Salt & Barrel is part of the resurgence occurring on Main Street in Bay Shore. Owners Tim, Morgan and Ryan Flynn opened the urban yet coastal eatery in March, making it Bay Shore’s first oyster bar, and people have been coming in droves to taste the briny shellfish and other seafood options ever since. To aid in your plate selection, I caught up with Chef Alexander Williamson to reel in some details about the recent crowd-favorites. For a primer on what to sip at Salt & Barrel, meet bartender Thomas Crawford in the September issue of Pulse.
True to its name, these shrimp are rocking with flavor. Coated in cornstarch and fried until crisp, the prawns are then tossed in a spicy mayo made with jalapeños, Fresno chiles and lime juice. “It’s clean and crunchy with a heated finish.”
Manhattan Clam Chowder
Bigger is always better with this dish. That’s why it’s served as an entrée sized portion. Williamson cooks steamed clams in a marinara sauce that has been deglazed with white wine and mixed with roasted fingerling potatoes. He then adds cured bacon for a finish that packs just the right smoky punch.
Add Salt & Barrel’s lobster roll to your foodie bucket list. Williamson prepares the 6oz shellfish in a butter fondue (yes, a hot tub of butter) without direct heat “to keep the lobster tender and prevent it from getting tough and chewy.” It’s served on a warm New England brioche bun and dressed with pickled celery that contains sugar, champagne, vinegar and white wine for the ultimate sweet-savory combo.
Roasted Beet Salad
This salad is a little off the beaten path: it features whipped ricotta cheese, truffle oil, honey circle beets, peppery arugula and a mountain of crispy quinoa granola. There are highlights of sweetness that match the actual ingredients. The quinoa is sauteed and mixed with roasted pistachio nuts to create the allusion of house made granola. “I try not to manipulate the flavors, I bring out their natural tastes and just enhance it a little.” Williamson sprinkles hints of salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil on top for a deliciously earthy crunch.
Salt & Barrel has a dirty pudding recipe that guests will be eager to dig into. Williamson combines heavy cream, whisky and sugar for a rich spread that is layered with whipped cream. Toasted cashew nuts, grounded coffee beans that resemble a light soil and notes of chocolate are drizzled throughout for a bite that’s part mocha, part indulgent and totally worth a cheat day.