The best of the best came out Friday night for the final day of the Long Beach International Film Festival. This was a chance not only to for Long Island to socialize, it was a chance to meet celebrities, try some amazing cuisines from this incredible little island of ours and to break free from the mainstream dredge Hollywood is putting out there nowadays. It is a way we can tell the stores that are important to us.

The Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF) hosted people like Larry Romano (The King of Queens, Donnie Brasco), Eric Coleman (New York Jets among others), Raquel Castro (The Voice) along with dozens of others including actors, athletes and politicians. As important as the films are, the highlight of the night was the Taste on the Beach. Some of the best restaurants on Long Island were all under one big tent feeding their guests.


Who wants ribs? I do!!! Spuntino’s

There were so many great choices here. I am going to highlight the very best of the best. Spuntino’s Garden City sampled fall-off-the-bone ribs with a balsamic barbeque sauce. Ribs in general are one of my personal favorites, unfortunately Spuntino’s ruined them for me. I can never make something as good as this home. But isn’t that why we love restaurants? To experience high-end foods that we can not make on our own. Spuntinos has consistently delivered amazing dish after amazing dish at every event we seen them at- whether it be Hops and Props, the Long Island Hospitality Ball or anywhere else! This was the standard bearer this night. All other restaurants will have to live up to Spuntino’s.


Morton’s Steakhouse

Morton’s Steakhouse well very well represented here. That section of Great Neck has several excellent restaurant- but Morton’s stands alone. In my humble opinion this is the Great Neck destination! Not only did they serve generous sample sized herb marinated Sirloin Steak cooked to medium rare perfection served over a scallion slaw and finished with a horseradish cream, but as if that wasn’t enough, they also served a beautiful Tuna poke´ in a tasty ponzo marinade over a bed mango, sesame seeds and crispy wontons. Just simply amazing!

I heard there is not harder to prep than a brisket. It’s a tough piece of meat. The only way to properly make a good brisket is by taking your time. To do it right it’s equal parts seasoning, and time. We mean hours of low temperature smoking. Swingbelly’s in Long Beach does this incredibly well. Equal parts sweets, deliciously burnt and very flavorful. I loved this place!


Kansas City has nothing on Swingbelly’s

Did you know Jim Beam made an apple Bourbon? We didn’t either. Mixed with soda this is one of the most refreshing drinks I ever had.


Game Changer- Jim Beam Apple

We didn’t photograph the films because we didn’t want to skirt that line between piracy and reporting so we are just going to share our favorites. Our favorite by far was Trafficked in the U.S. Trafficked in the U.S. is a short (15 minutes) by Director Charles Vijay Kumar, C. Ss. R., that tackle the often forgotten tragedy of Human Trafficking in the States. It followed the stories of two survivors and exposed the cruel truths behind this practice. The Spirit of Iris Director Corinne Jayaweera, was exceptional as well. This one tells the story of trail blazing women who swam in the 1936 German Olympics.


Serve it up

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano summed the Long Beach International Film Festival perfectly. “The LBIFF continues to offer residents an opportunity to enjoy arts and entertainment, while providing those in the movie and television production industry with insight to the wonderful filming locations Nassau County has to offer. Home to Gold Coast Studios and Grumman Studios, as well as the live studio audience sitcom Kevin Can Wait starring Kevin James- Nassau County is becoming Hollywood East.”

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About Author

John Milovcic is a writer and photographer with LIB Magazine. He received his B.S. from Long Island University, C.W. Post, in Management and Finance. John has been a weekly contributor for LIB Magazine since February of 2013. His “man on the street” approach to covering events does bring the reader backstage with him. Under John’s belt is a completed screenplay and novel along with a range of poetry. He is the founder of Drunk Philosopher Photography and can be reached at

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