Red Zone October 2012

imageHow To Carve A Pumpkin

1. Type “how to carve a pumpkin” into preferred search engine.
2. Shit. You don’t own a pumpkin. You need a pumpkin. Utilize web browser’s Open New Tab function and type “where to find a pumpkin” into preferred search engine.
3. Open another tab. Update status on Facebook with “hey anyone wanna carve sum pumpkins?” Include a photograph of a pumpkin-costumed cockapoo. Another tab. Twitter. “pumpkin carving n e 1? :)”
4. Return to Facebook. No comments. Refresh. No comments. Refresh. No comments. Refresh…



The Phoenix
(516) 809-9693, Wantagh

Dear Diary,

It was my first day at University of Generalized Academics. Luckily, my semester schedule includes Introduction to Tapas. Our class visited The Phoenix in Seaford and discussed American-style small plates with proprietor, Peter Mangouranes.

“We want to educate our customers about tapas and make it more accessible,” said Mangouranes, who opened The Phoenix with Anthony and Paul Oliva in February 2012. The trio also operate Massapequa Park’s The Good Life and The Republic in Farmingdale. “A lot of people are intimidated, or think it’s really fancy, but it’s just good food.”

The Phoenix offers 18 rotating plates per season, divided into three terrestrial categories: Earth, Land and Sea. We sampled chickpea fries with garlic-lemon aioli, and peanut soup with a spice-sweet matrimony of ginger, grapes, jalapeño, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk and fried sweet potato. We also consumed Breckenridge Brewery 471 Small Batch IPA from an eight-draft tower. The tower was constructed from a Macari Vineyards barrel and labeled by style (Stout, Belgian, IPA, etc.). I enjoy education.


Schooner Inn
(631) 583-8498, Ocean Bay Park

During my six-to-eight hour sojourn in Ocean Bay Park, I encountered an inoperative Big Buck Hunter arcade on a residential lawn (a four-minute attempt to resuscitate was unsuccessful). I also observed an intoxicated female attempt to puddle-swim to Great South Bay and salivated on a dusty cigarette machine.


I also visited Schooner Inn, located four centimeters from the ferry, and possessing seasonal pours from Blue Point Brewing Company, Great South Bay Brewery and Long Ireland Beer Company (Summer Ale, Robert Moses Pale Ale and Raspberry Wheat, respectively).

“Craft beer has been really good for us, and our local draft beers are killing our regular bottles,” says Paul Mohring, general manager of Schooner Inn. “Fire Island doesn’t have a lot of craft beer, either, so it was important we did this.”

Constructed by Mohring’s father-in-law and uncle in 1974, Schooner Inn recently upgraded to ten drafts (previous: three-tap system). There are also nautical antique-thingies, like harpoons. Harpoons!


Del Fuego
(631) 963-6900, Saint James


Includes premiere of The Brothers DeNicola, a documentary on Joseph, Jim and Leo DeNicola and their new Tex-Mex restaurant, Del Fuego!

7:00pm. The Brothers McMullen. A candid, plausible dramedy following the tumultuous lives of three Irish Catholic brothers on Long Island; 1996; dir. Edward Burns.

9:30pm. The Brothers DeNicola. Cinéma vérité-influenced portrayal of three Long Island brothers and their shift from Italian to Tex-Mex with new restaurant; 2012; dir. Niko Krommydas.

Media Information: Del Fuego was opened in October 2011 by Joseph, Jim and Leo DeNicola, whom also operate Ruvo (Greenlawn and Port Jefferson) and La Tavola (Sayville). Del Fuego’s concept pairs artisanal Tex-Mex with 50+ tequilas and an eight-draft craft bar (e.g., Founders Brewing Company Red’s Rye PA, a spice-blast of citrus and grapefruit). The trio also serve self-made sangria produced with Premium Wine Group in Mattituck.

Joseph DeNicola: “Our goal when we opened Del Fuego was to switch things up. La Tavola and Ruvo are great, but Long Island needed a Tex-Mex spot. And it shows. We’re already opening a second location.”
Niko Krommydas: “Life is…art?”

DEKS American Restaurant
(631) 821-0066, Rocky Point

Long Island was a lonely island in 1978. “You could lay in the middle of Route 25A in the winter and sleep for the night,” says Dean Scott, who opened DEKS American Restaurant in Rocky Point with brothers, Eric and Kevin. “Long Island was a summer-only destination, but things have definitely changed. Our local breweries are a good example of the growth around here.”

Scott credits Donavan Hall and Mike Voigt, two-thirds of Rocky Point Artisan Brewers and frequent patrons, with his positive position on craft-servin’. “Donavan and Mike were our mentors on good beer,” says Scott. “They wanted a local place that served craft beer. Now that they make beer, I can call them and have fresh stuff in an hour. We love it.”

DEKS American Restaurant currently offers an independent three-draft tower for Rocky Point Artisan Brewers adjacent to its central twelver. Recent pours include Doppel Schwarz, a Richie Rich combination of chocolate, coffee, roast and silk, and Calypso Saison, a DEKSclusive saison brewed with Calypso hops.

Follow Niko Krommydas and his blog, Super Neat Beer Adventure, Yes!!, at where you can find more craft beer on Long Island.

Photo by Stephen Lang

niko krommydas

Niko Krommydas has written for Tasting Table, BeerAdvocate, Munchies, and First We Feast. He is editor of Craft Beer New York, an app for the iPhone, and a columnist for Yankee Brew News. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.