James Bonanno’s travels have taken him all over Europe, but his flight to Spain gave him a new perspective. As co-owner of The Tap Room in both Nassau and Suffolk County, the ambitious entrepreneur thought he and business partner David Johnson could bring something other than craft beer to Patchogue.
“Spain’s culture of tapas/small plates helped inspire the concept of doing Americanized small plates,” said Bonanno, who opened Flight in December with Johnson. “When you are going out to dinner, it’s not a question of ‘What am I going to eat tonight?’ It’s more of a question, ‘What are we all going to share and experience tonight?’”
The name Flight didn’t appear out of thin air. Wine flights give people the opportunity to experience a series of paired drinks, and at the new eatery patrons will be able to indulge in multiple spirits, cocktails and even dishes.
“We took the next step and created food flights: the surf & turf [flight plate] is made with three different meats and three different fishes, [the mac and cheese flight] has three different assortments of mac & cheese and [the cheese cake flight] offers three different types of cheese cakes.”
Besides the unique food flights, Bonanno also recommended the forbidden scallops made with pancetta, risotto and asparagus tips all dressed in a raspberry purée for sharing. Another popular small plate is the watermelon caprese prepared with burrata, sweet watermelon, pistachio nut oil, micro watercress and a blood orange reduction. It tastes even better paired with the Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc Tradition, a soft white wine lifted by delicate fruits.
As for the cocktails, Bonanno is a fan of any of the speciality flights, especially the “Gin Makes You Grin,” which comes with Two James Old Cockney with orange peel and white pepper, Barr Hill with lemon peel and chamomile and Gin Mare with rosemary and olive. But the classic Patchogue Pony, Flight’s spin on a Moscow Mule fused with Maid of the Meadow vodka, Dolin blanc vermouth, sage, lime, reeds ginger beer and Bittermens celery shrub bitters, is building quite the reputation.
“The Moscow Mule is currently a very popular drink…Taking something that is very familiar and just adding upon it with flavors that play very nicely into it is making the Patchogue Pony a great introductory drink to Flight.”
Like the drink menu, the vibe is as hip and sophisticated as they come. Wolf & Wing Interior Design, located in Long Beach, designed the interior with sleek white quartz counters, industrial fixtures that illuminate modern place settings and even original exposed brick walls.
“Wolf & Wing’s design gave us that modern, trendy vibe we were shooting for.”
You could say, like the fare and beverages, Wolf & Wing Interior exceeded expectations with flying colors.