The new double-decker Landmark Diner is open for business in Roslyn.
The all-American diner, born more than a century ago, evolved from a simple lunch wagon into a modest roadside eatery designed to be a ringer for a railroad car. Assembled in a factory before being transported to a site, its stock in trade was a quick homestyle meal at a fair price in pleasant surroundings.
Many of Long Island's diners have taken a different track, emphasizing flashy decor and encyclopedia-sized menus.
But then, there's the newly reborn Landmark Diner. First opened in 1964 on the corner of Northern Boulevard and Searingtown Road in Roslyn, the operation was bought in 1983 by brothers John, Tom and Louis Tiglias (who, like many Long Island diner owners, are of Greek descent). Three years ago, when the place needed extensive work, the brothers decided to purchase a nearby piece of property and build an entirely new structure. The idea of a double-decker diner, modeled after today's double-decker trains, seemed a natural, paying homage to rail cars both past and present.
The new Landmark rises two stories, its elevator visible from the exterior. It's hard to miss, especially when illuminated by neon at night. Upstairs, there's additional seating plus a bar and TV lounge.
Instead of a voluminous menu, chef Chris Palmer's pared-down bill of fare uses such ingredients as hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken and beef; preparations are mostly (although not entirely) from scratch.
Prices are pretty much the same as at most Long Island diners. An order of tender buttermilk pancakes costs $6.50. Dessert choices (like a tart lemon meringue pie and light layered chocolate mousse cake) are fewer in number but higher in quality than the rococo creations filling so many diner showcases.
The Landmark Diner is located at 1027 Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516-304-5387