Gourmets Dish

Imagine you are a fly on the wall and seated at a table are some of Long Island’s preeminent restaurateurs, chefs and legendary foodies. Wouldn’t it be great to find out where they eat, what they cook and how they gauge a good restaurant? We wondered too. And while we couldn’t get them all together, we’ve assembled some of their thoughts on the most pressing foodie questions.

The Players (1-10):
Wayne Wadington, chef-owner of La Plage, Wading River
Michael Bohlsen, co-owns Prime, Tellers, Monsoon and others with brother Kurt
Tom Schaudel, chef-owner of Jewel, CoolFish, ALure, etc.
John Tunney of Besito, American Burger (and formally Honu) fame
Fabio Machado, owner of Bistros Cassis & Citron, Café Buenos Aires, etc.
Matt Connors, chef-owner of The Lake House, Bay Shore
Dave Tunney of Besito, Old Fields (and formally Honu) fame
Steve Carl, owner of Carlyle On The Green, soon to be Trump On The Ocean and others
Tito Onofre and Roberto Ornato, dynamic duo chef and owner of Jonathan’s Ristorante, Huntington
Chris Gerdes, chef at Blackwells, Wading River, and devoted vegan


Bohlsen: When I am coming home from the office and don’t want to eat in one of our own places, I eat at Matt’s Lake House.

Connors: You should try Siam Lotus in Bay Shore. Authentic food, warm service and close to home.

Gerdes: Amarelle in Wading River is intimate and beautiful. Chef-owner Lia Fallon is so welcoming, her food is cutting edge and she has a wonderful sense of style.

Onofre and Ornato: In Montauk, you have to go to Swallow. Stylish and relaxed, the food is flavorful and very creative. We know Jimmy for a long time and he is finally getting the success he deserves.

Schaudel: I’m thinking about NYC and Gotham Bar and Grill. The quintessential NY restaurant: Big, bustling, great food and killer people watching. And I love the wine list.

Carl: Milos. The food is great and it has great memories.

J. Tunney: Casa Mono is the place I go to treat myself to small plates done incredibly well. I like to sit at the bar and watch the chefs. It’s small, intimate and they deliver exotic food items.

Connors: Casa Mono is a good one. I like stopping at Peking Duck House on Mott for lunch, followed by steamed dumplings on Mosco Street, followed by a few select dishes at Casa Mono.

imageBohlsen: If push came to shove, I am going to head to NoMad for dinner. There are many reasons, but the cocktail program will boggle your mind.

Schaudel: No matter where it is, I always wind up having fish. I find it infinitely more interesting than meat…and pinot noir makes everything taste better.

Bohlsen: I have a hard time saying no to local striped bass. Locally line caught striped bass may just be the best eating fish on earth.

J. Tunney: I always get soup. I can tell from the soup how the rest of meal is going to be.

Gerdes: Soup is the measure of a good restaurant.

D. Tunney: I always go for the soup, it’s pure comfort food.

Connors: I will usually order something very bad for me, like bone marrow or sweetbreads, just because I never eat that way in real life.

Wadington: Foie gras. Lamb. Chocolate.

Carl: I love a pounded veal chop…and warm mozzarella.

Machado: Rice, beans and dark meat chicken. I hate the white meat.

Connors: At home though, a whole roasted chicken with buttered egg noodles, mushy carrots (cooked in chicken drippings) and gravy.

Bohlsen: Nothing beats a great steak on the barbecue alongside some Long Island corn with a cheese plate and a bottle of wine to start.

J. Tunney: Yeah, grilling at home. The fresh fish, produce and poultry on the East End is our best resource as restaurateurs.

Gerdes: Three or four fresh local vegetables prepared as simply as possible. Maybe over brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

Machado: Bucatini all’amatriciana.

D. Tunney: Nothing beats time with the family making homemade meatballs and sauce.