When Ward Melville thought about Stony Brook, the businessman and landowner envisioned New England south. It has that quality and a lot more -- including some dining destinations. Here are five.
MIRABELLE RESTAURANT AND TAVERN, 150 Main St. (Three Village Inn), 631-751-0555
Now you can enjoy the restaurant menu in the more casual tavern too. Guy Reuge's farm-to-table menu changes regularly. You might find escabeche of local root vegetables, local fluke steak with turnip-kraut, and butternut squash soup with fried Fisher Island oysters. The superb, two-course duck is always available.
PENTIMENTO, 93 Main St., 631-689-7755
Memorable Italian food and a few New American twists define Dennis Young's dining room, small plates to large. Some favorites: cannelloni, gnocchi with duck ragu, baked ricotta, marinated and grilled artichokes, grilled sausage with pickled red onions, eggplant rollatine, applewood-smoked trout, lobster hash browns, pappardelle alla Bolognese, and salumi and cheeses.
RED TIGER DUMPLING HOUSE, 1320 Stony Brook Rd., 631-675-6899
This modest spot is mandatory for Shanghai-style soup dumplings, either crab or pork-and-crab versions. Also, consider the crystal shrimp dumplings, chicken dumplings, pork-and-vegetable dumplings, eggplant with garlic sauce, double-cooked pork, Sichuan beef, and shrimp with lobster sauce.
ROBINSON'S TEA ROOM, 97 E. Main St., 631-751-1232
Here's a niche filled almost as distinctively as Red Tiger's. Come for the scones, finger sandwiches, salads, assortment of teas, and just for the soothing, polished, welcoming sense of the place.
COUNTRY HOUSE, 1175 N. Country Rd.; 631-751-3332
Many weddings and parties take place at the prettily appointed Country House. From the regular menu, you can choose crab cakes, braised lamb shank, rigatoni with veal ragu, grilled filet mignon and strip steak.