During Long Island Restaurant Week, April 22 through April 29, diners can sample dishes from some of the area’s most accomplished chefs for the bargain price of $28.95.
In the excitement of choosing between the calamari and tuna tartare, the pasta and the rib eye, it’s easy to forget that there’s a third course included in the deal.
If you have a sweet tooth, choose a restaurant where pastry is a priority, and where dessert is the climactic finish to a thoughtfully designed menu.
Here are some places with outstanding desserts. For a full listing, go to Longislandrestaurantweek.com.
Copperhill, 234 Hillside Ave., Williston Park, 516-746-1243, copperhillny.com
This is the first Restaurant Week for Copperhill, which serves New American cuisine in a restored Victorian farmhouse and its covered porch. Expect an eclectic selection of appetizers and mains like those on the dinner menu, which include coconut curry mussels, burrata toast with broccoli rabe, pappardelle with lamb Bolognese, and grilled hanger steak with Brussels sprout hash.
Co-owner Bari Kearns did share her chef husband Gregory Kearns’ enticing Restaurant Week dessert menu (subject to change), which features a strawberry rhubarb crostata with pistachio ice cream, hazelnut chocolate mousse with brownie brittle and Copperhill milk and cookies.
Chefs 724, 4409 Austin Blvd., Island Park, 516-867-0700, chefs724.com
Brothers David and Joseph Farahat both graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and put in time at top dining rooms, including Le Cirque and the River Café, before opening their restaurant a year ago. Their professional technique is put to use in a menu of homestyle American, Italian and French classics. For Restaurant Week they’ll be offering seven-cheese mac and cheese, arancini and classic French onion soup as appetizers. Entree choices include rigatoni with shredded short rib sauce and a chicken paillard with caramelized shallots and roasted artichokes.
Desserts are all house-made. The brothers’ famous warm, honey-soaked semolina cake, handed down to them from their mother and one of their most-requested desserts, will be on the menu, along with other specialties including caramelized apple crumble and crème brûlée.
Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas, 1002 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-228-5400, spuntinowinebar.com
This wine-centric restaurant with modern industrial décor usually serves small plates. Maybe that’s why during Restaurant Week you’ll get four courses instead of three. Salads include beet and watercress, baby arugula and strawberry, and caprese.
Then there is a small plate of either fried zucchini, meatballs, or fried dough with prosciutto; bruschetta (with toppings like pesto and artichoke or Gorgonzola and apple). A main like pork ribs, flat iron steak or red snapper comes next.
Finally, for dessert, Spuntino is offering its house-made doughnuts, served hot out of the fryer, dusted with powdered sugar, and with a choice of chocolate, Nutella, or caramel dipping sauces on the side.
Cowfish, 258 E. Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays, 631-594-3868, cowfishrestaurant.com
Enjoy food with a view at this waterfront spot with two patios that overlook the Shinnecock Canal. Simple dishes are cleverly embellished. Avocado deviled eggs, an appetizer, are made with guacamole, sugared bacon and smoked paprika. A lamb Porterhouse comes with chickpeas, artichokes, feta and a mint chimichurri.
Attention to detail extends to the house-made desserts, which include banana cream pie with vanilla custard, a graham cracker pecan crust and chocolate shavings; an iron skillet cookie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, and a flourless chocolate cake with fresh fruit, Belgian hot fudge and whipped cream.
Preston House, 428 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-775-1550, theprestonhouseandhotel.com
Be the first of your friends to try this brand-new East End restaurant, helmed by Hamptons vet Matthew Boudreau. His farm-to-table style will be on display during Restaurant Week with appetizers like local clam chowder with North Fork potatoes and mains including the catch of the day with wheat berries, roasted Brussels sprouts, carrots and herb relish.
Desserts are intricately designed: The triple chocolate fudge brownie comes with candied popcorn and buttermilk ice cream. The burnt Basque cheesecake is topped with organic Meyer lemon curd.
Mirabelle, 150 Main St., Stony Brook, 631-751-0555, lessings.com
Mirabelle, helmed by celebrated Long Island chef Guy Reuge, has a large and luxurious Restaurant Week menu, including some very enticing dessert choices. Start off with an asparagus salad with truffle vinaigrette or a fricassee of snails with potatoes, tomatoes, chorizo and spring onions. You might choose pan-roasted haddock with morel-cipollini ragout and a saffron-vanilla sauce as a main, or miniature T-bone lamb chops with braised fennel, fried chickpeas and yogurt, if you prefer.
Save room for one of Reuge’s tarts. On offer are lemon meringue, ginger almond and Champagne mango, as well as chocolate mousse and an American artisan cheese tray with toasted raisin-pecan bread.
LI RESTAURANT WEEK
WHEN | WHERE April 22 to 29, every night except Saturday, when it may be available only until 7 p.m. Most menus include three courses for $28.95.
INFO Go to longislandrestaurantweek.com for details and a list of participating establishments.