THE LAKEHOUSE RESTAURANT
135 Maple Ave, Bay Shore
Ambiance: Simply A Gem
The LakeHouse was a terrific restaurant when it opened as a modest 65-seat operation on little Lawrence Lake in Bay Shore in 2006. Matt and Eileen Connor, a hard-working husband and wife team, ran the kitchen and dining room and partner Jason Gut did a little bit of everything.
Now, 10 years later, it’s still a terrific restaurant. Much has changed—almost all of it for the better. The LakeHouse has moved to Maple Avenue, where the restaurant is now flush on the Great South Bay with marvelous water views, multiple dining rooms, an outdoor deck, two fireplaces and a wood-paneled 20-seat taproom.
There are nearly 200 seats in the renovated space—145 of them inside and the rest on the deck. Weather permitting, that charming outdoor deck—with its overhead strings of lights, its gentle sea breezes and views of Fire Island ferries gliding by—is the way to go.
Fortunately, the restaurant’s upgrading hasn’t diminished the dishes delivered by the kitchen. Many of the plates are familiar, but are given interesting and imaginative spins.
As an example, a husky tender roasted Berkshire pork chop comes with green apple, yam, blue cheese and caramelized onion gratin, maple-bacon vinaigrette and cranberry mostarda ($32).
The caramelized sea scallops ($31) are so airy and light, they feel as though they can float off your tongue. They come with prosciutto, fava beans, fingerlings and a noteworthy pea-mint sauce.
Then there’s the crispy suckling pig. It’s a pressed square of pork with a surface of crispy skin and a helping of polenta crowned with a sweet honey-glazed pearl onion and a side of quail eggs ($15). Another fine dish mated with unexpected but welcome accompaniments is the grilled octopus salad with chorizo, clementine and chickpea purée ($15)—all of it in an aged sherry vinegar.
This is a restaurant that successfully marries the elegant and the casual. The dressing here, which ranges from shorts to jackets and ties, is an indication that diners get it.