This time of year, chances are you've got a yen to eat something simple, substantial and satisfying. You want a dish that somehow tastes like home. Here are four restaurants where you'll find modern versions of American comfort classics.
Chef and co-owner Toni Clifton does justice to soul food tradition with her chicken and waffles. The bone-in poultry is crunchy and juicy, the Belgian waffle crisp yet tender ($14.95). You could, alternatively, get the chicken with a red velvet waffle ($16.95) drizzled with cream cheese frosting. Sweet but not cloying.
759 W. Merrick Rd., Valley Stream, 516-285-8664, prettytoniscafe.com
Burgers aren't the only draw at this casual Patchogue spot. Here, good old mac and cheese ($12.95) gets a boost from chunks of ham, peas and a thatch of fried onions.
411 W. Main St., Patchogue, 631-627-6677, burgershackpatchogue.com
At this friendly Southern spot, housed in a vintage diner, you'll want to order the namesake biscuit with andouille sausage gravy ($6). The biscuit is big, hot and flaky, the gravy deftly spiced. So Southern; so good.
106 E. Second St., Mineola, 516-493-9797, biscuitsandbarbecue.com
This gastropub gives new meaning to the phrase "locally grown." Along with a repertoire of updated comfort classics, craft beers and imaginative cocktails, the aspirational new place delivers a surprisingly high caliber of cooking at diner-style prices. Try the meat loaf TV dinner platter.
2823 Long Beach Rd., Oceanside, 516-766-9547, eatgastropubny.com