Where to Eat This February

Each month, Niko Krommydas serves up a steaming bowl of gossip goulash made with the latest restaurant news on Long Island.

2 SPRING One of 2017’s most anticipated openings on Long Island finally happened, but in 2018. Before the restaurant Recette in Manhattan’s West Village closed two years ago, regulars introduced its chef and owner, Jesse Schenker, to a couple looking to open a restaurant. With that couple, Claudia and Michael Taglich, Schenker has created this multilevel spot named for its address in the space that used to be Cafe Al Dente. Schenker, who recently closed his other Manhattan restaurant ‪The Gander due to rising costs, moved to Oyster Bay with his family during 2 Spring’s development. “Oyster Bay has a nice small-town feeling, and you can’t beat being so close to the water,” he said. Unsurprisingly, given this proximity, there is a ‪raw bar and a menu that emphasizes seafood. Expect branzino, red snapper, octopus, lobster and cod fritters, a popular dish from Recette. But there are also chicken, veal, steak and vegetable dishes, including roasted squash. A ‪zinc bar, polished wood, glass, brick walls with a lime-wash finish and a pressed-tin ceiling define the space. ‪The wine cellar is stocked with 1,700 bottles, the majority of which come from France. 2 Spring Street, Oyster Bay‪, 516-624-2411, 2springstreet.com

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Blacksmith’s Breads Coming to Long Beach

BLACKSMITH’S BREADS This bakery in Long Beach started as a weekly pop-up at Lost & Found last winter. But owners Raymond Smith (a native of the village who fell in love with bread while working at former Italian restaurant Cafe Laguna) and his partners Michael Blackburn and Shane Herbert decided to keep it going. In the spring, Blacksmith’s Breads—Smith and Blackburn combined their last names to come up with the name—became a vendor at the Long Beach Farmers’ Market. At their new bakery on West Beech Street, Smith can be seen in the open kitchen milling some of his own flour from whole grains, often ancient and heirloom varieties. One example is einkorn, an early form of wheat. Most of the flour he uses comes from farms in the Northeast, like Wild Hive in the Hudson Valley. The breads are naturally leavened and come big and small, and loaves include sourdough, rye, whole wheat, polenta, pumpernickel, turmeric walnut, sesame semolina, chocolate chunk and red quinoa paprika. There are also biscuits, croissants, pastries, Stumptown coffee and sandwiches on Blacksmith’s breads. The shop has a few seats to indulge on the spot. 870 West Beech Street, Long Beach, blacksmithsbreads.com

WINNIE’S INTERNATIONAL TAKEOUT Another spot for Southern and soul food has replaced Carolyn’s Cuisine in Amityville. It’s named after the late mother of the chef and owner, Twimonish Alexander. Offerings at this pipsqueak of a place include fried chicken, oxtails, barbecue ribs, candied yams, collard greens and sweet potato pie. 179 Broadway, Amityville, 631-598-1455

KAIYO Expect teriyakis, tempuras and noodle dishes, as well as a bounty of raw fish from this new Japanese restaurant in Mineola. 92 Main Street, Mineola, 516-739-0093, kaiyo-sushi.com

PETE THE GREEK This casual Greek restaurant in Old Bethpage opened in September. The menu features spanakopita, gyros, souvlaki, a horiatiki salad and pastichio. 728 Old  Bethpage Road, Old Bethpage, 516-387-4976, petethegreekny.com

MR. CROOK’S PUB AT THE CHEQUIT During weekends this winter, the pub at this hotel will serve comfort food like buffalo wings, a wedge salad, mac and cheese, chili cheese fries, a burger and a daily savory pie. 23 Grand Avenue, Shelter Island Heights, 631-749-0018, thechequit.com

CRAZY BEANS After nearly a year out of operation, Callie and Tim Martino’s first cafe has reopened in a different shopping center on Route 25A in Miller Place, in the former Tuscany Gourmet Market space. “What started as a seemingly quick expansion of our flagship turned into a long, stressful battle with the town involving permits, planning boards, expeditors and the like, but we made it and we’re excited to be dishing up some Crazy to Miller Place again,” Tim said. Here, as well as at the cafe’s other locations in Stony Brook and Greenport, breakfast, lunch and weekend brunches are served amid retro-diner dećor like red vinyl booths and counter stools, Formica-topped tables and a black-and-white checkerboard-tile floor. 159-14 Route 25A, Miller Place, 631-403-4954, crazybeansrestaurant.com

OLD CITY PUBLIC HOUSE This pub replaced the Brownstone Brewing Company, which served a few house beers made off-site by the BrickHouse Brewery & Restaurant in Patchogue. Those are also gone. 200 Portion Road, Ronkonkoma, 631-588-1135, oldcitypublichouse.com

niko krommydas

Niko Krommydas has written for Tasting Table, BeerAdvocate, Munchies, and First We Feast. He is editor of Craft Beer New York, an app for the iPhone, and a columnist for Yankee Brew News. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.