Found some good places today (some tried, some just vibed). If you've tried them, please add thoughts. If you haven't tried them, and do, please report back.
Artie's aka South Shore Fish Market 4257 Austin Blvd, Island Park (516) 889-0692. definitely the class act in south shore fish restaurants. Nothing fancy, it's just tables in an adjunct to a (terrific) fish store. But owner Artie's an actual fisherman, and he has really good stuff. Soft shells were huge and perfect. Lobster sweet and fatty like Maine. French fries and sweet potato fries worth a trip, and surprisingly decent vegetables (e.g. asparagus). Good garlic bread, clam sauce dishes looked good. Fried stuff is kind of weird, though tasty...e.g. the whole belly ipswich clams were perfect clams, but something "off" with the frying. Grilled whole branzini was impeccable on the bread-crumbed side, mushy and underseasoned on the other. Terrific sweet tea, and smart, genuine service.
Peter's Clam House (600 Long Beach Rd Island Park, 516-432-0505) just up the block, is newish and very busy and I have a very good vibe.
Agrigento Bakery 4032 Austin Blvd Island Park (516) 431-0400 Sicilian bakery. really terrific sfoigatelle (mostly for the shells, the filling's only very good), wonderful chocolate/hazelnut (here actually chocolate/almond) cookies. Lots of other things look good but aren't, but the cannoli are amazing. They fry their own shells....IN LARD!!!! You can buy cannoli shell shards for snacking, too.
Oceanside Knish Factory 3445 Lawson Blvd Oceanside, (516) 766-4445 knishfactory.com. make very good buttery rugelach. I like the chocolate ones, but you have to appreciate the winey tasting chocolate religious jews use in such things. I bought some cold knishes for later, they looked excellent and very hand-made.
Union Bagel Café 1 Union Ave Lynbrook (516) 256-3360 sign says hand-rolled. I get a good vibe.
I got a terrible terrible vibe from The Smokehouse, a smoothie, highly-commercialized bbq place at 4160 Austin Blvd., Island Park, NY, 516-889-3733. You don't want to see a big sign advertising "frozen drinks" outside a barbecue place.
Nearby, Bad Bob's barbecue 3112-3114 Lawson Blvd Oceanside, 516-561-7427 looks better, though still not great. Part of a chain, including one location in Port Washington.
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