Screw Your Resolutions

We’re a month into 2017—how’s that salad with grilled chicken tasting? Not so great? Eight Long Island restaurants have better ideas. And though they may break the calorie bank, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2014 found that an occasional planned splurge can do the body and mind good. Besides, swimsuit season is months away. Eat, drink and be merry again—at least for an evening—at some of the best Long Island restaurants.

Related Content: Get Back on Track at Healthy LI Restaurants

Jema, Huntington


An a la carte menu that changes every three to four days and an elaborate candlelit dining room make bi-weekly trips to Jema a must, meal-planning goals be damned. Consider yourself lucky if you show up on a day the crescent Long Island duck is being served. The dish is as versatile as it is juicy—it’s served with sweet polenta and salty olives. The light, airy chocolate mousse and generous scoop of vanilla ice cream make the chocolate caramel dessert worth every calorie. Go

George Martin’s Club Steak, Rockville Centre


image: club steak

George Korten of George Martin’s Group, the man behind beef-lover havens like GM Burger Bar, recently opened George Martin’s Club Steak, which specializes in steaks and small plates. Though the parmesan fried zucchini isn’t healthy even though it’s on a smaller plate and includes a vegetable, the light flakes and salty twist are so delicious, sharing will be hard. Same goes for the 20oz Angus beef club steak. Consider this place a judgement-free zone, though. Pulse’s food reviewer Richard Scholem hailed it a “happy, bistro-like spot of paper-over-bare tables, mirrors, bricks and candles.” Go

Left Coast Kitchen and Cocktails, Merrick

17 things to eat

Set in a low-key space with wooden booths and floors, this gastropub serves up peanut butter chip banana pancakes for brunch. I think that’s all I need to say. Go

Stella’s Trattoria & Bar, Blue Point


Linguine fresh clam, veal chop and brick oven pizza—is it any surprise this South Shore hotspot was one of Pulse’s most buzzed-about new restaurants of 2016? The eatery, which includes recipes from owner Jack Martino’s late Italian mother, is also already renowned for its happy hour. Guests can pair the vinos ($6) with olives and salumi for a true taste of Italy or clink glasses of martinis ($7) every Monday through Friday from 3-6:30pm. If you dare, come back during swimsuit season for outdoor eating and drinking on the brick-covered patio. Go

Verde Wine Bar & Ristorante, Deer Park

Chef James Ahearn isn’t a cookie-cutter chef, and his menu at Verde Wine Bar & Ristorante reflects it. He uses chicken feet in his stock, ferments mushroom stems and told Pulse in 2015 that the rabbit leg was his favorite dish. Go ahead and dine on the wild side. Besides, your other resolution was to try something new. Go 

CowFish Restaurant, Hampton Bays

The Iron Skillet Cookie is as good as it looks

The Iron Skillet Cookie is as good as it looks

“Would you like dessert?” is a rhetorical question at CowFish. The gooey house-made iron skillet chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce epitomizes saving the best for last. Go

Swallow, Huntington

huntington restaurants


Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but Sunday brunch is the most important meal of the week. Therefore, it should include bacon and include Swallow, a rustic space adorned with chandeliers and an eclectic mix of poppy flowers that give the darker dining room some light. Chef and restaurateur James Tchinnis loves the flaky bacon, egg and cheese empanada, a south-of-the-border twist on Long Island’s notable bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwiches. The short-rib hash is also worth the splurge. The shredded meat, which the staff cooks for hours in red wine, comes served with roasted potatoes, Mexican cheese and a sunny-side egg. Work some calories off by swaying to the reggae band, which plays Sundays from 12-4pm. Go 

H20 Seafood and Sushi, East Islip

Guests have called H20 in Smithtown so nice since it opened in 2001, the Bohlsen Group decided to do it twice. The group, which also owns Island favorites like Prime in Huntington and Verace in Islip, opened a second H20 in December. The chic white wrap-around bar is worth toasting to during happy hour, as are a bunch and lunch menu that are on tap to debut in 2017. Get a 360-Degree View | Go

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.