Each month, Niko Krommydas serves up a steaming bowl of gossip goulash made with the latest restaurant news on Long Island.
CLAUDIO’S The landmark on the Greenport waterfront, which was run by the same family since 1870, has opened for the season under new ownership. The new owners and former regulars of the restaurant, which was founded by Portuguese whaler Manuel Claudio, are high-profile attorney Perry Weitz, his son David Weitz, Ian Behar and Ryan Sasson. To run it, they hired Tora Matsuoka, who owns Sen in Sag Harbor, and Stephen Loffredo, a Manhattan restaurateur who owned Zoe in SoHo. Claudio’s satellites, Claudio’s Clam Bar and Crabby Jerry’s, were part of the deal and have also opened for the season. 111 Main Street, Greenport, 631-477-0627, claudios.com
THE CHEESECAKE SPOT Laurie Jefferson has added a store for her cheesecakes in the Walt Whitman Shops, joining the kiosk she opened in Roosevelt Field Mall late last year. The new spot is across from the Apple store and offers new flavors like lemon meringue. There is also coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Cheesecakes are available daily in three sizes: four inches also called a single ($4.75); the slightly larger mini ($7.50); and, for the indecisive, the bite, which are two inches and come three flavors to a pack ($8). Full nine-inch cheesecakes ($35) must be ordered in advance. Walt Whitman Shops, 160 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, 631-423-0010, thecheesecakespot.com
BUNKER HILL AMERICAN TAPROOM The Battle of Bunker Hill, the first major battle of the American Revolution, was fought in Charlestown (now part of Boston), Massachusetts, not Wantagh. But the owner of this new gastropub, Rob Becker, is a history buff. His new spot replaces RP McMurphy’s, the pub he ran for the last three years. He expanded into the adjacent space and added a kitchen and dining room. The chef is Joanna Geis. 1912 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh, 516-679-1775, bunkerhillny.com
8 RAMEN The owners of Tum Thai Cuisine recently opened a second location in Huntington, and now they have opened this plant-filled ramen shop less than a block away from the original. There are nine noodle dishes, not eight. Customers can request add-ons like egg and pork. Appetizers include shrimp tempura, fried oysters and takoyaki (octopus balls). 17 South Park Avenue, Rockville Centre, 516-632-8288, 8-ramen.business.site
LO-CAL KITCHEN The menu at this informal cafe for the health-conscious is the work of the corporate executive chef, Stephen Meade. It starts with egg sandwiches and steel-cut oats, and includes soups, salads, burgers and grain bowls. There are also fruit smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices. 5 Glen Cove Road, Greenvale, 516-625-3300, lo-calkitchen.com
SHAH’S HALAL What started as a single food cart in 2005 in Richmond Hill, Queens, is now more than 30 food carts and 11 restaurants, eight of them on Long Island. 1920 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, 516-357-7482, shahshalaleastmeadow.com
ALOHA POKE Jackey Chen, who owns Midori Sushi & Steakhouse in Mount Sinai, has added to the growing presence of poke on Long Island. His restaurant follows the assembly line, build-it-yourself model where customers design their own bowl of the popular Hawaiian raw-fish salad at a counter. They can also choose from set combinations of ingredients. 2350 Nesconset Highway, Stony Brook, 631-675-0888, alohapokestonybrook.com
WILLIAM MERGET, who has cooked at the Westchester Country Club and Mu Ramen in Long Island City, Queens, is now the chef at Da Gigi Trattoria & Bar in Lynbrook. He has replaced Pierluigi Sacchetti, for whom the Italian restaurant is named. John Raia, an owner, cited wanting “to go in a different direction with the food, namely trimming some of the uncommon and infrequently ordered regional dishes and adding Italian-American staples like veal parmigiana.”
EMPRESS DINER The popular East Meadow diner has closed after 63 years. The Panagatos family ran it for the last 51 years.
ACACIA This restaurant and lounge on New York Avenue in Huntington has closed. Seafood was the focus here. The chef, Matthew Maxwell, formerly of Riverbay Seafood Bar & Grill in Williston Park and Manhattan’s Brasserie (both now closed), offered a dozen or so different types of mussel dishes.