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).
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.
Sweet Tomato stocks its menu with locally purchased ingredients that meld together in 12 soups, 20 salad options, and 40 wraps and paninis. Indulge in rosy spoonfuls of the popular sweet tomato bisque ($4.59–$9.99) or a saucer of gluten-free and vegan white bean and escarole ($4.59–$9.99). The Waldorf wrap hugs a floury quilt around cubed chicken, toasted walnuts, Granny Smith apple slices, celery, red grapes, and mayonnaise ($7.95). Cajun-spiced chicken, chickpeas, black olives, and house-made croutons cavort in the balsamic-dressed cove salad ($7.50), and the Portofino salad pools goat cheese, grilled portobella mushrooms, and tomato with mixed greens in basil vinaigrette ($7.95). A bevy of breakfast items greets antemeridiem diners with equally health-conscious items such as the robust champion wrap filled with egg whites, steamed veggies, chopped chicken, home fries and jalapeños ($6.95).
Saffron's owner and executive chef, John Forte, channels 10 years of culinary expertise to arrange artful appetizers, crisp salads built from local produce, and aesthetically staged American entrees. Diners can unwrap the sea's gifts more gently than by wedging a crowbar into a clam by trying the lobster-ravioli starter ($12), which coats its crustacean cargo in black garlic-butter sauce and Saffron aioli drizzle. Dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and cranberry goat cheese wear slick, seasonal coats of fall-spice vinaigrette in the arugula salad ($10), and the roasted pork chops ($27) roll in a bed of root vegetables and potatoes au gratin to spread the sweet tidings of their pear-apple-huckleberry sauce. Diners can migrate forks to the free-range long island duck ($32) for savory helpings of oven-roasted breast and confit thigh flanked by dollops of sweet-potato puree and bites of roasted quince. The Saffron ice-cream bowl ($6) cradles scoops of strawberry, chocolate, cinnamon, or vanilla ice cream, all of which are house-made instead of raided from a penguin's window garden.
As an all-natural eatery, Jack's Shack is home to natural burgers, organic salads, and fruit smoothies free from hormones, antibiotics, steroids, preservatives, or nitrates. Natural premium black Angus beef or vegetarian-fed turkey forms the basis for burgers paired with sweet potato, plantain, or regular fries cooked in canola oil with no trans fat. Patrons can customize their own delicious dishes at the restaurant's personal protein crafting stations, or select from menu items including a grilled steak sandwich, an orange-kissed asian salad, or tacoritos stuffed with mahi-mahi or zesty lime shrimp. The shop also slings smoothies blended from fresh combinations of fruits.