Monday, August 21, 2006

4th Annual Long Island Pizza Competition

I've given up trying to use this blog as a current-event type of thing. But, since the following was emailed to me (I'm only including the more key information), I thought I'd pass it along:

The 4th Annual Long Island Pizza Competition is a charity event put together by ( to support local pizzerias and to
help raise funds to feed the hungry on Long Island, New York.

This years' competition has been hi-jacked by 101.1 Jack FM ( Jack FM 101.1, a New York based radio station owned by CBS Radio has officially come aboard as the presenting sponsor of the local Long Island NY contest.

The Long Island Pizza Festival presented by 101.1 Jack FM takes place rain or shine on Saturday, October 7, 2006 at Adventureland Amusement Park on Route 110 in Farmingdale NY from 12-6pm.

Friday, August 18, 2006

More Singing and Food News

From a reader:

Your blog came up when I was searching for the website for Uncle Giuseppe's. Very interesting info.

Have you tried Bliss in Setauket? Very interesting / different
menu. The chef there is from Dandelions in Garden City. Sometimes the chef comes out and sings opera while you eat. Not very pricy and the food is good.

Here is the website.

Order This at Houlihan's

I don't bother reviewing chain restaurants because they aren't peculiar to Long Island. And they generally suck donkey balls. But the fam and I do go to them on occasion (mostly because they tend to be more kid-friendly than non-chain places). Lately, much to my surprise, they are putting one or two good things (but that's about it) on the menu.

At Houlihan's (we go to the one by the Smith Haven Mall), order this:

Thai Chile Wings ($8.99)

From the menu:
Slathered in our spicy-sweet glaze of Serrano chiles, honey, ginger, soy, and Sriracha and served with our house sesame-ginger dipping sauce.

There are 10 (I believe). They are generally fried perfectly, and the flavors are, indeed, sweet and spicy. They are just fine, as they are, but on the corner of the plate is a dollop of super-heated chili sauce of some kind that'll make your nose run, and your crotch sweat. So, be warned.

Also, as with most food, avoid them as take-out. The wings tend to steam in the styrofoam container and lose their crisp texture.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Review: Torcello's

Torcello's is tucked away in a strip mall on Jericho Turnpike in East Northport, and unless you're looking for it, you're going to miss it. I was meeting some friends there last Friday night. I knew the general location, but couldn't have spotted the actual restaurant to save my life, driving by. I passed it, heading east, and had to come back and just pull into the strip mall and hunt the place down from there.

It's a typical Italian-American eatery on Long Island, mostly pastas with red sauce. In other words, boring.

I had checked out a review in Newsday before going. The review was generally favorable and recommended the rigatoni alla vodka and the gnocchi. I don't know when the review was written, but there ain't no gnocchi on the menu, and the only pasta alla vodka was penne rigati. So, that's what I had--especially since nothing else was exactly crying out to me.

The review described the rigatoni alla vodka as "luxurious and flavorsome." I would describe the sauce as "more or less palatable" (and was helped out with the addition of some of the complimentary cheese on the table) and the pasta as "overcooked."

The review mentions the portions are large, and I can confirm this. So, I didn't have an appetizer or dessert. Also, because I was with friends, I couldn't sample other dishes. But nothing looked particularly appetizing on their plates.

As for the space itself, the restaurant is pretty small, and the tables are relatively close together--but you have enough room to get around, if you need to. And the place is loud. At least it was on a Friday. There were lots of younger people, to my surprise.

I normally don't go to Italian-American restaurants because (1) the menus are often boring; and (2) I can usually make the stuff better, myself, at home. Both rules held true with Torcello's.

The cost: the penne was $12.95, but I had them add shrimp for $4 extra. Most of the pastas and entrees were $10 to $18 or so.

1 1/2 out of 5 stars

1932 Jericho Tpke.
East Northport, NY