Unapologetic BBQ on the Menu at New LI Eatery

243 Glen Cove Ave., Sea Cliff
(516) 801-3250





Ambiance: Rip-roaring, Unpretentious Hot Spot

THE CRISPY PIG in Sea Cliff features beer flights on Thursdays. It serves water in jars. And the wait staff wears T-shirts that say “Praise the Lard,” “Love Peace and Grease” and “Body by Bacon.”

This unapologetic, American comfort food restaurant serves rustic, Southern dishes like pork belly, shrimp and grits, BBQ ribs and johnnycakes. The bar, which is part of the dining room, seems to attract an exuberant crowd that generates an awesome din. Despite its lack of gentility, it serves large portions of tasty, familiar dishes.

Still, chef Peter Kontomanolis takes liberties with these traditional preparations. When is the last time Caesar salad with braised pork shoulder and pork croutons ($10) appeared on a menu? The predictable pork belly board with peach jam and candied pecans ($12) provides another pleasing combination of flavors. The increasingly popular combination of chicken and waffles ($14) will satisfy its followers. But a generous bowl of unseasoned baked potato soup ($6) only came to life with a hefty helping of salt.

Among the mostly robust entrées listed as “plates” on the menu was a colossal pulled-pork sandwich on a king-sized toasted croissant draped with a tangy barbeque sauce and coleslaw accompanied by a generous batch of potato chips ($14). For a lighter touch, try the super-fresh, lemon-roasted pan-seared catfish with sautéed collard greens, pancetta and garlic ($21). A huge roasted half chicken with a Bourbon cinnamon glaze and plate mates like sweet potato hash and shaved kohlrabi slaw ($24) made us forget all the bland, boring chicken dishes ever endured. But the showstopper was the delicious pork tenderloin potpie in a rich cream sauce, with vegetables and a slab of puff pastry thrown over it ($22).

There are no bad dessert choices. We enjoyed a trifecta of terrific strawberry shortcake and southern kitchen favorite’s shoofly pie with plenty of vanilla ice cream and johnnycakes enhanced with apple Bourbon Foster and sweet cream.

Although The Crispy Pig has many virtues, don’t expect a sophisticated restaurant. Servers constantly clear dishes while some diners are still eating and they don’t reveal the prices of specials they recite.

richard jay scholem

Richard Jay Scholem practically invented the Long Island restaurant culture through 800+ reviews of the region's eateries both on radio and in print over the last 30 years. He is a former New York Times Long Island Section restaurant reviewer, has contributed to the Great Restaurants of...magazines and Bon Vivant, authored a book, aired reviews on WGSM and WCTO radio stations, served on the board of countless community and food and beverage organizations, and received many accolades for his journalism in both print and broadcast media. He is currently available for restaurant consultation. Reach him at (631) 271-3227.