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Snaps in Wantagh: Checking in

Last time we visited Snaps American Bistro in Wantagh, in March 2010, it was still working out the kinks of a new lower-priced menu. Snaps had opened in 2004, but in August 2009 chef-owner Scott Bradley began to transform it into a more casual, moderately priced restaurant. Over the next few months, he fiddled with the pricing and a few different prix-fixe schemes.

Here’s how it’s all shaken out: The restaurant is open for dinner on Wednesday through Sundays. Appetizers range from $6 to $11; mains from $17 to $24; desserts are $4.95. For $28.95, you can make your own three-course prix fixe with any combination of appetizer, main and dessert, but there may be a supplementary charge (up to $10) if you include one of the pricier items. Fancy-pants Angus burgers, 10 ounces and served with fries, run in the high teens, but Thursday night is $5 burger night. If your whole party wants chef Bradley to prepare an 8-course tasting menu, that’ll be $50 per person.

And the food? Very good, based on a recent dinner. I started with a knockout appetizer, the “warm lobster sandwich” which is more like a Napoleon composed of buttered toast, lobster, and a sunny-side-up egg. The flavors were heightened by a touch of truffle oil, which enjoys favored-ingredient status at Snaps. My pal was entirely satisfied with her chopped salad of blue cheese, bacon, walnuts, cucumbers and tomato (the cranberries were held) and a perfectly cooked "truffle'' burger served on a soft, sesame-seeded bun. (This friend has had it with brioche buns."Too thick, too sweet,'' she whines.) We would have preferred the fries without the truffle-herb-Parmesan gilding. I had a special, an unimpeachable rib steak.

(It must be said that Snaps’ wine list is perfunctory at best, with none of the verve or imagination found on the dinner menu.)

On a Friday night, Snaps was bustling, but the friendly, attentive staff seemed to have everything under control.

Snaps is at 2010 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, 516-221-0029.

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