What began in Brooklyn as a personal affection for italian ice eventually bloomed into a multistate confection empire on the strength of frosty family recipes. Uncle Louie G's Italian Ices & Ice Cream crafts its treats from the same recipes founder Louie G used growing up in New York City, before the invention of robot-run ice creameries. The expansive menu now includes more than 40 flavors of italian ices, two dozen ice creams, and two-flavor ice-cream cakes filled with a layer of crushed treats or pound cake. Fresh maraschino cherries, Dole pineapple, and a variety of other candies imbue the shop's italian ice with a dazzling array of flavors and textures.
With a dozen or more flavors concocted on-site daily, Rita’s frozen desserts are tossed out at the ripe-old age of 36 hours so that newborn ices can be enjoyed with youthful gusto. Mouth-water turns to ice with fresh-fruit induced, trans-fat-free italian ices such as juicy pear, kiwi-strawberry, chocolate-peanut-butter, and pina colada, including a variety sweetened only with Splenda and baby giggles ($2.50–$3.75). Rita’s smooth, signature old-fashioned custard gives spoons something to cling to as they tunnel under added hot fudge or caramel toppings ($3–$4.25). Figure-watchers can extract rich flavor from a soft-serve, zero-fat version of custard, the Slenderita ($3–$4.25). Rita’s most popular delight, the Gelati, layers refreshing ices upon fluffy custards ($4–$4.50) and the Misto whirls frozen treats into a single, sippable cup, ideal for toting along to fire-eating lessons ($4.25–$4.75).
Diners relax in the cozy confines of Jo Jo Apples' 1810 eatery, named by Newsday on a list of Best Pancakes in Long Island, as chefs bedeck griddles with a menu of classic American fare including pancakes and specialty omelets. Early risers energize for the day ahead with the shrimp and spinach omelet topped with melted fontina cheese ($10.25) or play improvised games of Jenga with towering platters of the eatery’s signature pancakes topped with fresh apples, blueberries, strawberries, or bananas ($9.95). The lunchtime Waldorf wrap blends chicken and sliced apples with mayonnaise peppered with celery, raisins, and walnuts ($9.75). Those eating in the evening can interrogate the dinner menu for mainstays such as marinated skirt steak ($16.95) and the grilled center-cut pork chop served with applesauce ($14.50) or surprise taste buds with daily dinner specials, which have included cornish hen ($15.95) and salmon wellington ($18.95).
Inside Dulce Delights’ sleek, red-accented yogurt bar, guests serve themselves frosty cups of freshly swirled frozen yogurt before sliding into red plush stools to enjoy them. Thirty rotating flavors flow from the store’s 12 self-serving stations, allowing guests to create their own icy masterpieces from flavors such as strawberry banana, thin-mint cookie, and peanut butter. After piling yogurt high in the bright pink cups, guests can fill up with more than 50 toppings, crafting edible recreations of great art works using cake crumbs, mini marshmallows, and gummy bears.
For 25 years, Long Island's crew has made bagels using an old-fashioned water-kettle approach, purveying the doughy treats well beyond their breakfast boundaries. A menu of breakfast edibles urges early eaters to slather an assortment of hand-rolled, freshly baked bagels ($0.90)—in varieties including poppy, onion, cinnamon raisin, and oat bran—with their choice of up to 17 creamy toppers ($1.75+) including vegetable, chocolate chip, and roasted garlic and herb. Coffee ($1.45+/12 oz.) gives nerves the jolt that early-morning fire breathing fails to provide, and french toast lightens spirits when drizzled in streams of liquefied giggles ($5.50). Lunch options allow midday munchers to fill their food processors with dishes including the Bubbalicious ($6.79)—made with fried chicken cutlets, melted mozzarella, bacon, and spicy barbecue sauce, all piled on top of a bagel—or the more heart-heartening bagel-embedded tuna fresco salad ($6.49).
Continuing the elegant yet casual dining styles of Mim's of Roslyn & Syosset and Mill Creek Tavern in Bayville, the proprietor of Cedar Creek American Bar & Grill combines a resplendent atmosphere with lunch and dinner menus boasting innovative small bites and imaginative entrees. Large framed mirrors populate the walls with reflections of patrons staring at their reflections and noontime noshes such as the cuban sandwich, a pressed roll stuffed with strata of humanely raised Duroc pulled pork and country ham, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard ($13). Hand-made pasta finds a plethora of partners in five dishes, including the braised-meat-laced capellini bolognese ($15). Slacken the sails with a premeal pause to appreciate the dusky nuances of angry mussels flavored with blackened bacon, smoked tomatoes, and chili oil ($9) or dig right into dinner repasts with a hearty helping of beer-battered Chatham cod fish ‘n’ chips, accompanied by hand-cut fries ($17). Meyer Ranch celebrates all-natural beef with a trio of hormone-free prime Angus offerings including grilled sirloin, short ribs, and skirt steak ($23–$29).
A hundred years of doing something would arguably make you an expert at it. That's a big part of the story of Grimaldi's, where more than a hundred years of pizza-making has resulted in pies that are as—or more—popular today as they've ever been. That might have something to do all the time the chefs have had to perfect their secret dough recipe. Or maybe it's the coal-fired oven they're cooked in? Or the handmade mozzarella? Though it's impossible to point to just one thing, all those touches come together into the much-toiled-over process used by all Grimaldi's locations: hand-tossed pies get slathered with sauce, topped with specialty ingredients, christened with a bottle of champagne, and cooked to a crispy golden brown.