntington to find great service and a lively scene that’s not too loud: no need to shout across the table to be heard, as is becoming the exception rather than a rule. I’d recommend the broccolini and pimento cheese served with potato chips for dipping among beer-drinking snacks. There’s also a fine smoked trout served with apple, pickles and capers that’s awfully good, too. Both are $9.
308 Main St., Huntington, 631-923-2060, stagstaphouse.com
FROM FOOD EDITOR MARJORIE ROBINS
Got a little jap chae on your mind? Or hamchi kama with ponzu sauce? Then make your way over to Mikawa Japanese & Korean Modern in New Hyde Park. From a huge menu that includes everything from sushi and sashimi entrees to spicy calamari and pork katsu, your Asian Fusion cravings can be satisfied. And if things seem a bit too exotic, you can walk on over to Shake Shack in the corner of the strip mall and get a burger and fries.
1532 Union Tpke., New Hyde Park, 516-355-0572, mikawaNY.com