The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
When does Eric Lomando sleep? Less than a year after opening his third restaurant, Orto in Miller Place, the Long Island All-Star chef has upended the menu at his first restaurant, Kitchen A Bistro in St. James. (Kitchen A Trattoria, also in St. James, keeps chugging along in its gutsy, Italian way.)
The new menu (heres a link) features 20 small plates, half of which are inspired by tradition (e.g. crisp farm egg with piperade, seafood cassoulet, blanquette de veau) and half by the market (hake with almond milk and pickled squash, confit pork with apple puree). Vegetarians will always have about a half-dozen plates from which to choose; current examples include celery-root ravioli with exotic mushrooms and tofu with green curry.
But the real news is the myriad ways in which diners can compose a meal: They can put together their own tasting menus of anywhere from two to four small plates plus dessert ($32 to $56). Or order the kitchens daily tasting menu (five plates plus dessert, $65). Or order a traditional appetizer-entree-dessert meal for $32. Or order entree-size portions of about half the small plates.
Lomando said he made the changes to afford his customers more flexibility. Fewer and fewer of our customers are ordering the traditional app, entree, dessert, he said.
What hasnt changed: No credit cards, no corkage fee.
Kitchen A Bistro is at 404 N. Country Rd., St. James, 631-862-0151.