By now, you must be in the mood for a cozy, comfortable restaurant, short on noise and long on sustenance. Here are three choices that fit right in.
The Trattoria in St. James is a small restaurant with big ambitions. It's one of Long Island's best Italian kitchens, authentic and creative. Recommended: house-made ricotta, sun-dried tomato tapenade; pasta e fagioli; pappardelle alla Bolognese, lasagna alla Bolognese, bucatini alla carbonara; cortecce pasta with roasted cauliflower, golden raisins and toasted garlic breadcrumbs; red wine brasato with polenta; eggplant Parmigiana; black-and-white creme brulee; lemon-scented cheesecake with raspberry sauce. Moderate to expensive.
The Trattoria, 532 N. Country Rd., St. James, 631-584-3518, thetrattoriarestaurant.com
Barney's in Locust Valley has been a very satisfying, beckoning New American spot for more than three decades in a building that dates to 1893. Former owner Barney Burnettt weighed more than 700 pounds. One of his 10-foot belts decorates the barroom. Enjoy a table near the fireplace. Recommended: Maryland crabcake with lemon-caper emulsion; wedge salad; tuna tartare-and-smoked salmon napoleon; seared duck breast and confit of duck leg; herb-crusted rack of lamb; banana bread pudding; Key lime pie; crème brûlée. Moderate to expensive.
Barney's, 315 Buckram Rd., Locust Valley, 516-671-6300, barneyslv.com
La Plage in Wading River is tucked away, near the shore, worth the ride. It stands out with New American cuisine, meticulously prepared. Recommended: gold-and-red beet salad with goat cheese; tricolor salad with kumquats and ricotta salata; oysters and littleneck clams from the raw bar; duck leg confit with chive risotto; braised lamb shank with rosemary, feta and olive polenta; herb-crusted striped bass with braised escarole and black mussel broth. Expensive.
La Plage, 131 Creek Rd., Wading River, 631-744-9200, laplagerestaurant.net