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J. Michaels in Oyster Bay: First bites

Rainbow cookies are among the desserts at J.

Rainbow cookies are among the desserts at J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse in Oyster Bay. (October 2013) (Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti)

The new J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse in Oyster Bay is as welcome as the original was in Northport. They're both excellent.

J. Michaels, Part II, is situated in the cozy site that for many years housed the Mill River Inn and, briefly, Serata.

It's a dining room dramatically different from the flashy, disco-ball-and-TVs Serata period, though vestiges remain. What definitely changed is the food.

This kind of turnabout is not new to chef-owner Vincent P. Michaels. In Northport, what used to be La Capannina has become an updated, steak-seafood-Italian destination restaurant. Same here.

His fare is identical to what's on the Northport menu and blackboard. Look for the prime, dry-aged steak specials. The New York strip steak is terrific; the Kansas City cut, even better. And if you're ready to make the investment, the $125 tomahawk rib-eye for two adds a dramatic presentation to the well-marbled beef.

Also recommended are the buttery pan-seared scallops; meaty, whole branzino; colossal prawns stuffed with crabmeat; and the house's delicious lobster meatballs. Cheesecake, chocolate mousse pie, and double-ganache, multilayered rainbow cookies are outstanding desserts.

Figure at least $100 per person.

J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse, 160 Mill River Rd., Oyster Bay; 516-628-2800.

Tags: J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse , Oyster Bay , Northport

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