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Long Island

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Step into Runyon's and you'll quickly forget about the cars cruising along Merrick Road just outside. Half of Runyon's is a bar large enough to accommodate two or three softball teams and a popcorn machine. The other half is an informal seafood restaurant and grill with cozy booths. There are plenty of options if you just want something to nosh on with your beer; not just wings and chili, but more exotic choices like kung po squid and fried brie. A signature item is the pizetta, prepared with clams, buffalo-style chicken, spinach or pesto, stone-baked on a seasoned pita. There is also a slew of seafood, steaks, burgers, sandwiches and pasta selections, all satisfactory enough for former Newsday/Long Island Press columnist Ed Lowe to mention the place in his essays whenever he gets the chance. -- J. Gidman Zumpano

Venue name: Runyon's
Address: 3928 Merrick Road
Price: $30 and under
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