Brixx & Barley review

The roasted porchetta sandwich, made with roast suckling
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The roasted porchetta sandwich, made with roast suckling pork, broccoli rabe, provolone cheese, and pork jus is delectable at Brixx & Barley in Long Beach.(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

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Location info

Location: 152 Park Ave. Long Beach, NY 11561

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Description: Its a perpetual party at Brixx & Barley, Long Beachs newest gastropub. Their biggest attraction ... More »

It can feel like a perpetual party at Brixx & Barley

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, Long Beach's cavernous and cacophonous (and sometimes chaotic) new gastropub. Chef and co-owner Frank Cammarata, also a partner at Ciao Baby in Commack and Massapequa, traffics in big flavors and big portions -- drawing big crowds. (In the kitchen cooking daily is chef de cuisine Brian Giordano.) Add to that a panoply of craft brews (plus killer sangria), and it's easy to see why the brick and wood space reverberates. Until a planned soundproofing happens, take refuge at a sidewalk table.

One temperate afternoon, an outdoor lunch kicks off with deep-dish Sicilian pizza, whose appeal is muted by its lukewarm temperature. At dinner indoors, though, the signature "smashed meatball" pizza proves a huge hit -- piping hot, its thin, crisp crust topped with flattened meatballs, a bright and meaty "Sunday" sauce and fresh mozzarella. Another successful starter: brick-oven-roasted-and-grilled wings tossed with caramelized onions and garlic. They're beautifully charred, imbued with surprising depth of flavor. Grandma's eggplant -- pan-seared and layered with fresh mint and Parmigiana reggiano -- comes out light and lush. But roasted "pazzo" mussels are curiously tired-tasting, crispy duck tacos, way too sweet.

The beefy, juicy, expertly grilled burgers are a big attraction here. The Brixx burger is a real firecracker, featuring fried onion wisps, jalapeno and Cheddar. It's plated with fine, hand-cut fries. More of a debauch is the grilled cheeseburger, a grilled patty with bacon, tomato and grilled onions tucked between two thin grilled cheese sandwiches. A delectable roasted porchetta hero features tender pork roasted and lightly flecked with orange zest plus broccoli rabe and provolone. Another sandwich star: brisket with red cabbage, spicy Jack cheese, caramelized onion and avocado. A lobster roll turns out to be two commendable little lobster rolls. Nobody's skimping here.

Not surprisingly, Cammarata turns out a classically fine bowl of rigatoni Bolognese, the pasta properly al dente, the meat sauce nice and rich.

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While dessert may not get more typically Long Island than rainbow cookie cake, the light and boozy house-made tiramisu best reflects what this festive newcomer is all about.

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