Executive chef and owner Matthew Guiffrida infuses contemporary fare with an innovative spirit in Muse Restaurant & Aquatic Lounge’s menu, which has been lauded in the New York Times. Not Ya Mama’s meatballs ($12) dress up the savory spheres in four varieties: Asian-style with sweet-and-spicy chili sauce, Italian-style with pomodoro sauce and shaved parmesan, a Thanksgiving-inspired treatment with a cranberry and caramelized-vidalia-onion compote, and standard swedish. Upscale couch potatoes can surround themselves with elegance without sneaking into a king's blanket fort as they feast on The T.V. Dinner, which consists of milk-fed-veal meat loaf with grilled portobellos and homemade ketchup glaze ($26). The Breakfast 4 Supper cloaks black-pepper-and-parmesan french toast with chipotle-maple syrup, served alongside sweet-potato corned-beef hash, a poached egg, and béarnaise sauce ($24). Simply Grilled entrees give new york strip or Atlantic salmon a more minimalist treatment and an entourage of garlic-infused whipped potatoes and grilled asparagus ($29).
The close-knit crew at DoLittle’s Restaurant slings out a diverse menu of continental cuisine that runs the gamut from basic burgers and pastas to lobster tails and steak. Patrons seeking homespun fare can dive into Cajun-chicken-club wraps ($14) and baskets of crispy fish 'n' chips ($15) and upscale appetites chow down on 16-ounce New York–sirloin steak ($22) or seafood pasta teeming with mussels, clams, and shrimp ($22). As the fight about the herb-stuffed brie ($12) and its toasted french bread and green-apple slices rages at tables around the room, DoLittle’s Restaurant’s master mixologists are busy behind the bar pouring drams of ale and whipping up cocktails.
With a name like Monsoon, a restaurant better make an impression. So when the owners behind some of Long Island’s top restaurants, including Prime, Tellers Restaurant, and Verace, decided to open their first Asian-fusion eatery, they pulled out all the stops to ensure their bold name choice was warranted. Since opening in 2012, Monsoon has made some lasting impressions. The New York Times called it “an exciting new entry in Babylon,” and Newsday gave it a four-star review and named it No. 1 in fine dining for 2012. The restaurant is housed in a stunning 1920s bank building whose gray stone is floodlit with dramatic lighting outside to match the equally dramatic decor inside. When customers enter, they find an elegant mix of reds and purples, sleek black wall art, and modern, dark wood furniture. The artistry of this contemporary decor is reflected in the menu, which features a blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai dishes artfully plated and made with bold, colorful ingredients. Executive Chef Michael Wilson, formerly of Verace and Prime, creates dishes ranging from lobster rangoon to miso-glazed black cod to grilled rib eye with shishito peppers. The signature-drink list also flaunts creativity with cocktails such as the green-tea mojito and the Babylon Express, which features Crop cucumber vodka, St-Germain liqueur, pineapple juice, and fresh lime.
At Four, chefs prep fresh Long Island edibles, which are under the influence of Asian-American flavors and techniques. Lunch and dinner menus include wonders such as tomato and mozzarella flatbread ($12), and crispy calamari with mango chutney, banana chips, and jalapeno cream ($15). Entrees include complex servings of pan-roasted black bass with hearty veggies and warm truffle vinaigrette ($24 at lunch, $29 at dinner), and a 12 ounce NY strip ($17 at lunch, $38 at dinner) with enough fried zucchini, horseradish, and green peppercorn sauce to make a taste bud retire, take up golf, and spend more time with his saliva glandchildren.
The sushi chefs at Black Lantern Sushi Den, a registered Green Restaurant, cook up a full roster of Japanese delicacies, tightly enveloping ingredients within more than 35 sushi rolls. Nosh on all-natural options like the stuffed baby mushrooms ($12), plump with breadcrumbs, or sink ravenous teeth into nigiri and sashimi ($4.50+). Eel and cucumber play fine neighbors to seaweed and rice within the Azalia roll ($13). Meanwhile, the Violet Lily Roll ($16) sets up seared ginger salmon and goat cheese on a tasteful double date with roasted portobello and jalapeños before letting them bunk together in one rice sleeping bag.
The Long Island Comedy Festival, which won a thumbs-up from Newsday in 2009, sends laughing fits rippling through southeastern New York with showcases of some of the area's most accomplished comedians. The namesake festival spreads out across Long Island every summer, landing at venues that might range from an old-fashioned playhouse to a family amusement park. Many alumni return to perform year after year, making for a festive atmosphere that executive producer Paul Anthony likens to "a comedy party that the audience members have been invited to," rather than one that they sadly listen to through the floorboards. During the rest of the year, the organizers stay busy producing comedy series at other historic venues and exporting their team of comics to college shows.