In media, Long Island is often painted out to be a New York City suburb. While technically true, Long Island has also been at the epicenter of many cultural movements over the past century. It was an important to the development of aviation during the early 20th Century, as Charles Lindbergh lifted off from Roosevelt Field in 1927. It was the place of origin for countless winners of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. Hip-hop, punk rock, classic literature, and stand-up comedy all have roots in Nassau and Suffolk County. The Great GatsbyThe Godfather and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind are just a few of the influential works that use Long Island as a setting. 

Our website was launched in April 2016 with the mission of celebrating both the history of Long Island and what's ahead for it. Its main focus is on entertainment, from providing content that is entertaining, to featuring Island-related events and personalities. While written by Long Islanders -- past and present -- the content is intended for readers all over the world. We leave the politics and hard news to the other publications...unless they happen to be entertaining.

Simply put, there is No Place Like Long Island.

Jane Pace on the success of Bon Appetit Mom and must-go Long Island restaurants

Jane Pace on the success of Bon Appetit Mom and must-go Long Island restaurants

Close to five years ago, Jane Pace was at a personal and professional crossroads, looking for something to do after her daughter Jenna graduated high school. On a whim, she bought a domain, which spun off into an Instagram account. Now with close to 10,000 followers on Instagram, the Long Island resident is both a popular provider of recipes and restaurant reviews.

Jane did some Q&A with No Place Like Long Island, which came across as both inspiring and hunger-provoking. After getting all of her restaurant recommendations, I realize that there are plenty of places that I need to try in the near-future. You can follow Jane on Instagram via the handle @BonAppetitMom, while her website remains at www.bonappetitmom.com.

Where did the name Bon Appetit Mom come from?

JP: In 2012, a year after Jenna graduated high school, I needed something to do. I went on a babysitting interview and I definitely found out that I was not going to work for me. I was coming off my Julia Child head and I wanted to do something with my food background. A friend said to go to godaddy.com. I did, and I found out I needed a name.

I thought, “Let me try bonappetit.com,” which of course was taken. Then I put “BonAppetitMom.com” in and it was accepted. I started out blogging, on a webpage which wound up being WordPress,  because that was being sold by GoDaddy. The blogging site was impossible for me to work with. I had no idea if the website content would work, in terms of recipes, diets, counseling or anything else in the area of food.

After my nieces and nephew put me on Instagram, Bon Appetit Mom took on a life of its own. I hit 2,000 followers and I decided to re-do the website. I have a few wrinkles to iron out, but I am happy with the outcome. Companies started sending me products and now I’m doing restaurant reviews. Go figure. (laughs)

Where do your ideas for recipes usually come from?

JP: Many of my recipes have been from my family. Others from TV food shows. I then tweaked many of them and made them my own. Some recipes come from my own visions. I can see something in a store and create a dish including that item. For example, ground turkey. I must have dozens of different recipes for ground turkey. For example, stuffed peppers with ground turkey -- substituting the beef -- turkey tacos, turkey meatloaf, and on and on. The recipes are on my website...

Is there a recipe of yours that you're most proud of? Or you were especially proud of the feedback from?

JP: I love my brisket, my Caesar salad dressing, my grandmother’s stuffed cabbage – I won’t give those away -- my meatballs and my salmon. I get a lot of positive feedback on my salmon and pasta recipes.

When you post a recipe online, do you have goals or expectations?

JP: I really don’t know who checks out my recipes online. My website is not popular, but my Instagram account is. I don’t post recipes on my Instagram account, just on my website. I just post and I hope the overall response is positive.

Were you always good in the kitchen? Or did you take courses to develop your skills?

JP: I always loved to be in the kitchen. I learned a lot from my great grandmother, my grandmother and my mom. I also have a B.S. and M.S. in Nutrition Education.

I don’t bake, however. I find baking daunting, while cooking is very cathartic. However, the only thing I don’t like about cooking is the inevitable clean-up. (laughs)

Is there something you haven't tried cooking or baking that you one day hope to make?

JP: I would like to make Baked Alaska for my 10,000 followers. I wish I had a bigger kitchen with granite or marble countertops. Then I might try to bake again.

Are there any cooking shows on television that you especially enjoy?

JP: I love Barefoot Contessa, 30 Minute Meals, Paula’s Home Cooking – which is no longer aired – and I like Valerie’s Home Cooking.

Do you have any aspirations to do more with Bon Appetit Mom? Like to write cookbooks or have a show of your own?

JP: I love doing the restaurant reviews. It took a long time for me to say this, that this is what I want to do when I grow up. I would also love to write a book about the amazing journey I had on Instagram, of course incorporating recipes as part of the story.

I have been sent products from vendors across the country and have been asked to develop recipes. I also enjoy that as well. I would love to bottle and sell my salad dressing, which would be a dream come true.

When you're not busy with cooking, how do you like to spend your free time? Are there activities or causes that you're particularly involved with?

JP: I love to shop, go to movies, and of course dine out. I enjoy having coffee with friends, and going on road trips. I also enjoy participating in an international cooking challenge known as the Ready Steady Cook Club. Somebody picks six ingredients and we prepare dishes and feature them on the Internet. Participants come from England, Spain, Canada, etc.

Do you have a favorite restaurant or two on Long Island?

JP: I have a lot of favorite restaurants on Long Island and in the five boroughs as well. But since we are focusing on Long Island, I will go by cuisine:

  • Italian - La Famiglia in Plainview, La Piazza all locations, Salumeria Pomodoro in Huntington
  • French - Cassis in Plainview, Sage Bistro Moderne in Woodbury

  • Steakhouse - BBG in Williston Park

  • Japanese - Koban in Merrick, Sawa in Syosset

  • American - Jonathan's Restaurant in Huntington

  • Fast Food - All American in Massapequa

  • Pizza – Mario’s all locations, Bella Vista in Plainview

  • Chinese Take-Out - China Dragon in Plainview

  • Seafood - Bostwicks Chowder House in East Hampton

  • Pub Grub - Harbor Grill in East Hampton, Indian Wells Tavern in Amangansett

  • Chicken & Ribs – Zorn's in Bethpage and Bellmore

Finally, what do you wish more people knew about Long Island?

JP: Coming from Brooklyn, growing up there most of my life, I had to adjust to Long Island. For me, I feel in love with Dairy Barn, especially when Jenna was very young. I didn’t have to get out of the car in the cold to get milk...The supermarkets are bigger, cleaner and there are many more to choose from. In Plainview, I go to Shop-Rite, Trader Joe’s and Fairway. I also take advantage of the libraries, the shopping with great malls close to home. I like the LIRR, so I don’t need to drive into the city. I like that the lifestyle is easier than the boroughs. I also like the summer concerts in the park. I used to like the concerts and events at Nassau Coliseum.

Debra Markowitz on the Long Island International Film Expo, movies made in Nassau County and more

Debra Markowitz on the Long Island International Film Expo, movies made in Nassau County and more

Rock drummer Billy Alemaghides reinvents himself as a Long Island business owner

Rock drummer Billy Alemaghides reinvents himself as a Long Island business owner