There's chocolate in Lee Perrotta's blood. It's easy to see how it got there; in 1928, her great uncle was the chief formulator for Rockwood Chocolate in Brooklyn, and her great aunt Lena was a prolific candy maker who left behind a trove of candy-making supplies stored in hatboxes. Following suit, Lee has made her own footprint in the confectionary world by approaching chocolate making as an art?literally. In 2007, the Walt Whitman Museum displayed 36 edible sculptures and portraits that she crafted from chocolate. In 2008, the New York Food Festival named her the overall best chocolatier of the year, also awarding her prizes for fudge, truffles, and chocolate sculpting.
Several of Perrotta's chocolate sculptures serve as decor inside The Chocolate Lady in Oyster Bay. Visitors can peruse more than 180 types of seasonal confections made with freshly ground cocoa, fresh-fruit purees, and fresh butter from a cow whose udders squirt chocolate milk. Organic rose-cream cordials, citrus-tinged blood-orange bites, and dark-chocolate espresso truffles are just a few of the treats available in her store.
Prime Time Butcher still wraps cuts of fresh meat in charming paper parcels. Owned by the same family for more than 30 years, the shop ages cuts of Prime beef, from chopped sirloin to london broil, in Prime Time's dry coolers alongside USDA Choice cuts such as standing rib roast. The shop's Bliss Burger patties are conjured from a blend of ground brisket and short ribs.
Prime Time Butcher also stocks a cornucopia of prepared foods, such as beef lasagna and beef-stuffed cabbage, or classic sandwich fillings such as genoa salami and Boar's Head bologna. Customers can custom-order catering and party packages to feed hungry partiers with entrees such as chicken marsala and eggplant parmesan, sides of teriyaki rice and house-made potato chips, and platters of cookies that disguise Cookie Monster's jury summons.
Shiny golden spheres congregate by a cozy fireplace inside Arata Sushi's dining room. Though they're attached to the wall, they seem to drift across space like tiny suns or undersea bubbles. Perhaps they're an homage to the fish that comprise the restaurant's colorful sushi lineup, which the Courier-Journal has dubbed "highly imaginative." In the kitchen, chefs whorl fresh seafood with rice and veggies to form more than 45 types of maki. Several rolls, such as the Cardinal, showcase fruits such as kiwis and strawberries alongside savory ingredients such as fried shrimp and cream cheese. At the bar, diners can sip wine and sake while watching the chefs slice bright-orange salmon and tuna as red as a comet wearing a clown nose.
The warm earth tones at Mim's set the stage for the elegant yet comfortable menus of New American bistro cuisine. Mim's has been part of Roslyn for over 15 years, and part of Syosset for over 30. Both locations are open for lunch and dinner, and feature a wide variety of starters and entrees to accommodate diners of many preferences?including gluten-free. After meals, browse the menu of housemade desserts before digging spoons into classics like bananas foster or a Mim's dessert sampler that includes a trio of signature sweets.
Sripraphai Thai Restaurant began as a small, struggling bakery. When owner Sripraphai Tipmanee switched to making roasted duck salad and crispy dried catfish, business took off, eventually moving to a new location and then taking over the buildings on both sides. Credit the critics; it's frequently cited in discussions of best Thai in New York, and Zagat recently rated it number one once again.
In the Mood Coffee & Ice Cream is a nostalgia-infused old-fashioned ice cream parlor that offers delicious homemade ice cream, sorbet, and other delicious snacks, all made fresh daily. Prices for icy treats range from $3.95 to $8.50, and come in more than 30 flavors. They range from classics done right, such as rocky road and coffee break, to wilder variants such as howling brownie, mountain lion crunch, and funky pretzel gold mine. Sorbet—ice cream’s fruity and lactose-intolerant cousin—features tastes of mango, orange, and strawberry, as well as sugar-free ice cream options. If cold sweets make you anxious for bready treats, nosh on a Monte Cristo panini ($5.49) made with ham, turkey, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, then bury the evidence under a banana-flavored smoothie ($5.70). In the Mood also carries delightful specialty coffees, so wake yourself up in the morning or avoid terrifying dreams of hearing friends endlessly recount their dreams with a large cappuccino ($2.59).