The Ivy Inn
A few words about a non-Long Island restaurant. Writing about my one and only experience with snails the other day got me thinking about my time in Charlottesville. The wife and I didn't get to try all the restaurants there that we wanted, but of those we were able to try, our favorite was The Ivy Inn, and we did get there a few times.
Unfortunately, I haven't come across a restaurant like it on Long Island. The menu is à la carte, but two people can have an appetizer, entree, and dessert for around $100 (including drinks), and the food is consistently quite good. (Although it looks like they've raised their prices a little since we were last there.) To get a meal of similar substance and quality on Long Island will normally run you at least $150. Perhaps the closest thing on Long Island is the Chachama Grill, which I reviewed in the past. But even then, if I recall, you also get salad with your meal, a variety of different breads throughout the dinner, and complimentary cookies at the end. You're not getting that at Chachama Grill or many other restaurants on the island.
If I had a complaint about the Ivy Inn (and I have to think to come up with any), it would be that the menu is more ordinary than interesting. So, though you probably won't get the nuance and complexity of flavors of the top restaurants, every dish is solid and delicious. One of the best dishes I've had at any restaurant, anywhere, is the medallions of pork or veal (I don't quite remember) tenderloins over fettuccine in a wild mushroom, cognac and cream sauce. And that's an example--reading it on a menu, you're thinking "Who cares?," but it was executed with perfection and was truly outstanding.
So, anyone going to Charlottesville or passing that way, or any Virginia alums or their spouses heading down there for a football game, check it out.