For most, 2016 was all about burgers, pizza and pasta. Not that they aren’t essential food groups, but sometimes you need a dish with a little more pizzazz to make it through the work week or impress a dinner date. These five Long Island dishes come with a side of wow-factor.
Wagyu beef tongue blood sausage
Verde Wine Bar & Ristorante, Deer Park
Starting in January, Verde Wine Bar & Ristorante will be dishing out a Wagyu beef tongue and foie gras pate noir that will be on the menu until April. It’s made with bread and butter beets, cress and puffed bulgar. There’s no better time to tread into uncharted waters like the present. Go.
Even though they’ve been around awhile—gaining quite the following in the process—Chef William Muzio’s Thai calamari may not have made it on your radar just yet. At first glance, it’s standard breaded calamari with flour and then fried, but the secret is in the sweet chili glaze, fused with cilantro, lime and peanuts. It’s tangy, sweet and enhances the dish with a light lemon sauce for dipping. Go.
Grilled Octopus Salad
The LakeHouse, Bay Shore
Chef Matthew Connors has a knack for stepping outside of comfort zones. The lightly charred octopus is mixed with tender Spanish chorizo for a blast of boldness. For those who don’t know, chorizo is a hard sausage seasoned with lots of garlic and smoked sweet paprika. The dish harmonizes with a chickpea purée that has pieces of clementine and aged sherry vinegar. Word from the wise: Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Go.
Satur Farm’s Wild Arugula
True to its name, this small plate is wild with flavor. Chef Noah Schwartz blends black mission figs, Catapano Dairy Farm goat cheese and spiced pecans in a fig balsamic for a dish that takes diners on a walk on the wild side. Go.
Drunken Rice Balls
Gino’s of Seaford, Seaford
You’ve never had a rice ball like this before. Signature white rice, grated cheese, onions and olive oil are topped with a homemade vodka sauce for a mouth-watering experience. Think pancetta pieces, shallots, cream and tomato for a bite that brings the buzz without the headaches. Go.