When Greg and Bari Kearns took over famed French fine dinning establishment, La Marmite, they didn’t want to just reinvent the Williston Park institution. They wanted to blow it up and they had original owner, Renzo Pedrazzi’s blessing.
“Here’s a guy that built this brand from scratch and he said close it, change the name, make it yours,” Greg said.
Step inside the newly opened Copperhill and you’ll see Greg and Bari did exactly what Pedrazzi said. The 125-year-old Victorian home at 234 Hillside Avenue has been completely gutted. The new space is open and airy but not too modern. Dark wood floors provide the dining room with warmth while wooden tables have a gastro pub feel and the open bar gives a sense of coziness. It’s space you want to be in.
“We wanted to keep a familiarity with the space, but we wanted it to reflect a modern farmhouse,” Bari said.
From the space to the food, the husband and wife team has crafted a carefully edited and curated experience. It’s upscale without being snobby. A place and the type of food you want on a Saturday evening out with friends but also on a lazy Tuesday evening when you just can’t bring yourself to cook.
The 100-seat restaurant is open seven days a week for dinner and Monday-Saturday for lunch. There’s also a private event space that seats an additional 75.
The food and drink menu isn’t reinventing the wheel but reflects the couple’s own love of seasonal, quality ingredients and their attention to detail. The menu follows a modern layout of snacks, small plates and larger dishes. Create a meal out of a few of the snacks or smaller plates or share them as appetizers and enjoy one of the larger dishes. With a menu that will change monthly there will almost always be something new to try.
“It’s simple dishes, three to four ingredients on a plate,” Greg said.
Try the sea scallop with pork belly, apple and celery root or the garganelli with pancetta, white beans and tomato for a new take on comfort food. The fresh bratwurst with IPA mustard and apple is also a bestseller as is the short rib poutine, cheddar and scallion. There’s even a burger with Velveeta cheese, yes that’s what I said, and onions on a potato roll.
“Whatever is coming out of the ground is inspiring us,” Greg said.
The bar menu of cocktails, wines and beers won’t change as often but is still based on what is happening seasonally. Try the Bee’s Knees with gin, lemon, honey, and lavender bitters or the Bad Seed of jalapeño-infused Blanco tequila, cointreau, lime, agave nectar and salt. It’s like a kicked up margarita.
“Food is an experience, like music it’s tied to memory.” Greg said.
Go experience Copperhill and make some memories that will have you going back for more.