Eat Right in Saint James

Home to one of the longest running general stores in the U.S., Saint James is a sleepy, folksy, tree-lined town. As one of the best-kept secrets on Long Island, many visitors only stumble upon this quaint little suburb by accident. This winter, head towards the North Shore and spend some weekends sampling the incredible dishes at any of these delicious dining destinations.

Eat Mosaic

Want to stir things up a bit? Head over to Mosaic and enjoy a five-course chef’s tasting menu that changes nightly. This incredibly cool restaurant is a mind-bending culinary adventure for foodies with spot on wine pairings. The unique dining experience makes it a fun date nightspot for people that value locally sourced ingredients served in unpredictable ways. Sample dishes such as smoked beef filet mignon, caramelized sea scallops, wild mushroom carbonara and paella salad. Eat here.

Spuntino

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image: facebook.com/pg/spuntinostjames

When you want to sink your teeth into an incredibly delicious brick oven pizza, look no further than Spuntino. A favorite eatery among locals and Stony Brook college students, this Italian restaurant is always packed. Fresh ingredients are front-and-center and the portions are large enough to ensure that you’ll have leftovers. Reviewers love the incredibly friendly staff and comfortable décor. Recommended plates: jumbo artichoke, Thai-style calamari, Fra Diavolo pizza and penne alla vodka. Eat here.

The Trattoria Restaurant

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image: beer loves company

This tiny little gem is touted by foodies as being the best Italian restaurant on Long Island. Trattoria serves up rustic, soul satisfying food with seasonal twists. Expect an open kitchen and casual atmosphere, where diners are encouraged to “come as you are and drink what you want.” Many dishes sound intricately simple, but they’re absolutely irresistible. Cash only. BYOB. Reservations a must. Recommended plates: house-made ricotta, sun dried tomato tapenade, eggplant alla parmigiana and red wine brasato with creamy polenta. Eat here.

Kitchen A Bistro

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image: facebook.com/pg/bistrofoodies

This cozy and romantic eatery is touted as being a rare find with outstanding food. Serving French Mediterranean cuisine, the chefs change the menu daily to showcase the finest seasonal ingredients available. Fans love their unique takes on traditional dishes and praise the menu for having a “perfect balance” between classic and creative dishes. BYOB. Cash only. Reservations encouraged. Recommended plates: autumn salad, crispy farm egg with spaghetti squash, pappardelle with pork shoulder ragu and flourless pineapple cake with buttermilk gelato. Eat here.

Barbera Pasta E Vino

Sometimes, the best kept secrets are hidden in plain sight. Barbera Pasta E Vino is the one eatery locals are happy that no one else knows about…yet. Beautifully appointed inside, the white crown molding sings and the cushioned yellow benches keep patrons coming back week after week. Run by a husband and wife team, this charming Italian restaurant serves fresh, simple dishes paired with hard-to-find Italian wines. Reviewers swear it’s “a guaranteed delicious meal!” Reservations encouraged. Recommended plates: fettuccine bolognese, gnocchi, veal and salmon. Call for more information: (631) 584-0113.

denine anderson-regan

Denine co-writes the award-winning blog, We Know Stuff, with her sister, Daniele. Visit them, weknowstuff.us.com, for tasty recipes, fun kids crafts, and family-focused lifestyle articles. Twitter @WeKnowStuff_US.