Communal dining: 4 best bets
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Not everyone prefers to dine at a quiet little table or booth. For some, a big communal table offers an opportunity to eat, drink and chat with friends and strangers. For diners self-conscious about sitting alone, it offers an interesting alternative.
What to talk about? The food, of course.
UVA ROSSA, 243 Hempstead Ave., Malverne; 516-612-7400
The high-topped communal table is usually packed at this Italian wine and tapas restaurant, where the decibel level runs high. Try the bruschetta with pickled figs, Taleggio cheese and roasted pistachios, as well as meatball sliders.
MAXWELL'S, 501 Main St., Islip; 631-210-0011
The new room added onto this downtown Islip pub stars a large communal table. There, you can enjoy the meltingly good mini Reuben sandwiches and fine fish tacos.
BARRIQUE KITCHEN & WINE BAR, 69 Deer Park Ave., Babylon; 631-321-1175
At this popular wine bar and small-plates restaurant, a communal table made from an old barn door is, for some, preferable to a seat at the bar or an individual table. Kick back with a cheese or charcuterie plate and some wine.
THAT MEETBALL PLACE, 54 W. Main St., Patchogue;
This meatball-centric gastropub has a well-conceived wine list and a range of brews on tap. The cavernous space, built with reclaimed wood and brick, has both high top tables and communal tables--the perfect atmosphere for a fun, social night out.