Life is Brewery:
1) I Suck at Frogger IIPA: Our 9.70% ABV amalgam of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus HOPS over 8-bit automobiles, crocodile-stuffed rivers and excessive logs. But only for seven seconds or less. I need more quarters.
2) Pseudo Homeless Dirt Beard Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout: Seven malts. Cellared in oak bourbon for 26 months. Darker than my rarely-washed, Hellenic beard.
3) Superfluous Comma-Hyphen Usage Pale Ale: An American-style, amber-hued, assertively-hopped, aromatically-complex, pine-clean, descriptive-descriptive pale ale. Phew.
(516) 536-1950, Rockville Centre
Established in October of 2010, Press 195’s third location for progressive paninis (other sites exist in Park Slope, Brooklyn and Bayside, Queens) is an opportunity for Brian Karp, executive chef and one of four proprietors, to “present the menu to suburban consumers seeking a neighborhood place.
“With the close proximity to our Bayside location and the amount of local breweries present on Long Island, we felt Rockville Centre was a natural choice for expansion,” says Karp, who has created 40 hot-pressed panini options (e.g. bresaola/shaved asparagus/Parmigiano-Reggiano/lemon/roasted garlic spread).
Press also pours eight local drafts, including Barrier Brewing Company Unimperial IPA, a citrus-clouded, table IIPA; Port Jeff Brewing Company Schooner Ale, a 6.5% ABV equilibrium of caramel and bitter hops; and Sixpoint Craft Ales Sehr Crisp Pilsner.
Corry’s Ale House
(516) 809-7818, Wantagh
“Everyone in Wantagh only served Bud and Bud Light,” recalls Helen Corry, owner of Corry’s Ale House with husband, John. “But now Mulcahy’s has added some craft beer, and Wantagh Inn, too. It’s great to see some variety.”
The Corrys, who also own Shackletons in Franklin Square, established Corry’s Ale House in September of 2010, after monitoring the Long Island Railroad-cuddling space “for almost twenty years.” Following stints as Sunshine Florist & Plants and, most recently, Brick & Rail Restaurant, 3274 Railroad Avenue now pours 20 drafts, including Goose Island Beer Company Matilda, a Belgian-style pale with yeast, citrus, banana and slight funk.
“Our customers love Matilda, so that’s one of our main drafts,” says Corry. “We also added a lot of local beers since February, like Spider Bite Beer Company and Greenport Harbor Brewing Company.”
A collection of small-batch Irish whiskeys is also forthcoming.
Super Neat FYI: Though my transcendental search for leprechauns on Long Island (documented within our March issue) was unsuccessful, my quest shall never cease.
La Tavola Trattoria
(631) 750-6900, Sayville
The fraternal trio of Joe, Jimmy and Leo DeNicola, proprietors of Ruvo (Greenlawn and Port Jefferson) and Del Fuego (Saint James), offer “a refined approach to rustic-style Italian” with La Tavola Trattoria, according to manager James Caporuscio.
“It’s not just lasagna or baked ziti on a plate,” says Caporuscio, who suggests housemade gnocchi, comprising potato and sheep’s milk ricotta, with bolognese as “a good indicator of the cuisine.”
While wine-pairing events are hosted within La Tavola Trattoria’s main space, an amiable mash of vegetable illustrations, antique chairs and leather banquettes, beer dinners, such as Long Ireland Beer Company’s four-courser in March, are presented in the adjoining bar. “It provides a casual feeling for the night, and seems to work well,” says Caporuscio.
For the aforementioned dinner, which celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, La Tavola Trattoria’s culinary team transformed Arancini—fried rice balls with fennel sausage and provolone—into McArancini, substituting corned beef, sauerkraut and rye crumbs.
Food/Beer Matrimony: Rigatoni with Veal Meatballs, Tomato Basil Sauce & Blue Point Brewing Company Hoptical Illusion
Kodiak’s Restaurant Bar
(631) 414-7055, Farmingdale
Poppin’ bottles of Rodenbach, like a blizzard.
William Mason, former proprietor of Oragin (see: exuberant, repetitive motion of fist toward sky, synced with percussive thump), ceased discoteca operations and opted for craft because “Beer on Long Island was raging, and we wanted in.”
“It’s been great for business,” says Mason, who opened Kodiak’s in May 2010 with Michael Kahoud, Michael LaRosa and Michael Mason. “The customers have an extensive knowledge of beer, so I learn something new daily.”
For individuals who possess an appreciation for category, Kodiak’s menu organizes 48 drafts (two 24-draft towers, which perimeter cluster-rows of booths) and 150+ bottles by style. Clown Shoes Beer Clementine, a Belgian-style white spiced ale with coriander and orange peel, chills with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Kellerweis and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers White Lightning in the “Wheat and Rye” section.
Photo of Press 195 by Stephen Lang