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Al fresco dining in the Five Towns


As Phase Two of began earlier in June on Long Island, restaurants in the Five Towns took advantage of being permitted to have outdoor dining as look as the social distancing guidelines and recommended protocols of wearing a mask and gloves for servers is followed.

At Bagel Boss in the Peninsula Shopping Center in Hewlett, North Woodmere resident Paulina Rekatas ate lox with onion and cream cheese on a mini bagel and drank an iced coffee outside on June 10, at one of several tables the eatery set up.

“They do it the right way, properly and wonderfully,” Rekatas said, about how owner Randy Rosner treats his customers, especially now through the coronavirus pandemic. “All the employees are nice and very accommodating.” She is a regular, she said.

In Woodmere, Friendlier Italian Restaurant, has an open-air tent stretched across several parking spaces immediately outside its building on Railroad Avenue. Stacey Simens, of Hewlett, and her daughter Emily had a lunch that included cauliflower pizza and chopped salads, also on June 10.

“It’s one of our favorite restaurants and we come here a lot,” Stacey said. “I saw on Facebook that they put up the tent, it is very lovely. I am happy to be out.” She had plans to meet friends at Friendlier the next day. “I’m glad the economy is reopening and businesses are able to open back up,” Emily said.

At another table under the Friendlier tent, Neal and Ilene Rosen are familiar with the eatery though they live in Bayside. Coming out to Woodmere for a doctor’s appointment, Neal was digging into a claim appetizer and Ilene a salad. Th entrée was eggplant parmigiana that the couple shared because it is so thick said Ilene, adding that she loves the way Friendlier cooks the dish, just to her liking.

“We’re excited to be here, ”Ilene said, “it’s the only place. We saw the outdoor seating and were so excited. Both Rosens agreed they had no problem eating outside under the tent as long as everyone adhered to social distancing. “They have fabulous food here, we are so close to Nassau we usually eat here unless we go in the city,” Neal said.

Back in Hewlett, further up on Broadway, Gary Golzenshteyn, owner of Woodro Kosher Deli, said that unfortunately his location is not conducive to outdoor dining. He said they are waiting to be allowed to serve inside, he said., which is happening now.

“Basically, we’re making good food, people love it, we’ll make deliveries it could be curbside we’ll bring it to your car or you can come in the store and pick it up. It’s contactless. We’ll put it in your trunk, your back seat and you can make payment over the phone. You don’t have to see us you’ve just got it eat from us that’s all.”