For four decades, Benkert’s Classic Delicatessen has been loading patrons with ample portions from a menu of breakfast eats, salads, sandwiches, and hot-lunch dishes. Customers can jump start their day with two eggs any style ($2.50) while gulping complimentary coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and surfing the free WiFi on a free wireless surfboard. For midday breaks, specialty salad sandwiches cover beds of bread in quilts of egg ($4.25) and shrimp ($6.25) salad. Gourmet wraps and sandwiches ($6.95) include the Fat Tony, packed with six cold cuts, mozzarella, peppers, greens, and vinaigrette, and protected by a hero bun toasted for its noble deeds. Hot sandwiches such as the barbecue chicken ($5.75) are hearty enough to scare away the most intimidating hunger hauntings. Accessorize entrees with sides of mac 'n' cheese ($4.99/lb.) or mozzarella sticks ($3.99), and cross the finish line with a sweet slice of pound cake ($1.95).
Windows on the Lake blurs the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, lending a serene, pastoral air to everything from Thanksgiving dinners to weddings. Two stories of floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Lake Ronkonkoma and the grounds that hug it. Manicured gardens beckon diners for a post-prandial stroll among colorful foliage and babbling brooks.
Those grounds also usher brides and grooms to the outdoor gazebo, where they say their vows and wrestle for the title of "Head of Household." In the Rainbow Room, however, the line between indoors and outdoors seems to vanish altogether. A ceiling painted like the sky looms over a hardwood dance floor ringed with white-clothed tables—and the illusion extends to the pastoral murals that alternate with the room's floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Messina family started creating fine pastries and baked goods at Dortoni Bakery in Levittown in 1976. Over the years, their business expanded to include a pair of upscale pastry shops (La Bonne Boulangerie), a pizzeria (Red Tomato Pizza), and Messina Market. At the marketplace, visitors choose from a sumptuous selection of cold and toasted sandwiches, fresh fruits, and veggies, watching in awe as chefs prepare omelets, paninis, and burgers without harming a single spatula. A 20-foot display case shows off an impressive spread of housemade quiche, pot pies, and vegetarian dishes, the dinners taunting grumbling stomachs from their safe perches behind the glass. Gift Baskets—such as the candy-stuffed junk-food package or Italian gourmet basket—reward loved ones with parcels of sweets, fruits, jams, and jellies. Also available are catering services that supply weddings, holiday dinners, and luncheons with everything from country-style barbecue to Russian caviar.
Every sandwich, soup, or salad from Jimmy's Mediterranean Deli packs a colorful wallop of imported ingredients. Fresh soups ($3.50–$6.50), breakfast platters, and piping hot daily specials furnish visitors with an island of variability within the meatball-flooded ocean of life. The deli’s specialty Greek- and Italian-style cuisine parades proudly in their sandwich menu. Encased meat-seekers can escape to the boot-shaped birthplace of Pinocchio with the italian classic decked with genoa salami, rosemary, ham, provolone, tomato, and onion ($6.25), or sink into a gyro or chicken souvlaki served on a bed of pita and blanketed with sheets of tomato, onion, and a comforter of cucumber sauce ($5.50). Meanwhile, the sandwich-averse can grab pizza by the slice ($1.75+) or pie ($5.25+).
When Ernst Turnier and his son, the appropriately named Ernst Turnier, Jr., set out to open a restaurant, they had several transformations in mind. The first and most obvious was converting the space of a former convenience store into a cozy cafe, a process which, according The Hour, required over a year of hard work and a thorough UN inspection for weapons-grade Slurpee. With that mission accomplished, they turned to transformation number two: the spicing up of American deli food with traditional Haitian and Caribbean flavors.
Avocado with salt and pepper dress up the buttered sub bread of the Caribbean avocado veggie sandwich, while flank steak, bacon, and mozzarella fill Khay's Cheesesteak. The tropical influence continues at dinner, when plates of piping hot red snapper, grilled shrimp, and pasta sail out of the kitchen seasoned with a hint of Haitian spice. But the father-son duo don't only serve their cuisine inside the quaint dining room. As recently profiled by The Hour, the younger Turnier takes Friday trips to the food pantry at St. Philip's Church, where he arrives toting fresh-baked goods and other treats from the café.
For the two years he lived in Alaska, Alan Pagano sold wild Alaskan salmon that he bought directly from fishing boats. This experience has led to a lifetime of cultivating relationships with top seafood suppliers, which he takes full advantage of at his fish market, Pagano's Seafood. From markets in New York, Massachusetts, and Florida, Alan and his team hand select each batch of wholesale seafood from around the world including red snapper from the Caribbean and naturally raised Scottish salmon. He also sells individual orders of jumbo shrimp, Pacific cod, and caviar. Each order is accompanied by complementary cooking instructions and, in the case of lobster, tips for cleaning, cooking, and cracking them, and then properly mourning their passing.