Cue Nine Billiards and Restaurant
2953 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown
For as long as most people can remember, this was Leisure Time Billiards, a pool hall stuck into the middle of the Tri-County Flea Market strip center. Well, it’s still a pool hall but gone uptown, an extreme makeover. The pool tables have been joined by dining tables, a long black bar and an ambitious team heading up the kitchen. Chopped champ chef Mark Bynum (Teller’s, Venue 56), through his M. Bynum Creations company, has designed an easy-to-like menu with lots of dishes easy to chomp on between shots. Pool shots, that is. Chef de Cuisine Tony Kang, Bynum’s sous chef at Venue 56, executes the menu and weekly specials. But both chefs were nowhere to be seen when my MB’s Pasta Rustica appears with rotini pasta instead of bucatini. But the combo of peppery sausage and escarole in wine sauce makes me happy anyway. BBQ brisket makes its appearance as sliders or on top of the Hustler burger. Take a bite and return to the table. It’s your shot.
211 Mineola Ave., Roslyn Heights
Belly up to the counter—or use one of the iPads—and order some healthy pizza for a change.
The crusts—regular, whole wheat or gluten-free—are all very thin, like the legendary Eddie’s Pizza, a few towns over. Personal 10-inch pizzas start at eight bucks but most come in around $12 (There are 16-inch pizzas too). Sauces and salads are organic, soups are low-sodium, pastas are egg-free, chicken is hormone-free and the flour contains no additives. I like the self-serve Boylan fountain sodas and my regular slices (yes, slices!) were generous and had a crisp crust, no soggy bottoms which can be a challenge with thin crusts.
Asian Bistro Next Door
Woodbury Common, Woodbury
Next door to what you ask? Graffiti American Grill, which moved into the old Baang space and went upscale. The same owners kept this space and revamped into a pan-Asian food lounge with a limited menu of small and large plates and an emphasis on alcohol. The morphing continues at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday when the place becomes ABND, the music gets turned up and bottle service is offered.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Best Western Mill River Manor Hotel
173 Sunrise Hwy, Rockville Centre
Chain, chain, chain, chain of ‘cue. A franchise of one the country’s largest BBQ chains opens in the unlikeliest of places, the Best Western on the edge of town—also a chain.
Order at the counter and they’ll bring you brisket, sliced or chopped, pork ribs (the only kind), more smoked meats including ham, turkey, chicken breast, Polish sausage and hot links. You can also purchase meats Texas style, by the pound. Sides include Fried Okra, Fried Onion Tanglers, Green Beans with bacon, Baked Potato Casserole and many more. Help yourself to free soft-serve ice cream for dessert.
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