Late spring and early summer spur the new and the trendy. But it's always worth returning to an eatery that isn't exactly of the moment, that doesn't change every time you go. Here are three veterans, homey mainstays for many reasons.
Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue is like a welcoming center on the North Fork, warm and reliable, as it has been since Truman was president. When it opens for the season, you know summer is near. Recommended: fried soft-shell crabs; lobster salad; chicken croquettes; deep-fried flounder sandwich; fried chicken; roast loin of pork with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and apple sauce; roast turkey, with stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce; meat loaf; New England-style clam chowder; sauerbraten with red cabbage, potato dumplings, and ginger-snap gravy; all pies. Moderate.
Modern Snack Bar, 628 Main Rd. (Route 25), Aquebogue, 631-722-3655, modernsnackbar.com
Fortune Wheel in Levittown is tucked into the Nassau Mall. The Chinese restaurant serves dim sum, those wonderful, bite-size, small dishes, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Recommended: dim sum, such as the steamed pork bun, taro cake, pan-fried dumplings, steamed dumplings; and lobster Cantonese, lobster with black bean sauce, crab with ginger and scallions, shrimp with lobster sauce, Singapore noodles with shrimp, kung pao chicken, orange beef, hot-and-sour soup. Moderate to expensive.
Fortune Wheel, 3601 Hempstead Tpke., 516-579-4700.
Sergio's in Massapequa has a friendly, old-fashioned manner and a fondness for Italian and Italian-American favorites. Recommended: orange salad, stuffed artichoke, escarole and white beans, perciatelli with fennel and sardines, manicotti, lasagna, stuffed shells, spaghetti with garlic and oil, sausage and peppers, tripe marinara, chicken Parmigiana, steak alla pizzaiola, pork chops with vinegar peppers. Moderate.
Sergio's 5422 Merrick Rd., Massapequa, 516-541-6554, sergiositalianrestaurant.com