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Weekend picks: Lose an hour, gain an entree

The campagnola (country-style) pizza at Centro Cucina in

The campagnola (country-style) pizza at Centro Cucina in Greenvale. (Aug. 10, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

You'll be giving back an hour on Sunday, so the weekend may be just a bit more rushed. There are, of course, eateries that know how to speed things up. Here are three spots where the food may come out fast, but it's not fast food.

Centro Cucina in Greenvale is a reliable choice for lunch and dinner. The panini and brick-oven pizzas stand out. Try the four-cheese  pie, or the one with eggplant and ricotta salata. Pastas also are dependably fine. Think spring-summer with trenette in pesto. And the restaurant prepares very good grilled seafood.

Centro Cucina is at 43C Glen Cove Rd., Greenvale; 516-484-3880.

Siam Lotus in Bay Shore remains one of Long Island's top Thai dining rooms. You'll find adroitly done pad Thai with shrimp; lively sliced beef and ground beef salads; soups including a zesty tom ka kai, with chicken and coconut milk, and tom yum goong, with spicy shrimp. Spirited curries, too.

Siam Lotus is at 1664 Union Blvd., Bay Shore; 631-968-8196.

And Bin 56 in Huntington sends out tasty tapas to go along with wines by the glass and bottle. It's a little cutout of an eatery with a few comfortable seats, a bar and plenty of cheer. Nibble on Serrano ham, salt-cod fritters, crisp artichokes, whatever is coming out of that tiny kitchen.

Bin 56 is at 56 Stewart Ave., Huntington' 631-812-0060.

Centro Cucina pizza.

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