Foodie Gossip March 2012

The LI restaurant world is hardly a domain of soulless hash slinging, which has been made abundantly apparent by the avalanche of accolades, deals and specials crossing this writer’s desk. And, of course, this trend continues with the first whispers of spring. The concept of the “restaurant week” is essentially an all-access pass to a treasure trove of quality cuisine on the cheap, and the upcoming 10th Hamptons Restaurant Week from March 18-25 will be no different. There will be a three course, prix fixe menu at locations across the Hamptons for either $19.95 or $24.95.

Mirabelle Restaurant at Three Village Inn (631) 751-0555 in Stony Brook has opened the New Belle Lounge, a luxe locale perfect for pre-dinner drinks. Located just off the main dining room, the Lounge offers small plates masterminded by Chef Guy Reuge. Kir Royale Italiano is the Belle Lounge’s featured cocktail and their ever-morphing wine list features such favorites as French Bordeaux, California Merlot and Spanish Garnacha.

In addition to its culinary fireworks and extensive wine list, The Riverhead Project (631) 284-9300 also conducts an ongoing series of “projects” spearheaded by owner Dennis McDermott that have larger social goals in mind. A recent venture was “The Peace Project,” a fundraiser to promote the quest for world peace, with proceeds going to Richard Gere’s Gere Foundation.

LI mainstay Ben’s Delicatessan & Caterers is celebrating 40 years in business this year, so in addition to its robust, diverse Kosher fare, there will be Daily Deals and promotions at its multiple locations across Nassau County. Every day through the entirety of 2012, Ben’s will offer a different special that is dedicated to the theme of either “1972” or “40 years.” Recent deals have included a potato pudding sampler for 40 cents, and a “buy one, get one free” opportunity for those born in 1972.

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