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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Tom Schaudel's Be-Ju opens in Melville

Sushi chefs Shigeki Uchiyama, left, and Hiroki Tanii

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

When Tom Schaudel opened his sparkling Melville restaurant Jewel in December 2011, he designated one of the many dining areas a cigar-and-Cognac lounge. Turned out he overestimated his customers’ appetite for stogies and brandy because more often than not, he said, the room served as a way station “for chairs that the busboys didn’t want to carry downstairs.”

So he transformed it into Be-Ju...

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Long Island restaurants: New reviews

George Echeverria, executive chef and owner of Eric's

(Credit: Barbara Alper)

In this week’s Newsday, Peter Gianotti reviews Eric’s Italian Bistro, the newest venture from George Echeverria, who “has starred at high-style restaurants such as Soigné in Woodmere and Amicale in Huntington Station; plus the more modest Andiamo in Mineola.” The chef-owner named his new Mineola restaurant for a beloved uncle, and Eric’s honors Uncle Eric “with exemplary service and a warm approach...

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La Casa Cafe, beachfront in Northport, now open year-round

La Casa Cafe in Northport is open year-round.

(Credit: Handout)

For the past 15 years, La Casa Cafe, overlooking Crab Meadow Beach in Northport, used to close in autumn. This year, however, the place is remaining open through the winter and will serve dinner Wednesday to Sunday nights through April 1.

Wednesday and Thursday are pasta nights, where $15.95 ($1.50 extra for gluten-free tortellini and gnocchi) gets you a choice of pasta topped with such options...

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Groppelo's Ristorante opens in Port Washington

Groppelo's Ristorante replaces Sisina in Port Washington

(Credit: Handout)

One Italian restaurant replaces another as Groppelo's Ristorante takes over the former Port Washington digs of Sisina. Although the switch actually happened months ago, the correct sign only recently went up.

On the menu: A Margherita pizza ($12.95), polenta and asparagus ($12.95), rigatoni Bolognese ($16.95), chicken scarpariello ($19.95) and shrimp and pico de gallo ($22.95).

Groppelo's...

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Kitchen A Trattoria now is The Trattoria in St. James

KITCHEN A TRATTORIA, St. James, now is The

(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Buongiorno to The Trattoria; arrivederci, Kitchen A  Trattoria.

The sale of Kitchen A Trattoria in St. James to its chef, Steven Gallagher, has been completed. And Gallagher has renamed the popular spot The Trattoria.

Kitchen A Trattoria was owned by Eric Lomando, who also owns Kitchen A Bistro in St. James and Orto in Miller Place.

Gallagher said the name change was made...

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Mirabelle nouveau in Stony Brook: First bites

Tagliatelle with duck ragout is served at Mirabelle

(Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti)

When Guy Reuge announced that his four-star restaurant, Mirabelle, would switch to a more spontaneous, farm-to-table, fixed-price approach, devotees understandably wondered why.

They shouldn't be concerned. Mirabelle remains a plum.

Reuge's menus now change daily, with perhaps a half-dozen choices for each course. Some dishes may stay on for a few days. And the two-course "duck...

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Cranberry sauce: An easy recipe

Three-fruit cranberry sauce is made with fresh cranberries,

(Credit: Newsday Erica Marcus)

If you’re still casting about for a cranberry-sauce recipe, I offer this simple, delicious one. I was originally going to make it with fresh and dried cranberries, but then I looked at the dried-cranberry package and noticed they contained sugar and oil. Sugar, I can understand — cranberries are very tart . But oil? What’s up with that? So I opted for dried cherries.

Of course, you could use...

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212 Sushi Lounge opens in Rockville Centre

Interior of the new 212 Sushi Lounge in

(Credit: Handout)

The new 212 Sushi Lounge in Rockville Centre takes over the former digs of Chichen Itza, a short-lived Mexican restaurant. The space has been entirely gutted and renovated, said Jeff Foroglou, who co-owns the new dining spot with Barry Huang, a partner at Aji 53 in Bay Shore and Smithtown.

The menu, said Foroglou, covers a lot more than sushi. It lists crispy rock shrimp tempura ($9), oysters...

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Peconic Bay scallops star at Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue

Broiled Peconic Bay scallops are a seasonal favorite

(Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti)

Modern Snack Bar, the home-cooking mainstay in Aquebogue, is up to here in Thanksgiving orders, starting with the mashed turnips advertised on its marquee.

But, in addition to its delicious preparation of the root vegetable currently starring at North Fork farm stands, the restaurant also is offering a true Long Island treat: Peconic Bay scallops. The season started earlier this month.

Modern...

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Buenos Diaz Cafe brings barbecue to Woodbury

Mike Diaz, left, and Jose Luis Sotero are

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

With his new Latin-inflected eatery, Mike Diaz is making the leap from backyard barbecuer to restaurateur.

Diaz isn’t just any backyard barbecuer. Since he got bitten by the BBQ bug 2½ years ago, he and his team Buenos Diaz BBQ (motto: Living la Vida BBQ) have been finalists in a number of local barbecue competitions, including a first place for ribs at the 2013 Smokin’ at the Maples New York...

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