Foodie Gossip

It is officially “in season”! Beaches are open, seasonal restaurants and businesses are officially opened. When choosing the desire ambiance for an excursion to an eatery, the two basic choices are usually “casual” and “formal,” and so it is in Foodie Gossip land.

Long Island is known for wineries and vineyards, but you don’t have to venture out to the twin forks to get a singular experience in vinous immersion.

Bin 56 in Huntington (631) 812-0060 is in the style of a casual European wine bar with communal tables and couches. They offer small plate tapas items such as sweet and spicy calamari, cheese bread sliders stuffed with chorizo and a wine list with red and white, sweet and bubbly from Europe, South America, California and Australia as well as a selection of specialty cocktails. Or you can be taken on a culinary journey via four courses of paired tapas and wines selected by the chef.

Moving from a casual wine-imbibing venue to more formal digs, we have the Northport Tasting Room & Wine Cellar in Northport (631) 261-0642. They take their wines seriously—Sommelier Edwin J. Davila and owner Matthew Spirn tasted 5,000 different wines and from those, chose the 125 that are available. But they welcome the wine novice and will assist them in “defining their palate.”

Formalities aside, sometimes on a hot summer day, all you want to do is sit down, grab a small Italian entrée and watch the world go by. Ristorante Besi in East Meadow (516) 280-6657 offers some of the best Italian cuisine on the Island. The casual ambiance and thoughtful wine list are well worth the visit.

Finally, sure to excite dedicated Long Island foodies is the release of Zagat’s 2010/11 Long Island Restaurants and Zagat’s Hamptons Restaurants 2010/11. The guide contains a whopping 867 Long Island restaurant reviews distilled from the experiences of 5,854 diners. Go to to find out about mobile apps and other electronic resources.

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