Popping up like a daffodil, Long Island's spring restaurant week runs through May 3, with the exception of Saturday, May 2, when fixed-price dining will not be offered after 7 p.m.
The dining rooms taking part include more than a few where it requires wizardry to keep the tab under $50 per person. But more than 120 restaurants in Nassau and Suffolk will be offering three-course, fixed-price dinners for $27.95, excluding tax, tips and beverages.
So, go bargain hunting, visiting a restaurant that ordinarily might stretch your budget like hand-pulled mozzarella. Here are 15 recommendations where you'll enjoy the food as much as the special price. Our only advice? Reserve early.
For a full list of participating restaurants, go to longislandrestaurantweek.com.
Caci North Fork
Caci North Fork, Southold: This rustic spot has made a lot of noise with its expertly prepared food. Chef Marco Pellegrini's seasonal cooking for Restaurant Week includes seared duck breast with apple chutney (pictured); grilled New York strip with arugula, Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar; spaghetti alla chitarra with pork ragu; and a ricotta, orange and chocolate torta with vanilla sauce.
Polo Steakhouse, Garden City: This opulent establishment plans to serve corn chowder with smoked bacon and fried clams, mussels with French fries, smoked pork chop with sweet potatoes and apple-onion chutney, grilled jumbo shrimp (pictured), grilled strip steak with steak fries, Oreo cheesecake, Meyer lemon tart.
Noah's, Greenport: Modern and traditional, sharp and subtle, chef Noah Schwartz's North Fork seafooder has a sense of place and of style. On Schwartz's special menu: local potato leek soup, seafood fritters, spring carrot risotto, espresso-rubbed grilled sirloin flap steak and flourless chocolate cake.
Market Bistro, Jericho: Busy and buoyant, Market Bistro is a shopping-center restaurant that fits in like a Manhattan detour. Chef Chuck Treadwell's Restaurant Week menu includes coq au vin (pictured), with spring peas, wild mushrooms and smoked bacon; baked salmon with pancetta, brussel sprouts, parsnips and pearl onions; meatballs with garlic toast; and bread pudding with chocolate, caramelized banana and peanut butter ice cream.
Benny's Ristorante, Westbury: Traditional Italian, this eatery will offer freshly tossed Caeser salad (pictured); eggplant stuffed with capellini, ricotta and Parmesan cheese with tomato sauce; mussels in tomato broth; cod marechiara; branzino with shellfish and linguine; pork osso buco; cavatelli with veal Bolognese; chicken au gratin; ricotta cheesecake; and bread pudding.
Tocolo Cantina, Garden City: High on this year's list of newcomers, this restaurant stars with Mexican cuisine with a California accent. The fixed-price menu includes guacamole, salsas, Mexican corn with Cotija cheese (pictured) and four kinds of tacos (chicken, Berkshire pork belly, fish and vegetable). For dessert, tres leches cake, rice pudding, Popsicles.
Morton's The Steakhouse
Morton's The Steakhouse, Great Neck: The local link in the chain, this steak house's offerings include Caesar salad; onion soup; filet mignon; double-cut pork chop; honey-chili glazed salmon (pictured); crab-stuffed jumbo shrimp with Parmesan capellini; chicken with artichoke, capers and asparagus. For dessert, Key lime pie, cheesecake, double-chocolate mousse.
The Fifth Season
The Fifth Season, Port Jefferson: It's opposite the harbor. On the restaurant-week menu: fried local clams; local potato-leek soup; roasted beet-and-goat cheese Napoleon; macaroni and cheese; cavatelli with English peas, caramelized fennel and black truffle-pecorino Romano sauce; pan-seared Arctic char; and strawberry crumb tart.
Monsoon Steak & Sushi
Monsoon Steak & Sushi, Babylon: The restaurant-week menu includes Monsoon's essential kung pao monkfish (pictured). Also: miso-mushroom soup, edamame dumplings with mushroom-sake broth, spicy tuna roll, sweet-and-spicy crisp chicken, crème brûlée, and, for a supplement, the house's stirring "shaking beef" with shishito peppers.
Mirabelle, Stony Brook: Mirabelle's restaurant-week selections include a warm seafood terrine in brioche, with sorrel butter sauce and shrimp tempura (pictured); scallop-and-salmon terrine; spring peas-and-crab salad; Provençal fish soup; potato gnocchi; paella with chicken and seafood; stuffed veal breast with spring vegetable ragout; lamb shank; roasted branzino with asparagus sauce. Among desserts: profiteroles and linzertorte.
Verace, Islip: The stylish Italian spot's restaurant-week dishes include meatballs with tomato sauce; steamed mussels; Caesar salad; chicken saltimbocca; ravioli with braised Bolognese stuffing (pictured); shrimp, scampi-style with garlic and butter, tomato and basil; cannoli with date-dill sauce; and gelati.
La Marmite, Williston Park: The updated, Continental mainstay's menu offers burrata cheese with grilled asparagus and prosciutto, cacio e pepe pasta, pappardelle with lamb Bolognese sauce (pictured), steelhead salmon with leeks, roasted chicken with porcini sauce, cinnamon-sugar doughnuts, apricot-almond bar.
Mac's Steakhouse, Huntington: Steak house and New American mainstays come together at this eatery. The restaurant-week options include Caesar salad, chargrilled skirt steak (pictured), braised short ribs, shrimp-and-scallop risotto, and, for a supplement, prime rib with horseradish cream. Desserts: cheesecake, chocolate cake, carrot cake.
Lola, Great Neck: Creative and contemporary, this spot's restaurant-week selections include torchon of foie gras, pissaladière tart with caramelized onions and duck rillettes, seared Hudson Valley duck breast (pictured), pappardelle with roasted mushrooms and black-truffle cream, toasted almond blondie.
George Martin's Strip Steak
George Martin's Strip Steak, Great River: This well-appointed restaurant is offering crisp broiled artichokes, fried calamari with marinara sauce, pistachio-crusted salmon, crisp duck with a Thai-chili glaze, grilled pork medallions, chicken Milanese, cheesecake and a berry cobbler.