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Restaurants near the Nassau County Strawberry Festival

The Bayou restaurant in Bellmore. (Dec.23, 2008)

The Bayou restaurant in Bellmore. (Dec.23, 2008) Credit: Newsday/Robert Mecea

This weekend, it's just the berries in Bellmore.

Specifically: strawberries.

The Nassau County Strawberry Festival is under way through Sunday at the BOCES School Grounds at Newbridge Road and Jerusalem Avenue. For additional information: 516-608-6581, nassaucountystrawberryfestival.com.

Before diving into strawberry shortcake, you may enjoy the appetizers and main dishes at some local restaurants. Here are three -- and they also serve dessert.

BELLA NOTTE
2520 Merrick Rd., Bellmore
516-221-1905, bellanotteny.com

Recommended for Italian-American favorites, Bella Notte also prepares a very good zucchini Bolognese, with vegetable subbing for pasta. The house's pastas are uniformly fine, as are the eggplant Parmigiana and chicken with scarpariello.

THE BAYOU
2823 Jerusalem Ave., Bellmore
516-785-9263, bayou4bigfun.com

Specializing in Cajun and Creole flavors, sample gumbo, shrimp and grits, and pan-fried catfish. You'll also go for the Vidalia onion fritters, sweet potato fries, jambalaya and the assorted specials that bring on the heat.

OAK CHALET
1940 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore
516-826-1700, oakchalet.net

A friendly mainstay that highlights German cuisine, Oak Chalet beckons you with smoked trout and marinated herring, followed by bratwurst, knockwurst, schnitzels, pork chops and, even in warmer weather, sauerbraten.

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