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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

Tacos al pastor at El Paso, Farmingdale

Tacos al pastor at El Paso Taco Grill

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

El Paso Taco Grill in Farmingdale has long been one of our favorite spots for tacos. (It doesn’t hurt that it’s also the closest good taqueria to Newsday.) For a while it was all about the lengua (tongue) but lately I’ve been grooving on the tacos al pastor.

A true taco al pastor is made from pieces of pork that have been marinated and then stacked and roasted, gyro-style, on a rotating vertical...

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Two new eateries debut at Deer Park outlets

Shrimp bucket served at Joe's Crab Shack in

(Credit: Newsday Joan Reminick)

Wherever there's shopping, food usually follows close behind. So it's not surprising that two new eating spots have cropped up at Tanger Outlets at the Arches in Deer Park.

UNO Fresco, the first Long Island branch of a casual chain from the Chicago-based UNO, offers both Chicago-style deep dish and thin crust pizzas, along with a roster of entrees, pastas, panini and salads. Here, you order...

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La Nonna Bella in Garden City ages gracefully

Two large groups dine at La Nonna Bella

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Some restaurants get better with age. Six years after opening, and four years after founding chef Lino De Vivo bought the place from its original owner, La Nonna Bella is turning out some very impressive Italian food.

Pastas were the undisputed stars of a recent dinner. The menu lists 15 pastas, and an observant diner can perceive — even before tasting — that the kitchen knows what to do with...

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Supersized pizza in Massapequa

A slice of the 34-inch Penn Station pizza

(Credit: La Semolina Pizza of Massapequa)

For those in search of the next big thing, here’s something truly tremendous: a 34-inch pizza. You can find this prodigious pie at La Semolina Pizza, which opened recently in the former digs of Bravo Pizza on Broadway in Massapequa.

The place is owned by father-and-son team Michael and Luigi DellaMonica. As Luigi DellaMonica tells it, his father previously owned a pizzeria in upstate Oneonta,...

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Open in Huntington: IMC Restaurant and Bar

At IMC Restaurant and Bar in Huntington, braised

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Sleek, neon-lit, clubby and meat-centric, IMC (Imperial Meat Company) erases all memories of Buoy One, the classic fish restaurant that used to occupy this prime Main Street location.

Chef Alex Tchernikov has cooked at 11 Madison Park and Tao in Manhattan. Here he takes full advantage of the culinary opportunities afforded by the restaurant’s owners, who also own Imperial Meat Market in Brighton...

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Long Island restaurants: New reviews

The Lower East Side sandwich at True American

(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

In this week’s Newsday, Peter M. Gianotti reviews True American Kitchen, the Mineola successor to Lola Trattoria. From Chicago hot dogs and Southern fried chicken to New York strip steak and pan-roasted Long Island duck breast, it’s “a lively new restaurant with real personality and enough homey choices to feed the most contrarian group.”

Joan Reminick visits Sushi Republic in New Hyde Park...

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Barbecue contest anchors Farmingville weekend festival

Pitmaster Will Breakstone poses with a rack of

(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

A barbecue cook-off will be the culmination of two days of festivities Saturday and Sunday at the Pennysaver Amphitheater in Farmingville.

The “Hope on the Hill” BBQ Contest has been organized by Will Breakstone, Long Island’s much-decorated pitmaster. On Saturday, while a dozen barbecue teams set up their rigs and begin to smoke, visitors can wander through a huge flea market in the amphitheater...

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Hamptons International Film Festival: Where to eat

Rowdy Hall in East Hampton in an autumnal

(Credit: Ian J. Stark)

Will Bill Murray star at Nick & Toni's?

The Hamptons International Film Festival opens Thursday, showing his latest film, "St. Vincent."

But just in case N&T's is packed, here are three recommendations for one of my favorite actors and comedians -- and for anyone who'll be in the general vicinity of Main Street and Newtown Lane.

Near the movies: Rowdy Hall. The pub-bistro...

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Pumpkin dishes on Long Island: 4 we love

The pumpkin pancakes at Premier Diner in Commack.

(Credit: Heather Walsh)

It’s pumpkin-picking time, which, for many, means the time of year to pick a pumpkin dish from a menu. In that spirit, here are four restaurants, each putting its own spin on the autumnal squash.

PREMIER DINER, 690 Commack Rd., Commack, 631-462-1432

This breakfast destination spot offers up pumpkin pancakes, which are light, plush and very much of the season. ($7.50)

LEMONGRASS...

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LL Dent in Carle Place: Prix-fixe to benefit breast cancer

Leisa Dent, chef and co-owner of LL Dent

LL Dent in Carle Place is featuring an antioxidant-rich three-course dinner, at $35 a person, with half the proceeds benefiting the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program. The meal will be available throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Here’s what's chef Leisa Dent is cooking: Autumn sweet potato soup, followed by grilled salmon with tamarind...

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