Winter Foodie Gossip

We’re exploring healthy and casual eats this month, as well as New Year’s Eve revelry and a top-shelf spread for charity.

Bob’s Place in Floral Park (516) 354-8185, which specializes in New American cuisine, is holding a monthly Chef’s Table event. A multicourse meal will be prepared with wine pairings: The chef will provide commentary about the salient points of each culinary element and the resident sommelier will speak about the wine pairings. A percentage of the $50-$75 cost will go to local non-profit organizations. Evenings will begin at 6:30pm and reservations are required.

Gluten-free cooking, a necessity for those with celiac disease, a disorder of the small intestine, is gaining a higher and higher profile in the culinary universe. In fact, Pulse contributor Peter Bronski, who has the disease, and his wife Kelli, have recently published the book Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, which is sure to be an indispensible guide for the creation of tasty meals that won’t aggravate the disease. If you prefer to dine out gluten-free, La Bottega (516) 486-0935, which has 11 restaurants across LI (including the original in Garden City South) is a flagship eatery. They offer a variety of soups, risottos and pastas gluten free, for only $2.50 in addition to the price of the dish.

The enjoyment of good food doesn’t necessarily have to be accompanied by fancy appointments and white glove service. Two LI eateries are going casual without sacrificing quality. The successful Tava Restaurant and Bar in Port Washington (516) 767-3400, specializing in top Turkish cuisine is branching out with the opening of the more casual Tava Burger. Comfort food du jour will be available, including angus beef burgers, fries, wraps, salads and shakes. Speaking of comfort food, those with a sweet tooth should check out The Cupcake Corner in Garden City (516) 328-CAKE. They have the standard vanilla and chocolate-flavored cupcakes but also feature cotton candy, rainbow cookie, and other atypical flavors. As a bonus, they offer gluten-free menu options, beverages and much more.

Finally, while Christmas is traditionally enjoyed with family at home and around the dinner table, New Year’s Eve is party time and the Inn at East Wind in Wading River (631) 929-6585 is hosting one serious shindig. It all takes place with dinner, dancing and a live Times Square NYE simulcast in the Grand Ballroom from 8pm-1am. The bar will be open all night and there will be a variety of buffets including Italian dishes, roast NY Sirloin with all the trimmings, dessert and much more. The cost is $100 a person.