The East of NYC 2011 Year – End Favorites List

The East of NYC 2011 Year – End Favorites List

At the end of any year it’s always fun to look back at where we’ve explored across Long Island and compile a small list of our favorite restaurants and dining destinations. This year we’ve done just that and we’re pleased to present to our readers our 2011 Year – End Favorites.

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Best Celebrity Chef Opening

Bobby’s Burger Palace
630 Old Country Rd.
Garden City, NY 11530
516-877-7777
Photos | Website | Facebook | Twitter

The end of 2011 was a big deal for Nassau County burger lovers. Bobby Flay (Iron Chef Bobby Flay, that is) opened up his second Bobby’s Burger Palace on Long Island, on an exterior entrance at Roosevelt Field Mall. This fast food / full service hybrid is already seeing huge lines during the lunchtime hours and nothing great volume at night. Unlike most “fast food” restaurants, once you order and pay, you take your number to a seat where it is brought out to you by a server. Tipping the waitstaff is not required or even promoted, but it is certainly warranted since they are serving each customer and continuing to assist throughout the meal.

This is Bobby’s 9th location across the United States and it’s with good reason that it has become so popular. It’s accessible to the masses and bursting with interesting mixes of flavors and ingredients on a familiar premise; the hamburger. If you’re planning on spending some time at the mall afterwards and won’t be driving immediately, you can always hit up that Vanilla Caramel Bourbon milkshake. We can speak with experience that it is one of the tastiest shakes out there (please drink responsibly!)


Image Copyright Mark Brandon Photography


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Best Seasonal Restaurant

Swallow
366 New York Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743
631-547-5388
Photos | Website

James Tchinnis has worked at some great restaurants outside the confines of the island, but now he’s landed back in Suffolk County to open Swallow. A small restaurant with only 20 seats, this menu changes weekly to keep on top of what is fresh and what’s being produced across the local region. There are a few menu items that stay on as favorites, but each time that you go you can have a different dining experience. The open kitchen, friendly vibe and the accessibility to the chef and his creations make this our favorite seasonal restaurant on the island. If you’re lucky enough to be there when the asparagus fries and black angus sliders are on the menu, make it a point to order and enjoy.


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Best Gut Busting Meal

La Parma II
452 Jericho Turnpike
Huntington, NY 11743
631-367-6360
Photos | Website

The whole family should join you for this family style favorite for almost 20 years on the island. Every time we want authentic italian food that we can share with the ones that we love (and to bring home the leftovers to share some more) we’ll make a reservation at any of the four La Parma restaurants to order up plates of baked clams, friend calamari, chicken park and more. As recently as this month we were there with a few good friends sharing our food, our wine and a great time.


Photo Copyright Mark Brandon Photography


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Best Newcomer

Left Coast Kitchen & Cocktails
1810 Merrick Road
Merrick, NY 11566
516-868-5338
Photos | Website

Left Coast Kitchen is brand new and happens to be right in our backyard in Merrick. The kitchen, headed by Chef Chris Randell is open for dinner 7 days a week but the secret to this restaurant is the breakfast. The weekend-only breakfast seatings are the best kept secret on the island (and we fear that it’ll get out). From 8:30am – 1pm on Saturday and Sunday the gigantic pancakes, french toast, hash and omelets make their way out of the kitchen in the back and make those morning grumbling stomachs very happy. We’re addicted to the oreo pancakes and the pb&j french toast. Diet conscience it’s not; but it is a once in a while treat that we’ll keep returning for.


Photo Copyright Mark Brandon Photography


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Best Waterfront Restaurant

The Lake House
240 West Main Street
Bay Shore, NY 11706
631-666-0995
Photos | Website

On Lawrence Lake in Bay Shore, Chef / Owner Matt Connors is cooking up a storm at this upscale restaurant with a view. The food and the atmosphere come together to provide a wonderful evening of culinary goodness. In the summer, the outdoor dining area just off the dining room is a great place to set up, while in the fall and early winter the outdoor fire pit is the perfect location to bundle up in front of. White linen clothed tables, expertly designed seafood dishes and a view worthy of the check are reasons why we’ll keep on going back for those special occasions.


Photo Copyright Mark Brandon Photography


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Best Dining Destination

Huntington Village

Huntington is by far one of the most interesting culinary spots on the island. A walking village, one can find upwards of 40 restaurant within a 10 minute walking radius. It’s this reason that the restaurants that have staying power in the area are not only among the best in the village, but across the island as well. The variety is there as well. You can head for Mexican at Besito, New American at Honu, italian at Jonathan’s Ristorante or you can grab a quick cupcake at Wild Flour. The options, like our appetites, are endless.


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Most Disappointing Closing of 2011

Roots of Sea Cliff

We loved this Sea Cliff restaurant that was rustic, inventive, organic (where it could be) and just plain good. Chef / Owner David Santoro, who lived above the restaurant, hand-built the fixtures and chairs / booths. There was a lot of love in the space and you could feel it as soon as you walked in. It was a family affair, with David’s dad not only greeting diners at the door, but also seeing to it that they were having an enjoyable meal.

We reached out to David not so long ago and he told us to stay tuned to his next adventure in the Long Island culinary scene. We’ll certainly let our audience know David’s next move.


Photo Copyright Mark Brandon Photography


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We hope that you enjoyed this compilation. If you have your favorites, and they weren’t mentioned here, feel free to leave a comment below or send us a note to info@eastofnyc.com.

Here’s wishing you and your family a Happy New Year and a prosperous (and yummy) 2012.

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