Feed Me

The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

Expect emotions to run high in Friday night’s (8 p.m., Fox 5) episode of “Kitchen Nightmares,” when mouthy mega-chef Gordon Ramsay deconstructs and reconstructs Classic American, an eatery in West Babylon.

Co-owners (and former waitresses) Colleen Gaertner and Naomi Cotter were struggling to stay afloat when they got an inquiry from Ramsay’s team at FOX Broadcasting. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Cotter, who went on to describe Ramsay as “taller in person and way better looking” than the cameras let on.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The chef and his crew were at the restaurant from Nov. 4-9. The result of their travails is evident in the place’s All-American contemporary look and revitalized menu.

I had occasion to sample a couple of items last month, when I stopped in for lunch. The waitress recommended the turkey burger, which turned out to be sensational. Light and herbal, it came on a multigrain roll topped with Muenster cheese, cranberry mustard and arugula for $8. I savored every bite of the unconventional but superior Cuban sandwich: ham, pulled pork, Swiss, Dijon mustard and dill pickle on a baguette for $11.

What Ramsay should have done (but didn’t have the budget to) was put in a new floor. The old one looks worn and pitted. Maybe the owners can remedy that if the place really takes off.

Classic American is at 691 Rte. 109, Babylon, 631-226-3663