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Weekend picks: Contrarians, unite!

The harvest dining area at The Cooperage Inn

The harvest dining area at The Cooperage Inn in Baiting Hollow. The Inn serves new and classic style American cuisine and features local wines in its four dining areas. It's open every day, year round, and serves Sunday brunch. (November 15, 2010) Credit: Photo by Randee Daddona

No Jets. No Giants. No way to celebrate the Super Bowl. So, find a place where you'll feel a bit removed from the rants of foaming Steeler and Packer fans. Here are three nominees.

Dao in Huntington attracts you with its combination of Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Malaysian. It's a bright, stylish eatery. Notable dishes: crisp, shredded dried beef, with a balance of sweet and hot; Thai-seasoned sea bass aswim in a sweet-sour chili sauce; the beef and chicken satays; shrimp dumplings; and roti canai, a tasty bread paired with curry potatoes.

Dao is at 92 E. Main St., Huntington; 631-425-7788.

Trattoria Diane is a little Roman holiday, specializing in the food of Lazio. There are some nods to the restaurant's earlier Tuscan theme. Recommendations: roasted beets with ricotta salata; sweet-sour butternut squash; fried artichokes; rice balls and meat balls; spaghetti alla carbonara; seafood fritto misto; saltimbocca. All are served in a cozy, understated establishment.

Trattoria Diane is at 21 Bryant Ave., Roslyn; 516-621-2591.

Cooperage Inn is a year-round delight, but especially inviting in autumn and winter. The full-flavored place is invariably festive. Favorites: potato soup, onion soup, crab cakes, meat loaf, chicken potpie, marinated and grilled pork chop, roast duckling, stuffed Cornish hen, apple-cranberry crisp, apple-pecan bread pudding.

Cooperage Inn is at 2218 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow; 631-727-8994.

Above, the dining room at Cooperage Inn.