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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

LI Hospitality Ball promises tastes of the finest

Bethpage - March 21, 2011: Keith Hart poses

Bethpage - March 21, 2011: Keith Hart poses for a photo with Theresa Gilmartin and Dana Van Pamelen before the party starts in the ballroom during the Long Island Hospitality Ball held at Carlyle on the Green, Bethpage State Park, Bethpage.Theresa and Dana are serving Wispering Angels wine to the guests at the fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Photograph by Michael E. Ach (Credit: Photo by Michael E. Ach)

The Long Island Hospitality Ball is shaping up to be the gastronomic event of the season. The showcase for local restaurants, nightclubs, caterers, wines and liquor brands will be held at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury on June 18, from 7 to 11 p.m., and will benefit the American Cancer Society.

Last year, its first, the gala attracted about 1,400 people to sample the wares of more than 100 participating establishments. I can report that the crowd seeped into every corner of the Carlyle on the Green in Farmingdale; sometimes it was difficult to find the personal space necessary to bring a fork to one’s mouth, but it was nevertheless a sparkling evening.

This year, the Ball moves to Crest Hollow, where there will be much more room. Keith Hart, who created and organizes the event, said “last year we held it in March, this year it’s in June and we’re hoping for a beautiful night so we can use all of Crest Hollow’s outdoor space.” Hart, a cancer survivor whose eponymous marketing firm promotes wines and liquors, expects more of everything this year. “There will be about 130 participants, and 2,000 guests,” he said. “Last year we raised $170,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year the goal is $250,000.”

The list of restaurants that will be dishing out samples includes many of Long Island’s heaviest hitters: The Bohlsen group (Monsoon in Babylon, H2O in Smithtown, Tellers and Verace in Islip), the Scotto group (Insignia in Smithtown, Rare650 in Syosset, Blackstone in Melville) plus Besito (Roslyn and Huntington), Brasserie Cassis (Plainview), Four Food Studio (Melville), K. Pacho (New Hyde Park), George Martin’s Strip Steak (Great River), Barrique (Babylon), J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse (Northport), Louie’s Oyster Bar & Grille (Port Washington), Mill Pond House (Centerport), Nisen (Woodbury), Old Fields (Greenlawn), Starr Boggs (West Hampton Beach), Sugar Dining (Carle Place), Vittorio’s (Amityville), Wave (Port Jefferson), West East Bistro (Hicksville), and bakeries Loafers (Locust Valley) and Sweet Karma (East Meadow)

Tickets are $100 per person and entitile the bearer to unlimited food and drink. For more information on the event, go to longislandhospitalityball.org. To purchase tickets or to make a donation,  contact Daria Carioscia at the American Cancer Society (631-300-3461, daria.carioscia@cancer.org) or click here.

Event organizer Keith Hart flanked by two angels from Whispering Angels wine at the 2011 Long Island Hospitality Ball

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