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100 ways Long Island restaurants are getting creative in 2020

Whether moved by desperation, boredom, indomitability, ingenuity or some magical combination of all four — the fact is, restaurants and bars, farm stands and markets, bakeries and sweet shops, even town boards and supermarkets, have birthed ideas both big and small. Some might never have seen the light of day otherwise, many are so good they deserve to live on.

Below is a list of 100 potables, edibles, innovations and reconsiderations we’ve come to love in this time of pandemics, one that’s far from exhaustive. Think of it as a snapshot of an extraordinary time, a testament to Long Island’s food community, whose resilience, energy, integrity and love of great eating may one day come to define this era as much as the turbulence that gave rise to it.

1. Steakhouses like Manhasset’s Bryant & Cooper and Islip’s Tellers turning into butcher shops

2. Al fresco pizza bar at La Parma II in Huntington

3. Takeout windows where none existed before,like at Danford's in Port Jefferson

4. Matt Hisiger’s fried chicken at LB Social in Long Beach

5. Seniors-only hours at supermarkets

6. Making waffelinis at home from Garden City’s Uncle Bacala’s

7. Babylon Village’s virtual restaurant crawls

8. Local chefs offering virtual cooking classes

9. Restaurants offering free food to those in need

10. “Bored Game” pizza boxes at Farmingdale’s Main Street Pizza Co. 

11. Happy boxes at Hatch in Huntington

12. Wholesalers like Gra-Bar Fish, Baldor and Main Street Meats delivering to the public

13. Bobbique in Patchogue adding pastrami sandwiches to its menu

14. Drive-through white peach margaritas at Peppercorn’s in Hicksville

15. Summer berry Key lime pie at Biscuits & Barbecue in Mineola

16. Pork chop Parmesan at South Edison in Montauk

17. Morrison’s in Plainview removing a racially insensitive poster from its wall and donating money to the Emmitt Till Memory Project

18. Grab and go tent at the LakeHouse in Bay Shore

19. Popcorn and soda pop graduation presents at Pentimento in Stony Brook

20. Adult lemonade stand at Farmingdale’s Whiskey Down Diner

21. Ditto K. Pacho’s stand in New Hyde Park

22. Ditto the stand at Park Place in Floral Park

23. Eating Sandbar’s chickpea fries while watching the sunset in Cold Spring Harbor

24. Drive-thru breakfast with Sail Away coffee at Rust & Gold in Huntington

25. Getting sushi from, of all places, Maroni Cuisine in Southold

26. Discovering how easy it is to make restaurant-style Buffalo wings at home

27. Street food and margarita stand at Hermana’s Kitchen in Lindenhurst

28. Lobster shack and boat kits at View in Oakdale

29. Garden City’s Tocolo Cantina and other eateries temporarily closing in support of Black Lives Matter  

30. Dogs delivering beer

31. Bakers-in-training kits from Panera Bread

32. Lobster tacos at Dirty Taco & Tequila

33. Shah Halal in Huntington Station's cold cheese platter homage to Little Vincent’s

34. Penne broccoli gratinato at the Woodbury Butera’s

35. Birthday Buzz boozy ice cream at Beginnings in Atlantic Beach

36. Cooler picnic for four at the North Fork’s Main Road Biscuit Co.

37. Live music and fried chicken to go at Chadwicks in Rockville Centre

38. Tie-dyed T-shirts at Mattituck’s North Fork Doughnut Co.

39. Eating outside at Dos MexiCuba Cantina in Rocky Point

40. Adult happy meals at Babylon’s The Brixton

41. Restaurants and bars rededicating themselves to sanitation efforts

42. Jamesport Vineyards offering free glasses of wine to health care workers

43. Spring cookie decorating kits at Polka Dot Pound Cake in Rockville Centre

44. Lining up for wings at Hot Box To Go in East Islip

45. Getting a meat and cheese box for the boat we don’t have from Prime in Huntington

46. Virtual dance party at the Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale

47. Blueberry mango crisp at Coastal Kitchen in Bay Shore

48. The brunch box at Rockville Centre’s Parlay

49. Curbside beach delivery courtesy of Brixx & Barley in Long Beach

50. Relaunch of Bagel Boss’s shipping service

51. Tailgate karaoke at Pita Pit in Hauppauge

52. Sangria bar at Michaelangelo’s in Massapequa Park

53. Coconut cheesecake with guava frosting at EmpanadaVille in Mastic Beach

54. Tiny Market at Tullulah’s in Bay Shore

55. Cereal doughnuts at Babylon’s Doughology

56. Quarantine barbecue kits at Green Hill Kitchen in Greenport

57. Margarita stand at Mercato Kitchen in Massapequa

58. ITA Kitchen in Bay Shore adding lobster rolls to its menu

59.Spectral Haze at Blue Point Brewing Co. in Patchogue

60. Frozen vodka cherry lemonade at Oyster Bay’s Coach Meeting House

61. The Sweet Peace in Lynbrook’s individually boxed doughnuts for socially-distant celebrations

62. Steak sandwich at Robke’s in Northport

63. Whole Foods Markets giving free masks to shoppers

64. Green Street Food Truck’s buffalo-tofu-mac-n-cheese sandwiches

65. Outdoor seating comes to Oyster Bay Brewing Co.

66. Celebrating a quarantine birthday with Key lime pie at Patchogue’s Rhum

67. Discovering all the things you can do with ground chicken and turkey when hamburger meat is scarce

68. “Little Habana” patio at Huntington’s Babalu

69. Party lights at Stone Creek Inn in Quogue

70. Visiting the restaurants at blackownedlongisland.com

71. Snaps colonizing its parking lot in Wantagh

72. Ditto George Martin’s parking lot in Rockville Centre

73. Asparagus with ramp ravioli at Orto in Miller Place

74. Vegan cucumber gazpacho at Carissa’s the Bakery in East Hampton

75. Take and bake enchiladas at Swell Taco

76. Looking for great food and finding it on the curb, of all places

77. Virtual pub crawls in Patchogue

78. Ditto lots of other crawls

79. Pineapple shakes at Gingerbites in Huntington Station

80. Carbone opening a pop-up in Southampton

81. Adult ice pops at Lindenhurst’s Restoration Kitchen

82. East Setauket’s Madiran hosting virtual wine tastings on YouTube

83. Iced lemon poppy seed nut butter at Laurel’s in Bohemia

84. “Quart”-antine cocktails at Kasey’s in Rockville Centre

85. The Carltun in East Meadow baking fresh bread for its own market

86. Chris Perrotta’s jerk chicken at Blackbird in Wantagh

87. Mosaic in St. James pivoting to interesting comfort food

88. One word: Walktails

89. North Hempstead allowing restaurants to set up tables in municipal parks

90. Finally figuring out how to bake sourdough

91. Thatch Island Oyster Farm giving them away for free at Thom Thom Steak & Seafood in Wantagh and Catch Oyster Bar in Patchogue

92. Greenport’s Low Tide Beach Bar at The Halyard

93. Lobster Cobb salad at Sullivan’s Quay in Port Washington

94. Virtual Showtune Sundays at Pavilion, Fire Island Pines

95. Restaurant-quality food at drive-in movies

96. Painkillers and video skits by employees at Dunns River Lounge in Rockville Centre

97. Impassioned stand against racism by Blacksmith’s Breads in Long Beach

98. Speculoos croissants at Schmear Bakery in Port Washington

99. Drunken chicken sandwich at Roslyn Social

100. Sidewalk palm trees at Vittorio’s in Amityville

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