Owner/chef Luigi Muto gets a jump on his long day, hours before his Great Neck eatery, La Rotonda Pizza & Restaurant, opens for lunch at noon. On most summer and fall mornings, you’ll find Muto at a local farm, like Rottkamp’s Farm in Old Brookville, picking the freshest of produce to use in any number of recipes that day for lunch and dinner.
“At the restaurant, we have a very small kitchen, we have no basement, and we don’t stock anything,” says Muto proudly. “At Rottkamp’s, their tomatoes are very nice and I find their spinach interesting, as well as other produce. I look every day.”
Dare I risk writing about pizza? Will I annoy you because I included a place not on your list of favorites? Will you hate me because I left off your favorite?
So let me state that this article is about five pizza places. This is not about the BEST pizza on Long Island because we all have our ideas about where to find the very best pizza. And Long Island has some of the best pizza in the country. Just five places chosen arbitrarily.
Various top local restaurants have embraced the farm-to-table concept, elevating their dishes to even greater heights as they support Long Island and New York State growers, wineries and fishermen. Here are two of the best:
There’s a garden behind Market Bistro in Jericho where chef Charles Treadwell grows basil, parsley and other herbs and vegetables to use in his contemporary American dishes.
Can’t make up your mind if you want your pasta Italian style with red sauce and meatballs, or Asian style, perhaps with coconut, shitake mushrooms or peanuts? If you decide to eat at Noodles & Company, you don’t have to choose until you’re at the counter placing your order.
Noodles & Company opened this month in the Gallery at Westbury Plaza off Old Country Road, the first of 24 locations planned for Nassau and Suffolk County for this nationwide chain with 364 locations in 29 states.
It’s Bastille Day when the French mark the beginning of their revolution and what better way to join in the festivities than to eat crepes at Fresco Crêperie, the only restaurant in Nassau County where crepe is king (Sorry. I mean, the food of the populace).
There are two Fresco Crêperies — the original has been in Long Beach for 13 years, and the other in Williston Park for three.
Back in the 20th century, owners Louis Corcione and Steven Guaso (two food-oriented Italian guys, says Corcione) were working in a restaurant where Guaso was the chef and Corcione the general manager when they decided to form a partnership. They liked the concept of a small place with reasonable prices and good quality. Both had traveled extensively in Europe and were inspired by a creperie Corcione had eaten in on the Amalfi Coast. Long Island had enough pizzerias and bagel joints, they thought.
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