This is the time of year when comfort foods reign.

Dishes imbued with soul-soothing powers can come from anywhere on the culinary map. They may not always be the healthiest choices, but they are oh, so easy to eat and, like magic, can make you feel better.

We give you three very different cases in point:

TAO, Syosset

At this Asian restaurant with many old-school Chinese dishes, the beef chow fun ($9) -- tender sliced steak mixed with wide flat noodles -- is the very definition of comfort.

EPHESUS, Massapequa Park

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If you've never had a pide ($10.95), the Turkish version of pizza, you owe yourself a taste of this pillowy oblong pastry, usually cut into triangles. The potato version -- filled with seasoned pureed spuds -- may bring to mind a very good knish.

BISTRO 25, Sayville

Chef Brian Shuren's appetizer of braised pork belly ($8) -- two meaty squares, each topped with a layer of crackling-crisp fat -- is served over a slightly sweet corn pudding. Goes down easy.