Opening a restaurant on Long Island is a notoriously lengthy and unpredictable process — and it’s never been more challenging than during the last two years. And yet, neither supply-chain issues, constantly changing health advisories, a labor shortage nor a pandemic has slowed the march of new eateries. Here are some of the most exciting openings planned for the first quarter of 2022.
MB Ramen in Port Washington
Huntington’s MB Ramen was at the forefront of Long Island’s noodle boom when it opened in 2018. Four years later, owners Eric and Jason Machado are planning to open their second location in March, right across from the Port Washington LIRR station at 57 Main Street. According to Eric, the new shop will have the same capacity (about 15 seats) and the same menu (traditional and creative ramen plus adjacencies) as the original.
Hush Ramen Truck in Farmingdale
When the Hush Ramen Truck takes up residence in the parking lot of Farmingdale’s County Line Shopping Center, it will be a homecoming for Marc Bynum. The acclaimed chef has run and consulted for kitchens all over Long Island, but Farmingdale was where he was born, and where, in 2014, he opened his signature restaurant, Hush Bistro. The truck will dispense ramen but also bowls, salads, chicken and ribs. The truck will be parked in front of Ideal Food Basket at 918 Main St. in Farmingdale by the end of January.
Casarecce Italian in Bellmore
Alex Fiorentina and Julius Miranda, owner and chef of Meritage in Glen Cove, are heading south to Bellmore. While the menu at the wine-focused Meritage roams all over the world, Casarecce — which means “homemade” in Italian and is also the name of a Sicilian pasta — stays within the confines of the boot, with a particular focus on housemade pasta and Italian-accented cocktails. The restaurant at 2620 Merrick Rd. in Bellmore (formerly Sage Bistro and, briefly, Epicure) is slated for a late January opening.
Luchacubanos in Riverhead
Having brought the total number of Lucharitos Mexican eateries to five, Marc LaMaina is branching out into Cuban food. His Luchacubanos is a stylish salute to that lesser-known cuisine and it takes over a historic property, a 1937 Kullman-built diner that, until September, operated as Sunny’s Riverhead Diner & Grill. The paper is due to come off the windows of 87 E. Main St. in Riverhead in mid January.
Ruta Oaxaca in Patchogue
The city of Oaxaca (pronounced wah-HAH-kah) in southern Mexico is considered one of the country’s premier culinary destinations, as Ruta Oaxaca aims to demonstrate to Long Island’s South Shore. This is a second location for owner Jose Castillo, and the imaginative menu, elegant platings and swanky décor here will echo those at the original in Astoria, Queens. A January opening is planned at 30 E. Main St., the address recently vacated by Swell Taco.
Brooklyn Dumpling in Garden City
Manhattan restaurateur Stratis Morfogen (who operated a branch of his tony Philippe Chow in Jericho from 2010 to 2012) is opening a location of his new concept eatery, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, in his hometown. The no-servers-required service is inspired by that mid-20th-century signifier, the automat. The dumplings speak to Morfogen’s long association with Chinese food, but the fillings — turkey club, lamb gyro, pastrami — are inspired by his family’s diners. Coming to Stewart Plaza in Garden City in the spring.
Rolling Spring Roll in Commack
Rolling Spring Roll started in 2012 as a Vietnamese food truck parked on Spagnoli Road in Melville, taking up permanent residence in Farmingdale a year later. Three years later, owner Joe Bui opened a larger restaurant in Syosset that dug deeper into the Vietnamese repertoire as well as serving pho (noodle soups), banh mi (sandwiches) and, of course, spring rolls. The Commack location, with the same menu and about 35 seats, has been much longer in coming but Bui is now dotting i’s and crossing t’s at 6120 Jericho Tpke. for a February opening.
Mogu Modern Chinese Kitchen in Commack and Hauppauge
When he opened Mogu in Farmingdale in 2020, Michael Wang was aiming for nothing less than a reinvention of Chinese takeout for the future: Computer-operated wok simulators take much of the skill (and fat) out of the cooking, but without compromising the flavor of stir-fries, egg rolls, dumplings, noodles and more. Wang plans to open at 6228 Jericho Tpke. in Commack in March, 410 Motor Pkwy. in Hauppauge in June.