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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

J. Michaels' Tuscan Steakhouse makeover

"New World" meatballs are made with lobster, lightening

(Credit: Barbara Alper)

J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse in Oyster Bay is closed and expected to reopen next month with a new emphasis on Italian cuisine.

And the original J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse in Northport, where prime steaks have reigned, is offering a fixed-price dinner focused on the Italian part of the menu. It's likely to be the template for the Oyster Bay restaurant.

Both establishments will continue...

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Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas in Garden City: First bites

Seared tuna bruschetta is served at Spuntino Wine

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

A midday visit to Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas, the Long Island offshoot of a Clifton, New Jersey, restaurant, turned out to be an experience filled with promise.

The industrial-looking spot is spacious and handsome, with surfaces of wood, brick and metal. From the menu of mostly small plates, a seared tuna bruschetta turned out to be a firecracker featuring rare fish topped with a...

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Chow Down Diner in Bethpage: Revisit

Pan-fried Asian teriyaki chicken dumplings are served at

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

It’s been more than a month since chef Steven Del Lima left full-time duties in the kitchen of Chow Down Diner in Bethpage to concentrate on revising CoolFish in Syosset. While Del Lima does stop into the diner early in the day, he usually isn’t around during dinner.

The restaurant received a two-and-a-half-star rating when reviewed in April. So, how are things going without the constant supervision...

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Nissos in Syosset: First bites

Grilled octopus is served as an appetizer at

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Is 13 lucky?

Nissos is the 13th restaurant in 24 years at this address near the Syosset railroad station. It's definitely among the best-looking, too.

Awash in Aegean blue and white, with sail-like cloth billowing above and a display of fresh fish on ice near the kitchen, the whole place already merits praise for design and decoration.

Early on, some good choices include the tasty...

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Pollo Campero beverage freebies

Pollo Campero is offering free Latin drinks on

(Credit: Pollo Campero)

To launch its new roster of Latin drinks, Pollo Campero is offering them for free on Monday, July 28. No purchase is necessary; the limit is one regular-sized beverage per customer.

Choices include a tart red hibiscus beverage called Jamaica; horchata, a sweet vanilla-cinnamon shake; tamarindo, a sweet-sour fruit drink; and guava, a tropical fruit beverage. Ordinarily, the regular size sells...

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Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza sells meatballs by the pot

Anthony's Coal Fired pizza, with locations in Woodbury,

(Credit: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza)

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza just came out with a new takeout option: a pot of meatballs. What you get is a stainless steel pot containing tomato sauce, 13 large meatballs and fresh basil. Order it hot or cold, and when it’s time to feed the gang, add ½ cup water and heat on the stovetop. On the side, you get ricotta cheese. Also a leaf-shaped card with basil seeds, for growing your own. The whole...

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Tutto Pazzo in Huntington gilds pasta lily

At Tutto Pazzo in Huntington, homemade tortellini are

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Restaurants run the gamut when it comes to being social-media savvy. Some don’t even have an answering machine, let alone a website. Others produce a constant stream of tweets and Facebook posts. Put Huntington’s Tutto Pazzo in the second category. “Like” the restaurant on Facebook or follow @tuttopazzoluigi on Twitter and you’ll be treated to daily photos and videos of chef-partner Luigi Petrone’s...

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Open in Plainview: Heike Sushi

Heike Sushi is new and Japanese in Plainview

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Heike Sushi is up and rolling in the former Plainview strip mall space that, until recently, hosted Robata of Tokyo.

The new restaurant offers a straightforward suburban Japanese repertoire, with hibachi items prepared in the kitchen. On the menu: beef negimaki ($7), pepper tuna tataki ($10), yellowtail jalapeño roll ($5), Mango Madness roll featuring crunchy spicy shrimp, avocado and mango...

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Open in Island Park: Flamingo Tapas Bar & Grill Cafe

Shrimp and rice is one of the Portuguese

(Credit: Flamingo Tapas Bar and Grill Caf)

Now serving Portuguese fare in Island Park is Flamingo Tapas Bar & Grill Cafe. The new restaurant is owned by married couple Maria and Antonio Almeida, who opened Antonio’s in Oceanside before selling it some seven years ago.

According to co-owner Maria Almeida, Flamingo's current digs formerly housed a topless bar. “The pole is gone now,” she quipped.

On the Portuguese tapas roster...

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Long Island’s 10 best gastropubs

Mini Chicago hot dog sliders are the real

(Credit: Randee Daddona)

This week, Newsday launches Eat Here Now, our annual list of Long Island’s Top 100 Restaurants. We’ve organized the restaurants by category — 10 picks in 10 categories — and the first category we’re highlighting is gastropubs.

Neither pub fare nor bar food, what you find at a gastropub is pretty refined and usually creative. It's the high end of the homey, boosted with style and accompanied...

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