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The Trattoria in St. James and more Long Island restaurants to try this weekend

Beet salad with faro, roasted beets and carrots,

Beet salad with faro, roasted beets and carrots, topped with citrus vinaigrette, feta and sunflower seeds at The Trattoria in St. James. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

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,

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,

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,


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