You’ve made your selection on restaurant and are perusing the menu. You’re pretty hungry. True food aficionados know the meal before the meal is just as important as the main course. “If I only knew which restaurant had the Best Appetizer on Long Island!” you think to yourself. Well, dear eaters, your prayers have been answered. Introducing this year’s winners of Best Appetizer on Long Island. (Drum roll, please.)
Long Islanders Voted King Umberto’s/Fried Cappellini in Elmont Best Appetizer on Long Island!
1343 Hempstead Tpke., Elmont. 516-352-8391. www.kingumberto.com
King Umberto‘s Fried Cappellini appetizer is a trademark of the restaurant and a popular item with patrons. Fried Cappellini is angel hair pasta and cheese formed into patties and deep fried. The combination of angel hair pasta and cheese is delicious enough, yet when deep fried, it is pure, unadulterated genius. There is no other appetizer on Long Island as unique or delicious.
2. Rachel’s Waterside Grill/Tuna Nachos
281 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport. 516-546-0050. www.rachelswatersidegrill.com
This patron favorite features fresh avocado and spicy tuna tartare served on top of crispy rice paper “nachos.” Tossed with a chipotle ginger aioli and sprinkled with Nori ribbons, this appetizer won’t last long at your table.
3. The Stone Turtle/Screaming Oysters
4160 Austin Blvd., Island Park. 516-431-6570. www.thestoneturtlerestaurant.com
Don’t worry. The oysters don’t actually scream. They are, however, the best oysters the East Coast has to offer poached in sake, cilantro and oelek sambal and served with garlic crostini.
NATIONAL. The Cheesecake Factory/Avocado Rolls
Multiple locations. www.thecheesecakefactory.com