To all doubters, I can report that time does stand still.
At the Locust Valley Inn, that has its benefits, of course: a busy bar, familiarity, predictability, the vaguely Tudor, slightly Norman half-timber and stucco look.
It also means that you'll identify the duck a l'orange by a little parasol that has speared a sliced strawberry and a round of orange. The fruity accent accompanies the limp bird, which otherwise has little to do with the flavor of fruit. You get tired just thinking about it.
Actually, the only thing that seems new at the Inn is the black bean-and-corn salsa that goes with standard-issue sauteed crab cakes. The house's onion soup has a hint of rosemary, but it's otherwise very thin stuff. Sauerbraten is one of the Inn's officially designated German specialties. It's an ultrabland version paired with industrial red cabbage. Only mashed potatoes survive.
I'll keep it short: Don't stick around for dessert.
Locust Valley Inn, 225 Birch Hill Rd., Locust Valley; 516-676-5377.
The duck. Newsday photo / Peter Gianotti