Foodie Gossip – October 2010

Of the thousands upon thousands of LI eateries, from diners to bistros to fast food and everything in between, lets be honest here: Convenience and mediocrity rules, and in the dense infrastructure of Nassau County, this is readily apparent. But this is no time to lose hope—getting your dinner on in Nassau, even with familiar old favorites, can still be a memorable experience.

Chez Noëlle in Port Washington (516) 883-3191, called “The last pure French restaurant on LI” by Pulse food reviewer Dick Scholem is offering prix fixe menus for the first time ever. The $27.50 3-course prix fixe is available on weekdays with a choice of nectarine salad with Bayonne ham and aged goat cheese or homemade garlic sausage with warm potato salad for an appetizer; Brandade de Morue—a traditional Provence dish of whipped potato with cod gratinée or lamb Wellington with red wine sauce for an entrée, followed by dessert. The $37.50 4-course prix fixe is available on weekends starting with leek and potato soup, then a choice of roasted red beets tartar with fresh goat cheese or heirloom tomato mousse with crab salad for an appetizer; Black Angus NY strip steak au poivre and twice baked potato or Long Island bay scallops Provençale cavaletis in basil sauce for an entrée plus dessert.

There is no shortage of Italian-American eateries on LI and they run the gamut from generic to masterful and memorable in their execution. Two Nassau establishments certainly veer to the masterful side of the equation and are progressive as well, due to their embrace of gluten-free cuisine. Mama Theresa’s, with locations in Garden City Park (516) 747-3111, Westbury (516) 334-3334 and East Meadow (516) 520-5556 feature a rapid-fire litany of options: Apps/soups/salads/heros; a wide selection of pasta shapes with a veritable rainbow of sauces as well as chicken and seafood entrées. Those selections alone would be a formidable repertoire for any Italian-American restaurant and I haven’t even mentioned the pizzas! Definitely check these guys out. Café Formaggio in Carle Place (516) 333-1718 has similar top-notch fare, but they have installed the Holy Grail of pizza-craft, the wood-fired brick oven—reason enough to pay them a visit.

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