Businesses lunch spots on Long Island

A plate of frisee, endive, house cured pancetta,

(Credit: Randee Daddona)

Even in a 24/7 world, there's still noon to 3 p.m. The business lunch may be trimmer, its pace faster, and three martinis rare. But a lot of what the IRS terms "the active conduct of business," with half the expense deductible, continues at tables large and small across post-recession Long Island. Here's a sampler of restaurants in five Nassau-Suffolk hubs, where you can seal the deal. --PETER M. GIANOTTI

  • User rating 3
    A patron reads the business section of the

    Ben's Delicatessen $$ | Sandwiches, Kosher 140 Wheatley Plaza Greenvale In addition to delis in Carle Place and Woodbury, there's this Ben's, the official headquarters. That corporate angle aside, it's also casual and elemental when your guest needs an overstuffed sandwich of corned beef, pastrami, brisket, hard salami and more, after a bowl of matzo ball soup. Remember the chicken or beef in the pot, too.

  • Critic rating 3
    Rib steak is served at Blackstone Steakhouse in

    Blackstone Steakhouse $$$$ | Steak, American, Seafood, Japanese, Sushi 10 Pinelawn Rd. Melville This surf-and-turfer has enough buzz and popularity to wake-up any jaded appetite. It looks the part and delivers the goods: excellent sirloin, bone-in rib eye, seafood platters, lobster-and-crab salad, colorful sushi rolls and the occasional macadamia nut-crusted fluke. On a budget, have the grilled chicken panino.

  • Critic rating 2
    Shallot butter delivers the shine to an excellent,

    The Capital Grille $$$$ | Chain restaurants, Steak, Seafood 630 Old Country Rd. Garden City Here's the newest, shiniest big-time steakhouse in central Nassau -- although you could be at any Capital Grille. They're nationwide and international, reliable, pricey and busy. Midday, try the chopped salad, shrimp cocktail, cedar-planked salmon, grilled swordfish, fried calamari with hot cherry peppers, all steaks.

  • Critic rating 2
    Centro Cucina is a casual, unpretentious cafe, decorated

    Centro Cucina $$ | Pizza, Italian 43C Glen Cove Rd. Greenvale Tucked away here, you can tuck into brick-oven pizza, very satisfying panini, and, just to make it more summery, trenette al pesto. Centro attracts a younger crowd of future financiers and human-relations heads. Perhaps a finance department exec-to-be, too, since lunch here will leave some funds for investment elsewhere.

  • Gisselle Soto (from left), Cynthia Fletcher and Julissa

    $item.instanceof Four Food Studio Four landed on Route 110 like a spaceship, different from all that came before -- but immediately accessible, too. The New American food, attentive staff and whimsical spaces have broad appeal. Midday, you can nibble on barbecued brisket tacos, a bacon cheeseburger, steak frites, tasty flatbreads.

  • Critic rating 2
    Co-Owner Cesare Dundara. The place always has drawn

    Giulio Cesare $$$ | Italian 18 Ellison Ave. Westbury Giulio Cesare has been a magnet for lawyers, politicians and business executives since 1972. The clubby, little-changed, trend-free establishment still is. Mover-and-shaker meals include steak alla pizzaiola, mozzarella in carrozza, paglia e fieno pasta, red snapper Livornese.

  • Critic rating 2
    Patrons dine by candlelight at The Grill Room

    The Grill Room $$$ | New American, Restaurant 160 Adams Ave. Hauppauge The paparazzi won't find you here. You'll arrive at a spacious, eclectic place for lunch suitable for all ages of businessfolk. Pick the barbecued duck tostada or the chicken lettuce wrap, seared ahi tuna satay or lobster-and-crab spring roll, a chicken quesadilla or grilled pizza, meatloaf or braised short ribs.

  • Critic rating 2.5
    Diners do business over lunch at Jewel in

    Jewel $$$$ | New American 400 Broadhollow Road Melville Jewel glitters at the corner of Route 110 and the south service road of the Long Island Expressway. Tom Schaudel's newest enterprise has flair to spare. At lunch, the selections include yellowtail crudo, snappy little pizzas, a BLT & T that adds tuna, crabcake, steaks and an aptly named "5 napkin burger."

  • User rating 3
    The exterior of Legal Sea Foods in the

    Legal Sea Foods $$$ | Seafood, Restaurant, Chain restaurants 160 Walt Whitman Rd Huntington Station Legal Sea Foods is a dependable national chain. This now is its lone Long Island branch, confident, assured, good for deals big and not-so. The raw bar, wood-grilled haddock, grilled swordfish, fried oysters, fried clams, shellfish cocktails, fish tacos, lobster roll and Niman Ranch burger get it done.

  • Critic rating 2
    Capelli d'Angelo Mario, pasta with crab meat sauce,

    Mario $$$ | Italian 644 Motor Pkwy. Hauppauge One of the mainstays for traditional Italian fare, Mario is right for business and/or socializing. Veteran staff, familiar fare, high comfort level. Good for hot and cold antipasti, cannelloni, linguine with clam sauce, spaghetti Bolognese and all'Amatriciana, saltimbocca, broiled finfish, endive-and-arugula salad.