The Most Buzzed About New Long Island Restaurants of 2016

Long Islanders tend to be creatures of habit. We have our morning routines (which include giving at least two one-finger waves on the LIE), our go-to night-out outfits and favorite beaches. But tell us about a restaurant opening and routine goes out the window. All year long, Pulse told you about the area’s most delicious new Long Island restaurants and, frankly, you ate it all up. Measured objectively by page views, these 10 additions proved to be the most buzz-worthy.

10. Artisan Food Paradise Comes to the North Shore

Red Maple Market


Jean and Charlie Mastropaolo brought the food hall trend to Long Island in Roslyn’s Red Maple Market. The rustic space has a gourmet cheese counter, a premade food area that smells as delicious as it sounds and a made-to-order section where sampling is recommended. Go 

9. 5 Things to Eat at Aroogas


Sports fans and lovers of massive hot pretzels got a new clubhouse when Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar opened its first New York location at Patchogue’s “Four Corners” intersection on Main Street in September. Just in time for football season, the eatery has more than 100 televisions, ensuring groups of friends with varying team allegiances don’t have to fight over the remote. What they may fight over is who gets the last bite of the Crab Pretzel, which is topped with house-made crabmeat dip and a mozzarella-cheddar mix. Go 

8. You’ll Want to Dine at This Literary-Themed Restaurant in Atlantic Beach


The beach can attract something of a nightclub scene, but restaurateur Ben Freisure went off-the-beaten path with Beginning, a literature-themed eatery a stone’s throw from the water. Yes, there is a burger called “The Gatsby” and yes, it’s delicious. Sink teeth into a patty topped with truffle crème fraiche, triple cream Brie, arugula, vine ripe tomato and foie gras as blues plays in the background. The restaurant hosts book-themed dinners, like June’s summer seafood fest inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Go 

7. The Milleridge Inn Reopens

milleridge inn

The reopened bakery at Milleridge Inn & Village has a delicious selection of goods. image: milleridge inn

The Milleridge Inn, which has long served as a gorgeous backdrop for parties and family events, celebrated more of a grand re-opening this year. In 2015, Long Islanders were worried the legendary spot may close its gates forever when the previous owner sold it to Kimco, but the shopping center maverick put the property up for lease. It went to Anthony Capetola (current owner of the Carlton) and Butch Yamali (Peter’s Clam Bar, MaliBlue and Coral House), who put an emphasis on fixing up buildings in disrepair like the village shops rather than revamping the already-delicious menus of pies and a brunch buffet. Go 

6. Greek Gyro Shop Coming Soon to Plainview

image: Yiasou Yeeros

image: yiasou yeeros

Mother-daughter duo Jenny Vangelatos and Stephanie Mantzoukas decided to give locals a chance to make a quick-but-great Mediterranean escape by debuting fast-casual Greek eatery Yiasou Yeeros in the Morton Village Shopping Center. People are raving about the beef, lamb and chicken gyros made with antibiotic and hormone free meats and deliciously authentic desserts such as galaktoboureko, baklava, rice pudding and cheesecake. Go 

5. Waterfront Dining Escape Coming to Merrick

salt merrick

They say timing is everything in business, and SALT got it right. The seasonal waterfront-dining destination opened Memorial Day Weekend in the building vacated by The Boathouse. People came by land and sea for the raw bar, salts from around the world, fresh seafood and, of course, outdoor dining on the marina deck. Go 

4. Salt & Barrel Opens in Bay Shore

salt & barrel bay shore

image: courtesy of salt & barrel

The Flynn family, perhaps most known for summertime destination Flynn’s in Ocean Bay Park, unveiled Bay Shore’s first oyster bar in March and people have been ordering the bivalves by the dozen ever since. The chic but comfortable space includes a dramatic curved white bar, which extends through the front of house, and a dining room with turquoise velvet chairs. As for the food, on a five-star scale it’s a solid six-and-a-half. In addition to oysters from places like Prince Edward Island, Long Island and New Zealand, Salt & Barrel serves up a lobster roll prepared in a butter fondue and a butterscotch pudding so good you’ll be thankful you said yes to dessert. Go

3. Lunch on the South Shore Just Got Better


When Donna Trapani opened Artisan’s Eatery, a gourmet sandwich shop in Islip, it was something of a homecoming. Years ago, she operated Full Martini Bar out of the same building, which she bought back in 2013. The fast-casual eatery lives up to its name: almost everything in the shop is handmade, from the soups to the pickles to the tables and chairs. The ever-popular Reuben Twist made with beer-braised sauerkraut and pastrami comes on fresh baked sesame seed pretzel bun that people can’t seem to eat enough of. Go 

2. Stella Trattoria & Bar Debuts in Blue Point


Nothing gets an Islander more excited than Italian food—except maybe brunch and lobster rolls. Inspired by a massive cookbook of recipes left behind by his mother, owner Jack Martino began welcoming guests to the authentic Italian eatery this summer. The brick-oven pizza and veal chop are known to turn first-timers into regulars at first bite. Go

1. Freeport’s Nautical Mile Gets Its Own Big Easy

Nawlins Seafood Co

image: seafood

Mardi Gras is officially an every-day affair in Freeport. Pulse contributor Rachel Margaritis got the dish on New Orleans-style restaurant Nawlins Seafood Co., which brought the taste, pomp and spirit of Bourbon St. when it opened in April. Guests have enjoyed po’ boys charred oysters, blackened pork chops and creative cocktails ever since. Go

Tell us: Did these new Long Island restaurants live up to expectations? What dishes were your favorites? Sound off on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.