O Sole Mio

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2194 Nesconset Hwy
Stony Brook, NY 11790

We already reviewed the garlic knots for this place in a previous entry, however we definitely wanted to come back to try their actual PASTA! What other great opportunity would we take rather than when we visit our alma mater again? And this time, we had some extra taste buds from our friend, Mary.

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On this bustling Saturday night, the place was crowded in the front because of the take-out/pizza parlor near the entrance.  On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for some nice lighting and fancy sit-down dining you can go ahead and speak with the hostess.

That’s what we did!  We received some complimentary garlic knots,slices of bread, and bruschetta upon seating, as well as a plate of some good olive oil to dip.

There were many many choices of pasta, so we took a bit of time to decide.  Here is the menu for your review.  Our first choice was the appetizer Fried Ravioli.  Our server was nice enough to be patient with us and gave us some space to decide.

Mary ordered the Pasta Siciliana and Vic/I got the Alla Vodka.

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Fried Ravioli
Filled with ricotta cheese, lightly breaded and fried to perfection. Served with a side of tomato sauce for dipping. $8.99
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Pasta Siciliana
Served with pan fried eggplant in a filetto di pomodoro sauce with Rigatoni $12.50
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Alla Vodka
Pink cream and vodka sauce with a touch of meat with Linguine $13.50

Pinky says 4/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg

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I definitely recommend this place to who ever loves pasta (like I do).  Oftentimes I have these huge pasta cravings and now I wish that I went to O Sole Mio more while I was studying at Stony.  Actually, perhaps not because I would say that this place is not that cheap, but the portions are huge.  I would probably be more broke than I am now!  Great atmosphere and service for a good special occasion meal though.  The pasta that I had was really heavy.  This is not for the weak!  With everything, less is always more because I felt really disgusting near the end and felt like I was drinking heavy cream.   I could barely finish it, even though the waiter split the meal into half for Victor and me. BUT I WILL STILL HAVE IT AGAIN! Mm fat.

I tried some of Mary’s pasta and I loved the taste too.  The eggplant went really well with the sauce, despite the fact that I am not a big fan of eggplant.  The ravioli was just alright though.  I’m not sure what else they could have done to it to make it more special, but perhaps it was just because of the regular marinara sauce it was served with.  It was pretty pricey for only a couple of pieces.  The garlic knots in the beginning of the meal were again delicious, just like the last time we had them!

Victor says 4/5 Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail

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Although this isn’t my first time here, it’s my first time in the restaurant portion of this Italian Restaurant/ Pizza Take-Out.  I actually wish I have gone here more too. The food here is just always so good. I just assumed this was mediocre,  since it was always advertised around the college we were at. Everything about this place is just wonderful. The pizzas here are like the (good) pizzas in New York City with the thin crust and perfect amount of cheese.

If you’re coming here to sit and dine, its a completely different atmosphere compared to the pizza take-out section. It actually feels like you’re in a fancy restaurant. The waiters are wonderful and are always stopping by to see if everything alright (which it was!)

The garlic knots,  slices of bread, and bruschetta were quite delectable.

The fried ravioli was okay, I guess. I don’t know what to really expect. I’ve always heard people rave about fried raviolis, but it didn’t stand out to me.  Maybe I’m just not the biggest fan of ricotta cheese.  Pinky and I ordered the Alla Vodka and the waiter was kind enough to split our plate into two dishes! I actually really enjoyed this dish and I think I could have finished one whole plate by myself 😛 The sauce was sweet, but it was really heavy and thick for a sauce. The added cheese gave it a more creamy texture. Everything just seemed right about this pasta. Nothing was overcooked and it just went well together. I’d get it again if I came here! I tried Mary’s pasta too! The taste wasn’t quite memorable, but I’m not the biggest fan of eggplant either.

So if you’re in the area, come check this place out for their pizzas, pastas, and everything else!

20131206_183220Thanks to Mary for chilling with us! And for letting us borrow your phone for these pictures…haha

AND…we’re back. *Special* 1st year Anniversary

Apologies for being so MIA ! University is really difficult to finish! BUT, we have made it! I (Pinky) will be graduating with a Health Science BS degree, while Victor will be graduating with a dual-major of Marine Vertebrate Biology and Coastal Environmental Studies! {PSST. let us know if you can find us jobs haha}

We have a special post for you guys today since it was Victor and I’s first year anniversary! The first year of many years to come :] ! We celebrated bright and early morning and had some…garlic knots ! YES!

O SOLE MIO 
2194 Nesconset Hwy
Stony Brook, NY 11790

Being that it was only $3.00 for half a dozen, it was a quick and easy bite before our matinee movie!

Pinky says:

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Although I have not eaten anything else at O SOLE MIO, I would (for now) judge them only by garlic knots and I would actually give them a pretty decent score of 4/5.  They were full of flavor and fluffy inside! Despite the oily goodness, you really got the garlic and cheese flavor out of them.  And it was very obvious it was freshly made! Stepping inside a bit, I got to observe their really pretty interior, being that it is half pizzeria and half legit restaurant! Their service seemed adequate, but I would need to have stayed there for a bit to be the real judge of that!

Will come back for pizza one day!

Victor says:

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The name of the restaurant translates to “Oh My Sun,” which is actually quite relevant I think. This pizzeria/ restaurant is absolutely delightful in my personal opinion and is well lit from the sunlight! I have only had the pizzeria portion of this establishment and it tastes like good ole’ New York City pizza, but in Long Island!  Had a cheese pie here a couple of weeks ago and it pretty good. It’s hard to judge pizza since I’ve had so many from different places, but I guess if it has the right amount of cheese, fresh tomato sauce, and a good bread base, it’s gotta be good, right?

Well, the reason why I keep coming back is their awesome garlic knots.  Sometimes they have cheese in them and it just tastes fantastic. Even without the cheese, it still tastes good! It can be a little hard to chew and bit oily, but it just has this garlic-ly taste that just draws you back for another bite.

I would love to check out their restaurant though. Do not have much time to do that since we will be leaving the area soon.

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garlic knots O SOLE MIO $3.00 for half dozen (6)

Movie Review: written by Pinky

Our matinee movie was MUD (2013),  it received a shocking 98% on Rotten Tomatoes…Have any of you seen it? Victor and I are on a streak of watching good well-filmed movies for now! Started with Side Effects,  then came Place Beyond the Pines, and now this! For those of you who frequently watch movies free online, please make sure you don’t do that for MUD.  The film is created with magnificent film quality and the beauty of nature especially heightens it even more.  The story all started with a boat in a tree and two curious boys.  Some aspects of the movie got me thinking about love and how some people fight so hard to find it…or even to keep it close.  What would you do for the one you love? I adore films that make you THINK about the simplicity, yet simultaneously complexity of life. MUD was definitely one of those films. Highly recommended! (And I don’t even really like Matthew McConaughey…)

Onto our main anniversary meal,

Kitchen A Bistro
404 N Country Rd
St. James, NY 11780
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Our red wine for the night: Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2005 $20.00 (Not from Kitchen A Bistro)

 Highlights ! 

  • Free corkage fee — Bring any bottle of your own drink, for free!
  • Menu changes daily 
  • Does not accept credit card, cash only
  • Reservations needed {somewhat small dining area}
  • Offers Prix Fixe meals: 3 Course Prixe Fixe (Vic and I ordered the 1. small pasta 2. entree 3. dessert) for $40 ; 4 Course Prixe Fixe for $50
  • Complimentary bread and glass of water upon seating!

Pinky says: 5/5

1. Potato Gnocchi Tomato Confit

DSCN2765Despite the fact that I have never had Gnocchi before — (HOW CAN IT BE RIGHT? since I love potatoes so much)  I sadly would have liked this dish more if it had a bit more salt or seasoning.  I had to eat each piece with a piece of tomato, just so there was a burst of flavor to it.  Perhaps that is how you correctly eat it, I wouldn’t know since this is the first time I’ve had it! But, it was quite an experience!The texture of it was to die for though, it was so soft that I melted.  I wanted to drink the leftover sauce/soup with a spoon, but they didn’t provide one and I didn’t want to ask…and risk looking weird… haha.

2. Duck Leg Confit with Quinoa, Golden Beets, Plums

DSCN2777Perhaps the best duck I’ve ever had…and I don’t even particularly like duck.  The meat actually DOES fall off the bone and I just wish it had more skin so I can devour more.  The sauce was a magnificent pool of plum sauce that was sweet and sour.  The golden beets strangely tasted like sweet corn. I don’t usually eat beets so the fact that the chef transformed the beets to taste something closer to home for me, was amazing.  Victor and I were literally sitting at the table debating on what familiar food it tasted like.  This was the staple food of the restaurant, everyone wants a piece of this duck.  Highly highly recommended…even if you don’t like duck!  This was the main attraction and the reason why this place got 5/5!

3. Opera Cake (Sponge cake w/ layers of coffee syrup, buttercream, chocolate ganache and chocolate glaze — with a special scoop of your choice of vanilla or chocolate gelato)

DSCN2785I don’t really favor sponge cake and I wasn’t aware that it was going to be sponge, I actually asked the server what an opera cake was…and I thought it was just regular creamy cake.  I wasn’t disappointed though because of the gelato…Even thought I would have liked more gelato to make up for the dryness of the cake!Perhaps, I should have gone with the choice of caramel cream on the dessert menu…BUT nevertheless a decent dessert dish with surprises of chocolate bursts in each bite.  Our server was so friendly that he was teasing me in that I couldn’t make up my mind of vanilla or chocolate gelato…seriously though? I wanted BOTH!!!

Overall, it was a delightful experience with so many friendly servers.  The diners were all looking at us though, perhaps we were eating out of our league lol…fresh out of undergraduate and dining at an expensive place like this? hehe.  Although, the restaurant’s music selection didn’t really scream “fancy” –more like “this is my 90’s playlist and I am still living in this decade, leave me be” atmosphere!

Victor Says: 4.75/5

1. Gargnelli with Wild Boar Ragu

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The Gargnelli with Wild Boar Ragu was quite delectable. The boar had a very gamey taste, but seasoned amazingly well. It was tender, juicy, and infused with flavor. I cannot even pronounce the name of the pasta they used, but it was soft, but went well with the ragu. Everything just seemed to flow in this dish. I would highly recommend this if it is offered on a day you come.

2. Braised Short Ribs of Beef, spaetzle, Spring VegetablesDSCN2780

This dish was good, but not amazing. I was certainly surprised by how much food they gave though because I was expecting a small entrée. The braised short ribs of beef was actually incredibly tender. You wouldn’t even need a knife for this (unless you were cutting some of it to give to someone). However, there is more emphasis on quality, rather than quantity. I felt that it was not that flavorful and bit a bland. (I was able to cop a taste of that duck Pinky had and it was just OUT OF THIS WORLD. I don’t even like duck too! The crispy skin was amazing and the plum sauce just complimented it so well.)

The spaetzle and spring vegetables portion of the dish was delectable though. I had no idea what spaetzle was when I ordered it, but it looks like a doughy cheeto. It had a very soft texture and it was a bit sweet surprisingly. The vegetable medley was cooked nicely. It wasn’t too overdone and it certainly wasn’t from the freezer. It had a combination of carrots, fava beans, lima beans, peas, and garbanzo beans. All of it went well together. The meat was just plopped on top of the pasta. I felt a disconnect between the meat and the veggies/ pasta, but overall, it still tasted good. I would definitely pick the duck over this entrée though.

3. Frozen Chocolate Souffle DSCN2786

The whole time as I was eating my chocolate soufflé, I thought the outer layer was marshmallow. Pinky said it was torched whipped cream. I don’t even know to who to believe anymore. I could have asked the waiter, but I didn’t. The soufflé was creamy and soft. It had to be eaten right away or it would have all melted. The strange thing was that soufflé is supposed to be like a cake like thing, but at this restaurant, it was more like ice cream. Nonetheless, it was simply amazing. It was a pyramid of creamy goodness.

Overall, this restaurant is amazing. From the outside, it just looks an old Victorian home. Inside, it still looks like a Victorian home, but just fancier. It’s expensive for the normal college student, but it’s really not that much for the quality and quantity of food.  All in all, I would come back again if had the time and money. I felt like I was a judge on Food Network. I approve.

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At the end of the night we got to visit the place where Victor actually asked me out at haha.  Don’t judge my (Pinky) clothes..it was a cold night and I was wearing a spring dress….hehe

I love Victor J Yin. Thank you for such a great memorable night.  Thanks for dinner more importantly lol!

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John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House

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2093 Smith Haven Plz
Lake Grove, NY 11755

Hey there everyone, it’s been a while! This is Pinky here writing about our Valentine’s day this year! I know that was a long time ago but hey, we are first students (sadly) then food bloggers LOL. Victor was very sweet to get me those beautiful flowers on this very special day.  Although we didn’t even really see each other because we have conflicting schedules, he came by after my class to drop off the presents!  Very very sweet.  But I know that you don’t want to hear these stories! (hehe)…I swear that this is a food post! We went to John Harvard’s Brewery and Ale House for a Valentine’s day dinner.  Once you enter in here, you feel like you’re in a old cowboy movie.  Looks a bit like an old saloon.  The good thing about this place was that they had happy hour from 10pm until closing! The bad thing? No one was leaving.  I’m not sure if this is a restaurant thing but customers really get annoyed when half of the restaurant is not being used to seat us.  I think we approximately waited for 40 minutes for a table.  Ridiculous! We were starving!  However, 40 minutes was probably nothing considering it was an “eat-out” kind of holiday.  Also sadly, we couldn’t get the special valentine’s day deal because it was happy hour!

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Online Menu HERE

DSCN0509 DSCN0510 waiting…and waiting…

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crystal ship brew $3.00 (happy hour)
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Quesadilla: Chicken, pico de gallo, cheddar & pepperjack cheeses served with sour cream, salsa and jalapenos. $7.29 original price — but 1/2 off happy hour..but doesn’t include addition of chicken (+$2)
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CHIPOTLE BBQ: bacon, cheddar cheese, red onion, house BBQ, chipotle aioli $11.99 (not half off for happy hour)
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GORGONZOLA* brandy-mushroom sauce, gorgonzola cheese, crispy shallots
$12.99 (not half off for happy hour)

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Victor says: 3/5

This place decent. It’s sorta like typical diner food. I guess the quality of food and service was not as good that day due to the nature of it being Valentine’s day. It took forever to be seated, but our food came out rather quick. The waiter was extremely attentive to us despite the large volume of people that night. I don’t really know anything about beer, but we got something called the “Crystal Ship”.  Not really sure what to make of it.

The chicken quesadilla was a bit a messy. Taking a bite into that thing and juices just started to squeeze out of the sides. It was good for an appetizer and can be filling if you eat it alone. They added corn to the quesadilla and I thought that gave it a nice a crunch. However, it is nothing to go crazy for.

I ordered a Gorgonzola and it wasn’t too shabby. I asked for medium rare, but it came out a little on the dry side. Nevertheless, it was still delectable. The gorgonzola cheese is rather thick like bleu cheese. It added a very creamy texture to the burger. The flavor of the cheese and burger went well together with the shallots.

I’m giving a shoutout to the fries because they were fried to crispy perfection. Each fry had a wonderful crunch to them and they did not disappoint.

I’m guessing this place is better known for its beer rather than its food. The food is good, but not great or amazing.

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Pinky says: 3/5

Not the best food I’ve ever had but a pretty okay place.  I was at first pretty reluctant to go here since I actually was looking at the Suffolk Public Health website and it had a lot of violations in the food/restaurant inspections.  But hey, this was the only place that was open after 10pm and I was really craving some good BURGERS.

I was a bit annoyed that we waited for so long but I guess it was expected.  We got our table about 11:15pm and they were saying kitchens close around 11:30p.  I just really wanted to sit! I didn’t find the waiting area until I turned the corner after the entrance! I guess they assume that we would head straight to the bar haha.  First impression, not good.

Crystal Ship wasn’t really a good brew for me.  I’m not that into very strong or bitter.  It could have been stronger but i’m not such a fan.  I was glad at least the appetizer, quesadilla was very hot in temperature so at least we knew the food was made fresh.  Not the greatest but it beats the old frozen ones you buy at a grocery store.  It wasn’t a skinny quesadilla either.

I ordered the Chipotle burger and boy..was it messy!  This burger was also hot off the grill.  I appreciated that!  There was way too much BBQ sauce..I’m glad it was at least tasty though!  I had a lot of fun licking it off my fingers haha!! However, it was soaking my burger bun.  If it was a regular bun instead of like a kaiser roll, I would have disliked it very much.  Smart alternative!  Fries were also hot to touch and were yummy and delicious.

I gave a 3 because, it was good but not so special!

Akropolis Greek Restaurant

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Complimentary chickpeas!

127 Smithtown Blvd
Ste 16
Nesconset, NY 11767

Hands down, one of the best Greek restaurants in Long Island. I’ve been here twice, and they do not disappoint. It’s not a very popular place, but it definitely worth the visit. It is inexpensive and they offer coupons on their website: www.akropolisrestaurant.com.

Just by walking into the restaurant, you get this very homey atmosphere.  Everyone just looks like  they are having a good time eating. I guess that’s the main goal of most restaurants though. This restaurant is at the end of a mall strip, so keep your eyes open!

Athenian Mushrooms – Mushrooms cooked in white wine and stuffed with spinach, feta and melted mozzarella, served with pita. $6.95

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Our GYROS! $7.95 each!
Our GYROS! $7.95 each!

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Victor says: 4.5/5 Great!!

One of my favorite places to go! The portions here are huge and the food is not too expensive. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere feels like its someone’s home. Above all, the food tastes great!

As a complimentary dish, they offer a bowl of chickpeas garnished with white onions and a basket of pita bread. Everything was relatively fresh and it seemed as if the pita bread just came out of the oven. I would advise you not to eat too much of it if you are here with one other, since it is very filling. There are many more things to try as well!

An appetizer I really enjoy is the Athenian Mushrooms. I would have to say these are the best mushrooms I have had to date. the mushrooms are cooked in a white wine with spinach and cheese on the top. Just one mushroom is extremely filling. What really makes this dish stand out is truly the taste of the mushroom. Just by taking one bite of this mushroom, you can taste the sweet and rich juices of the mushroom and having been cooked in the wine. I would definitely recommend checking this out!

I had a  beef and lamb gyro with yogurt sauce, but I don’t regret getting it. I know I probably should have tried something different, but oh well. This was the biggest gyro I ever had. I was already so full when it came out too. But nevertheless, it was still wonderfully delicious. There were more slices of meat than lettuce, and the meat was so juicy and tender. The meat was savory and it was seasoned well. Even though it just sounds like your average gyro, everything about this gyro just seemed to right.

Coming back here a second time, I ordered a gyro again, and I was still pleased with it. Maybe next time I will try something different. If you’re around Long Island, I would highly recommend coming here!

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Pinky says: 4.5/5

Okay, so you might be saying to yourself.  Pinky, you are quite crazy! Throwing all these high ratings  everywhere! BUT NO. Trust us this place…is so amazing. The complimentary chickpeas and pita bread were delicious already.  The chickpeas were in this sort of olive oil mixture with lemon juice I believe…  I have never had that kind of taste before!
We shared the Athenian Mushrooms and I LOVE spinach.  The food was so fresh and hot…the cheese was so much but sooo good.  My mouth is watering already…FETA AND MOZZ? What can go wrong here? The dish was a bit salty and sour, it was quite an interesting flavor.  I believe they put some wine in it.  Although there are only four knobs of mushrooms, this dish was already quite satisfying and filling.  And this was only the appetizer!

I just ordered a regular gyro.  I believe this was the first time Vic told me how to pronounce it correctly lol (EURO?) I never really ordered this much before because…i’ll tell you a secret.. I was too embarrassed to make a mistake of mispronouncing it LOL.  I made Vic order it this time :P.  As you may know, the gyro has lamb beef with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.  THE THING WAS AS BIG AS MY FACE.  It was so filling that I had to bring it back home.  The first time we were here, I didn’t know that I could ask for extra yogurt sauce of no charge!  So if you’re taking the food home, make sure you ask! :]  You’ll be glad you did.  But hey, maybe you can finish the whole thing in one sitting :P…it’s delicious to finish it all either way!

IMAG1745IMAG1747 Some funny pics of how we were so surprised how much food they gave us! :]