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Leap Year: 3 Long Island restaurants to try on Feb. 29

The pastrami knish sandwich at Press 195 in

The pastrami knish sandwich at Press 195 in Rockville Centre features pastrami, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut pressed between the two halves of a square knish. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman

Leap year gives you one more excuse and 24 hours to find some guilty pleasures.

It happens about every four years, so make your quadrennial day count. Dine out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Monday, Feb. 29.

To ensure that you balance the three meals, consider a theme. In 2016: hot sandwiches.

So, in the morning, head to Relish in Kings Park. Among the savory breakfast items there is one accurately dubbed the Old School Egg Sandwich. This little winner is composed of bacon, ham, or sausage with American cheese on a toasted roll. It costs $6.25. If this doesn’t seem opulent enough, try the Hungry Man Hero: three eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, American cheese on a toasted hero, for $11.45.

And if you’re already thinking about a different theme, there’s the union of Cheddar grits and Applewood-smoked bacon, with two eggs, home fries and toast. $13.35.

Finding a good sandwich for lunch is an easy search. This year, visit a newcomer, Artisans Eatery in Islip, an establishment devoted to restoring lunch as a fine meal. From the panini press come artful constructs such as the “Reuben Twist,” with pastrami, beer-braised sauerkraut, Gruyère cheese, and Russian dressing on a sesame-seed pretzel; and “Perky the Pig,” 12-hour roast pork, espresso-barbecue sauce, sharp Cheddar, and apple slaw on sourdough. They’re $4.79 to $9.59.

Keeping to the panino approach, head to Press 195 in Rockville Centre for dinner. The “hot press” there applies to combos such as roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickle chips and roasted garlic spread on ciabatta; chorizo sausage, sautéed peppers and onions, Cotija cheese, Monterey Jack and Mexican-seasoned “crème,” also in ciabatta. The hot sandwiches are $11 to $14.50. You also can have a sandwich with two knishes rather than bread to keep in the content. Brisket, pastrami and meatloaf are suitable choices.

And even Arby’s is celebrating leap year. The meat-centric chain will have vegetarian additions to the menu on Feb. 29.

Whether they do that again in 2020 is uncertain.

Carpe diem.

Relish, 2 Pulaski Rd., Kings Park; 631-292-2740

Artisans Eatery, 174 Islip Ave., Islip; 631-446-1919

Press 195, 22 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre; 516-536-1950

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