Rolling Pin Bake Shop houses a veritable cornucopia of tarts, cookies, pastries, and other handmade goods. The bakery––highlighted by the Food Network's Rachael Ray and E!'s Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?–– is manned by David Dombroff, a 15-year veteran with a degree in sweet, sweet satisfaction from the Culinary Institute of America. Stop by the cozy bakery and scarf down some scones (three for $1) while chatting with the attentive shop keep. If you don't want to gobble your goods in house, you can always order an eye-catching occasion cake ($18+) for real-world consumption. Born from the hands of caring chefs, these creations are laden with moist sponge cake and loaded with fresh fruit and other palate-tickling treats.
Like any dutiful American diner, Setauket Village Diner serves burgers and fries, coffee, and omelets as part of its vast nine-page menu, which could please every diner. But like any history book about empires, it also adds Greek and Italian to the mix. Steak gyros and kebabs of chicken or salmon represent the former, whereas pasta such as linguine marinara and and shrimp scampi topped with feta and mozzarella are highlights of the latter.
At The Curry Club—voted Long Island Press' Best Indian Restaurant of 2010—a Zagat-rated menu boasts dishes prepared by restaurateurs with culinary experience in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. A handful of tikka masalas are studded with shrimp, salmon, chicken, or tofu, and kebabs are served on platters that sizzle and steam like volcanic Pop Rocks. More than 40 curries fall into six categories, from the West Indian–inspired vindaloo, to the richer, creamy consistency of Korma-style concoctions.
Sushi Ichi Japanese Restaurant's seasoned chefs recruit fresh fish and sticky morsels of rice to build a menu stacked with more than 50 types of maki rolls. The culinary team fills seaweed-wrapped cylinders with predetermined combinations of snow crab, tuna, and salmon, as well as custom-builds sushi rolls to incorporate diners' favorite ingredients. Thai and Chinese dishes also abound and include classics such as spicy kung pao chicken, shrimp pad thai, and green and red curries flanked by rich coconut rice.
American Roadside CEO Rich LaVecchia is the happiest when he's biting into a Roadside burger––mainly because his children, at ages 8 and 13, helped perfect the recipe. Each tender patty is constructed of Sterling Silver premium grain-fed beef, aged for a minimum of 21 days to maximize tenderness. But the eco-conscious burgers are only the beginning of Roadside's green pledge. To complement exposed brick and nostalgic advertising signs, Roadside outfits each restaurant with sustainable bamboo floors, recycled countertops and chairs, and picnic tables whittled from the driftwood of naturally floating picnic tables. The walls are also decorated with reclaimed barn siding and the names of diners who have successfully completed the eatery's famous quadruple Roadstar cheeseburger challenge.
Below hanging lights like scoops of vanilla ice cream, diners slurp up creamy milk shakes, such as Oreo and cremesicle, and two-hand signature burgers with slaw or chili, and a portion of those profits are donated to charities, such as the American Red Cross. After finishing off a hot Philly cheese steak, patrons can add a boost to their evening with a glass of wine or beer, or add a boost to everyone's evening by drinking the biodiesel fuel crafted from Roadside's recycled fry oil.
With four generations of culinary wisdom running in their blood, the Pace family has a pretty good idea of what it takes to run a successful restaurant. Foremost on the list are top-notch ingredients—all meat served at Pace’s Steak House is handpicked in New York City’s famed meatpacking district and aged onsite in aging rooms filled with special lights and fans. After aging, some cuts are marinated for 24 hours. The menu's meatier selections—sizzling rib eye, filet mignon, and porterhouse steaks—are supplemented by oysters on the half shell, fresh seafood steaks, and a wine list, which includes 15 wines by the glass.