A Restauranteur’s Guide to Eating Well in Bay Shore

A hidden gem no more, Bay Shore has established itself as a dinnertime destination. There’s longstanding favorites like Milk & Sugar, which have been part of Bay Shore’s dining scene since before it had one, and creative new restaurants specializing in small plates, Mexican and seafood that seem to be popping up daily. It’s hard to keep up with the mouthwatering moves this village is making. Anthony Tartaglia, who opened Verde Kitchen & Cocktails in 2014, shared the Bay Shore restaurants to put on your bucket list.

Related Content: Alive by the Bay 

Mexican, Verde Kitchen & Cocktails

bay shore restaurants

The taco menu isn’t lacking at Verde Kitchen & Cocktails

Tartaglia and his partner/executive chef Zachary Rude traveled through Mexico’s inner cities, countrysides and beach communities while crafting Verde’s menu, which has had people buzzing since it opened. There are eight—count ‘em eight—different kinds of tacos for tasting on the menu and guests can enjoy them half-priced on Tuesdays. Not seen on the menu but totally tasted when served: freshness. “We take a lot of pride in not having any freezers or a walk-in refrigerator. We get deliveries every day. It’s a lot of work but it’s well worth it.” Go

Seafood, The LakeHouse 

homepage-food-as-well

This neighborhood gem, which opened as a modest 65-seat eatery on Lawrence Lake in 2006, went big-time when it moved to Maple Avenue last year. Now 200-seats strong and a view of the Great South Bay to write home about, The LakeHouse still sticks to its bread-and-butter: creative twists on classics and amiable service. Go

Vegans, Tula Kitchen

bay shore restaurants

Vintage and vegan are two commonly used words to describe Tula Kitchen image: facebook.com/tulakitchenbayshore

Tula Kitchen’s decor is decidedly vintage. Think chandeliers, an old-world handcrafted wooden bar and cozy candlelit tables. Its menu, on the other hand, is decidedly on the new-world vegan bandwagon. The vegan lentil burger, served with hummus and caramelized onions on an oat roll and roasted sweet potato salad, serves as a heart animal product-free alternative to the traditional burger and fries. But don’t worry carnivores—there’s meat on the menu, too. Go

Coffee, Cyrus Chai & Coffee Company

The artsy café with wooden accents, which is an easy walk from the train station, stocks coffees and teas from around the globe that pair perfectly with eclectic baked goods. And when Tartaglia needs a caffeine boost, he books it to Cyrus Chai & Coffee Company for a Zimbabwe coffee. The coffeeshop, which also sources an Oaxacan coffee for Verde, also frequently hosts film and poetry nights, making it a go-to for art-loving locals. Go

Small Plates, Tullulah’s

image: facebook.com/tullulahs

image: facebook.com/tullulahs

Small Plates are trendy these days, but they’ve been a “thing” at Tulullah’s since it opened on Main Street in 2005. The eatery’s tapas, including a mac-n-cheese made with smoked gouda that sticks to the ribs in all the right ways and rabbit pappardelle, prove that delicious things come on small plates. Tartaglia likes pairing both dishes with any of Tullulah’s winter beers. As for the space, “it’s warm and inviting” with dim lights and a long wooden bar that serves speakeasy style cocktails. Go

For Sweet Tooths, Milk & Sugar

A trip to Milk & Sugar is like a trip to your vintage-loving friend’s living room. There are plush red couches, photos on the walls and small chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. I’m not sure how your vintage-loving friend’s baking skills are, but Tartaglia thinks Milk & Sugar’s are top-notch. Locals have been satisfying their sweet tooths with toll house cookie pies and banana splits since 2000. Go

For Hip Vibes, Salt & Barrel

salt & barrel bay shore

image: courtesy of salt & barrel

No longer the new kid on the block (only because Bay Shore’s dining scene gets bigger by the week), Salt & Barrel will raise an oyster to its first anniversary next month. The chic space with a dramatic curved white bar at the front of house and teal chairs in the dining room boast a Brooklyn-hipster vibe. And like any good Brooklyn hipster, Salt & Barrel loves its oysters. Order the trendy briny shellfish, which Salt & Barrel sources from everywhere from New Zealand to Long Island, by the dozen or half-dozen (pro tip: you want the dozen). As for dessert, the butterscotch pudding gets six stars out of five. Go

For Something New

Real estate isn’t exactly a dime a dozen in Bay Shore these days, but new restaurants are finding space to join the dinner (and brunch!) party anyway. Coastal Kitchen & Daiquiri Bar, Toast Coffeehouse, Fatwood BBQ, Nappertandys and Buteras Italian are all poised to open their doors in 2017. Though it ups the competition, Tartaglia only sees that as a positive thing. “You have to make sure you’re at the top of your game otherwise you fall behind. All of us restaurateurs get along very well but we always need to be learning and growing to stay relevant. Competition breeds succeeds.”

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.