Novelty doesn’t have to mean an ugly reindeer sweater this holiday season. Several Long Island malls have added new restaurants to their list of attractions since last year. So if you crave something different or unusual, skip the bedazzled Nordic knits and treat yourself to an Alsatian onion and bacon tart or tuna poke while you shop.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is in the Green Acres Commons, adjacent to the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream. Like the other 170-plus locations across the country, this BJ’s carries the chain’s house brews, including Lightswitch Lager and BJ’s Brewhouse Blonde. The restaurant offers 48 beers on tap, as well as 12 labels by the bottle. The focus of the menu is Chicago deep-dish-style pizza, from barbecue chicken to the pepperoni extreme priced from $17.25 to $26.95. There’s also thin tavern-style ($14.75 to $15.50) and gluten-free pizza ($10.95 to $16.25). Or enjoy your brew with beer-friendly appetizers like avocado egg rolls and spinach and artichoke dip ($8.95 to $18.95), burgers ($7.95 to $12.95), southern fried chicken and fish and chips ($10.25 to $18.75).
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is open Sundays through Fridays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-midnight.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, 750 Sunrise Hwy., 5 Green Acres Common, Valley Stream, 516-256-8800, bjsrestaurants.com
A branch of this addictive fast-food chicken emporium has just opened at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville. The 5,000-square-foot space features reclaimed wood and subway tile accents as well as light fixtures made from recycled Coca-Cola baskets. There’s a drive-through, free Wi-Fi and a two-story play area for children. But for Chick-fil-A fans, it’s all about the chicken: the classic sandwich, chicken deluxe sandwich, chicken nuggets or chicken on a biscuit for breakfast, all priced from $2.19 to $4.45. Add a large order of waffle fries for $1.85 and a large lemonade for $2.09 for the full Chick-fil-A experience.
Chick-fil-A is open 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. Like all Chick-fil-A locations, the Hicksville location is closed Sundays.
Chick-fil-A, 1401 Broadway Mall, Hicksville, 866-232-2040, facebook.com/cfahicksville
Gastronomy Kitchen by Cirella’s
Dean and Karen Cirella, who also own Cirella’s Italian and sushi restaurant in Melville, were inspired to upgrade their place inside Saks Fifth Avenue by the recent renovation of the Walt Whitman Shops. This full-service restaurant, adjacent to the men’s department, replaces the old Cirella’s, a smaller cafe that was carved out of the accessories space. Serving a New American menu for lunch, brunch and dinner, it also has its own entrance, for access when Saks is closed. The lunch menu doesn’t stray too far from Cirella’s previous offerings, though a few new items (hot ones like steak frites, cold ones like tuna poke) have been added.
Chef Moulay Elmessaoudi’s dinner menu features such on-trend starters as roasted marrow bone, kale and artichoke spread, and burrata, as well as raw shellfish and cheese and meat boards. Mains include short rib risotto, seafood cioppino, grilled Berkshire pork chop and lobster pot pie. Starters and sandwiches run around $15, mains are in the $30 range.
Gastronomy Kitchen is open Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m.-9.p.m.
Gastronomy Kitchen by Cirella’s, 230 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, 631-350-1229, gastronomyrestaurant.com
Del Frisco’s Grille
Over-the-top interpretations of contemporary American classics characterize the menu at this upscale chain restaurant, also at Walt Whitman Shops. A few examples: cheesesteak egg rolls with sweet and spicy chili sauce ($13), Buffalo-style lollipop chicken wings with avocado ranch dressing ($13), and “two-fisted” green chili cheeseburger with double patties and jalapeño Jack cheese ($15.50). Salads are similarly colorful and complicated: Kale and Brussels sprouts have almonds, dried cranberries, orange segments, shaved Manchego cheese and Creole mustard vinaigrette ($12). Main courses are a greatest hits of trendy dishes from the past 20 years: Sesame-crusted ahi tuna over chilled Asian noodles ($29.50); Bourbon-apple-glazed mesquite pork chops with hand-mashed potatoes ($26).
If you’d rather hang out at the bar, there are craft beers on tap and a wine list of more than 200 bottles, with 26 available by the glass. Happy hour is 4-6:30 p.m. weekdays, and the bar menu includes wagyu beef corn dogs and pulled-pork nachos. Del Frisco’s is open Mondays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Del Frisco’s Grille, 160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, 631-423-0308, delfriscosgrille.com
Not all mall restaurants are part of a national chain. Le Vin, a Smith Haven Mall wine bar serving small and large plates, is owned by Long Island’s own star chef Guy Reuge, of Mirabelle fame, along with partner Christophe Lhopitault, of Lakeside Emotions wine shop in Stony Brook. Reuge is serving breakfast (coffee, croissants and grilled bread with jam and butter for $10.99), lunch (Alsatian onion and bacon tart) and dinner (beef short rib with truffle-potato gratin). There are cheese and charcuterie boards, duck confit, bruschetta with bone marrow and other enticing nibbles. Items are priced from about $8 to $21. For dessert, there might be chocolate pot de crème, madeleines or a refreshing grapefruit salad. There are two dozen wines by the glass and eight beers on tap. Le Vin is open seven days, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Le Vin, 356 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, 631-979-9463, levinlg.com
Along with a new Neiman Marcus, the Roosevelt Field mall now sports a branch of the department store’s signature restaurant. As at all NM Cafés, guests are greeted with a cup of chicken consommé, popovers and strawberry butter. There are dainty salads and sandwiches, including chicken salad on whole wheat bread and salmon green goddess salad. More contemporary items, such as fish tacos and grilled shrimp and quinoa salad, round out this part of the menu (reasonably priced at $10 to $18). There are also starters, three “main selections” (NM meatloaf, chicken Milanese and shrimp fra diavolo) and four $10 meals “for our little shoppers” that come with a beverage and ice cream or a chocolate-chip cookie. Chef Lizet Gediciyan, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, uses locally sourced ingredients, including bread from Blue Duck Bakery in Southold.
NM Café is open daily, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. On Sundays a brunch menu is served.
NM Café, 630 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-368-0471