Best Value

Trying to pin down words like frugal, value, and deal can be exasperating because different people have different ideas of cost savings. For 10Best, the range is broad - we include impossibly cheap eateries with amazing menus, and we share really nice restaurants that have perks like an impressive wine list with no corkage fee or a terrifically affordable prix fixe menu. If you're looking for Best Value restaurants in Long Island, let us introduce you to a few of our favorites, starting with Kitchen à Bistro and Thomas's Ham & Eggery. They're low in expenditures and high in appeal.

This Commack gem hits homeruns from both sides of the plate, so to speak, thanks to spectacular sushi and well-portioned hot entrees. The understated interior reveals a touch of minimalism: indigo walls, light-stained woods, and modest pieces of original Japanese art. Immensely popular are the lunchbox specials — great deals and, with seaweed salad and a handful of maki rolls, more than enough food for one person. Takeout orders are available. (631-499-0400)

Thomas's Ham & Eggery
Pay close attention as you're cruising down Old Country Road near Carle Place, or you'll likely drive right by this friendly roadside diner without a second glance. If that's the case, you've truly done your morning appetite a disservice, because the Ham and Eggery has been a Nassau County stalwart since before World War II. From hearty egg skillets prepared any way you like to Belgian waffles and French toast smothered in rich maple syrup, this little slice of Americana is sure to rank high on your list. (516-333-3060)

Mirabelle, near Stony Brook Harbor, features the celebrated cuisine of owner-chef Guy Reuge, who hails from Normandy. Upscale yet unpretentious, the main dining room is simply and unobtrusively decorated, allowing diners to focus on the food rather than the decor. And that's just what patrons have done since the place debuted in the early '80s. Superbly done dishes include pan-fired black sea bass with sautéed squid, caramelized organic salmon with avocado-ramp custard and smoked potato purée, and roast loin of lamb. While prices aren't low, the prix fixe lunch menu allows you to enjoy a 3-course meal and glass of wine for $25. Impressive wine list. Reservations are suggested. (631-584-5999)

Kitchen à Bistro
Discriminating taste buds relish the creative fare served at this diminutive dining room. Chefs at work in the open kitchen form the focal point of the spartan interior. Impeccable dishes range from a choice of fresh fish to unusual concoctions of duck or veal, and they're all reasonably priced for outstanding cuisine. Bring a bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal. NB Dinner by reservations only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. (631-862-0151)

Waterzooi Belgian Bistro
Wanna know where many locals think you can find the best mussels on LI? The only Belgian place in downtown Garden City, that's where! So, order an Amstel (keep the tab open!), stuff a napkin in your collar, and ask the server to set you up with a heaping order prepared Thai, Creole, or Provençal-style — and served with frites and mayo. If you don't dig shellfish, they also serve delicious sandwiches, traditional fish dishes, and other main courses like steak au poivre and herb-roasted chicken. Weekly beer and wine dinners on Monday and Tuesday nights respectively, feature three courses and beverage for $35. Reservations are encouraged. (516-877-2177)

Cinelli's Pizzeria & Restaurant
Its snug confines always bustling, Cinelli's is hands-down one of the area's more popular Southern Italian joints. Indeed, on weekends, it's not uncommon to see the line for tables extending out the door and hungry families eagerly waiting their turn to enjoy cooked-to-order pasta plates and hand-tossed pizzas. The dishes honor recipes that Pop Cinelli and family brought from their native Monte San Giovanni back in 1965. Although many diners opt for a table in the comfortable main dining room, you can also get a pie to go from the neighboring pizzeria. Delivery orders are also accepted. (516-352-1745)

Bigelow's New England Fried Clams
There's one sure-fire way to get your sea legs when visiting Rockville Centre — pay this New England-style seafood shack a visit and treat yourself to a hearty order of fried clam strips. Once your palate is acclimated, go on and enjoy their other fresh-from-the-water goodies like fried-golden calamari, flounder, or the house specialty, Ipswich clams. A local tradition since the 30s (the taxidermy, nautical equipment, and postcards decorating the wall proves it!), Biglow's makes no secret about what is: a good, old-fashioned eatery that will be around long after the trendy poseurs have sunk to the bottom. There's no table service and seating inside is limited, but it's well worth the wait. (516-678-3878)

Mediterranean Snack Bar
Great prices and even greater eats have enabled this Greek joint to maintain its high status in the Huntington restaurant community since 1975. Snack Bar founder Steve Soulellis brings to the table a lifetime's worth of culinary expertise and allows only the best ingredients — like imported kalamata olives and fresh-caught bluefish — to find their way into his delicious recipes. Homemade Greek pizzas, falafels, veal souvlaki, and moussaka tantalize the taste buds to no end. And plan on ordering a few pieces of baklava before you take off — one bite of their signature sweet just won't do! (631-423-8982)

Fortune Wheel
Don't let the shopping center locale deter you from trying this Levittown fave, because folks flock to it for dim sum and other traditional Chinese eats, like General Tso's chicken, sweet and sour pork, and Peking duck. Plus, as the large saltwater tank indicates, Fortune Wheel specializes in fresh fish and seafood. A casual setting and inexpensive prices combine to make this an ideal place to bring the entire family. (516-579-4700)

Salsa Salsa
When the need for sizzling, spicy, substantial fare hits, this festive Smithtown gathering place, billed as a burrito bar, has few peers. Although the nearby Port Jefferson location doesn't offer much room, this Smithtown sister more than makes up for it by offering plenty of seating. It also continues the commitment to quality cooking and friendly service. From two-bean chili con carne and quesadillas to specialty tacos stuffed with bacon or fish, Salsa Salsa has no problem tending to even the pickiest of appetites. (631-360-8080)

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Maps and Directions

Kurofune 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Cost: $$
Thomas's Ham & Eggery 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Diner
Cost: $
Mirabelle 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Continental, European, French
Cost: $$$
Kitchen à Bistro 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: St. James
Cost: $$
Waterzooi Belgian Bistro 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Belgian, European
Neighborhood: Garden City
Cost: $$
Cinelli's Pizzeria & Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Pizza
Neighborhood: Franklin Square
Cost: $$
Bigelow's New England Fried Clams 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Local Specialty, Seafood
Cost: $
Mediterranean Snack Bar 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean, Seafood
Neighborhood: Huntington
Cost: $$
Fortune Wheel 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Cantonese, Chinese
Neighborhood: Levittown
Cost: $$
Salsa Salsa 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: Smithtown
Cost: $
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