Here are the places we all rememeber, the ones we loved to go to for special occasions, and the ones we still love to go to, sometimes just for the memories...

The Milleridge Inn, Jericho, NY

How on earth do you review a part of the established culture like The Milleridge Inn? You either go for the cozy warm atmosphere and home style food, or you stay home.
The Milleridge Inn as a restaurant has been around since 1963, but the story of Milleridge goes way back to 1672 when it began as a tiny house consisting of only two rooms and a central fireplace - which is still standing just off the present main entrance. Now, the Inn is home to the main floor restaurant, along with 11 private dining rooms, along with the Cottage and Carriage Houses for catering.
The menu is exactly what you would expect. The house chicken stuffed with ham and cheese, topped with gravy, is always delicious and satisfying. You cannot go wrong with the prime rib. Their specialty is the saurbraten and if its your thing, do have it. Its moist and succulent, as is the lamb shank with mint jelly (of course). The fish is not their specialty - lets leave it at that. But if you are in the mood for pot roast of beef, this is your place.
Your dinner will come with the choice of an appetizer, a salad and a dessert. Who does that anymore!
During the holidays, the Milleridge shines. Easter is special, with an Easter Bunny and treats for the kids. St Patricks day now comes with Irish Step Dancers, and corned beef & cabbage. Even Mardi Gras is a celebration there, when you will find specials like a New Orleans Po Boy and Jambalaya. The menu changes to reflect the occasion, especially at Octoberfest! Thanksgiving is their busiest day, along with a whole harvest festival. Then, overnight, Milleridge turns into a Christmas Wonderland - including the roast goose! Even if you don't go for the food, GO! Don't miss the carolers who wander the restaurant singing Christmas carols, and even take requests. Relax and take your time with dinner and enjoy the beautiful decorations, the kind and helpful staff (many of them who have been there for years), then wander around along the lane and browse in the Cottage Shoppes and pick up a trinket to take home. Its always a perfect evening. Don't forget to stop at the bakery for some of the homemade breads and cakes that they make there and serve in the restaurant.

Carltun In The Park, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, NY

How can you resist sitting in an elegant, traditional restaurant, overlooking the beautiful golf course in Eisenhower Park? Some things never change -- and shouldn't! At the Carltun, the staff is attentive and will help you with everything from drinks and wine to dessert. In our case, the waiter even went outside to pick a particular herb my husband asked for. (They grow their own herbs, in case you were wondering).
For all of the unique, specialty and fusion type restaurants we love to frequent these days, there is something to be said for traditional well made cuisine. An excellent porterhouse steak, perfect calamari, and the special of that night - a sampler dinner plate which included petite filet mignon, lobster tail, lamb chop and pan seared duck breast. Omg!!! It tasted as good as it looked.
Two thumbs up for atmosphere and service.
1 and 1/2 thumbs for the food.
.....oh, can't forget the red velvet cake which they brought out with a candle on a plate, on which they wrote Happy Birthday. Extra points for no singing!!

The Ivy Cottage, Williston Park, NY CLOSED **see note

As written in www.theislandnow.com  "Madison bought the Hillside Avenue restaurant from Joseph Lester, who had owned Ivy Cottage for the past 14 years. Leser owns the FarmHouse Kitchen in Rockville Centre.  “He was looking for someone to come in who would breathe life into this place and keep the customers he’d developed,” Madison said.  Lester, 55, said he has problems with his legs and feet and could no longer keep up with the demands of running a kitchen in an ala carte restaurant. So he opened the Rockville Centre restaurant, a business based primarily on take-out food and catering last in January 2011 with the intention of selling the Ivy Cottage.  “I had to find another way of staying in the business. I can’t do that kind of work anymore. That’s why I decided to sell,” said Lester, who grew up in Williston Park.  He said he was “lucky” with the Ivy Cottage, particularly because of the people he met there.  “I had such a great run there,” he said. “What I’m really going to miss is the people, the customers.”

     I suggest we check out Joe Lester's new restaurant!

There are lots of places to get a great burger if you're not at BBP, some of which are very unlikely. The Ivy Cottage in Williston Park is one of those places. Just over the tracks, tucked in next to Peter Andrews is a small charming restaurant know as The Ivy Cottage. Open for lunch and dinner, Chef and Owner Joe seems to be there all the time. And it shows in the food prep, delivery and taste.
When you walk in you immediately feel like you're in a contry house and you will have a bit of a vacation, at least for an hour or two.
They have a lunch menu, and dinner menu, plus specials every day. And the specials do change every day. At lunch, do order the burger. It will come to you crispy and crusty on the outside, moist and tender inside, on an english muffin. Its perfect. You can also usually get a decent salad, chicken salad and one of the better veggie burgers around, served on top of a bed of baby greens. For lunch or dinner, any time they have the jumbo lump crab meat napoleon, (pictured below) get it!
At dinner I personally enjoy the risotto with pan seared diver scallops, baby spinach, white truffle oil and parmesan cheese. The grilled marinated skirt steak with crispy fried onions comes highly recommended, as are the pan roasted halibut, and the striped bass when they have it.
Ivy Cottage is the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two, as well as a private party for 20. Joe will accommodate you whatever your needs.

Taste 99, Bethpage Black Golf Course, Bethpage Park, NY

 Located in the old Oak Room at Bethpage Golf Course, Taste 99 opened about a year ago advertising itself as a Tapas restaurant, combined with a classic steak & fish restaurant. I was so hopeful, imagining a menu filled with all sorts of tasty delicacies. I was disappointed with that part. But the main room sits atop the Bethpage golf course, with lots of history, large glass windows overlooking miles of green, and a lovely patio where you can eat when the weather is nice.
The dinner menu at Taste does have a substantial appetizer section (10) but its certainly not tapas, and its not entitled tapas. Regardless, the Calamari Three Ways, and Moroccan Style wings were excellent and reasonably priced for an upscale restaurant. If you were eating light, they had a nice selection of salads, including a delicious oven-roasted pear salad with crumbled goat cheese, candied pecans and raspberry vinaigrette over romain.
The entrees were almost too many too choose from, and again, reasonably priced. The most expensive, grilled or blackened rib-eye, with roasted potatoes and herbed compound butter was a bargain at $29.00 compared to what the new steakhouses are doing. The blackened tuna with with a daikon, carrot and shitaki slaw in a miso glaze was also notable and cooked correctly. I had the Louisiana pasta with tasso ham and shrimp in a tasso cream sauce, which was luscious and spicy, although the pasta was cooked a bit too much.
I liked Taste 99, even though it was not Tapas. The staff was pleasant and welcoming, the atmosphere was classic and the food was traditional with a few modern twists thrown in. It was a good value and worth another "taste."

Nov. 6, 2012

CLOSED: 56th FIGHTER GROUP RESTAURANT

From www.long-island.newsday.com: General manager Robert Johnson said the restaurant's 30-year lease expires in August. He told Newsday, in this article by Nicholas Spangler, that a dispute with the Town of Babylon over property taxes prompted the decision to close. This year's bill: about $160,000. Under state agreement, since the restaurant is a nonaviation business, the payments are mandatory. Johnson termed them "excessive." But any reassessment rate couldn't be in place until 2013. Johnson said that the eatery, which has a World War II theme pegged to local aircraft production, would like to reopen closer to the neighboring American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport.
The popular East Farmingdale restaurant closed in August 2012. It opened in 1982

The 56th Fighter Group Restaurant, Farmingdale NY [CLOSED, See note below*]

 To say 56th Fighter group is a theme restaurant is not to tell the whole story. Set in just at the outskirts of Republic Airport, when you walk in you are transported back in time to a 1917 French style allied headquarters farmhouse. The history is that the restaurant sits on the site where the P47 aircraft was built during WWII. The walls are covered with photographs of war heros and airplanes. When you are seated, you will either be near one of the many cozy fireplaces, or near a window overlooking the airport watching the planes take off.
Their menu for dinner offers a selection of steaks, chicken and seafood. The steaks are always cooked as ordered and full of flavor. The chicken specials, as with the pasta, usually come out as described. The fish - not so much.
Sunday Brunch at the Fighter Group is a treat. For a reasonable price per person, you have an unlimited buffet in an atmosphere that if family friendly. The choices such as made to order waffles and omelets, freshly carved meats, and the standard breakfast rolls, bagels, cold fishes and cheeses are supplemented by a hot buffet of seafood and meat. There is even a separate bar for the kids with cereal, milk, mini bagels, etc...
This is definitely an atmosphere. In the evening its cozy and romantic. On sunday, its a fun family place. At happy hour from 4-7, the bar is jumping, the drink specials are fantastic, and you can barely get in. So go, have fun. The prices are reasonable, and the food is pretty good.