The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
The snazzy new Chow Down Diner is dishing up mac 'n' cheese and malted milkshakes in the renovated space that once housed the Bethpage Townhouse Diner. With a Jetsons-style design, nostalgic yet contemporary, it’s quite the eye-catcher, inside and out.
Although the place started out under the umbrella of the Singh Hospitality Group, it is now owned by Gold Coast Hospitality, headed by Ruby Singh, wife of Singh president Harendra Singh. Chef-restaurateur Tom Schaudel, who initially consulted on the project, is no longer involved.
Chef Steven Del Lima is at the helm. Del Lima, whose prior credits include Perfecto Mundo Latin Fusion Bistro in Commack and Black & Blue Seafood Chophouse in Huntington, offers a wide-ranging breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. A glance reveals such diverse items as an orange-lemon Belgian waffle ($9.25), a “signature” BLT comprising bacon, mesclun, oven dried tomatoes and smoked Cheddar on toasted sourdough bread ($6.95), a Coney Island burger whose topping includes pastrami and melted Swiss, served with hand-cut fries ($12.95), a pot of mussels fra diavolo ($9.95), chicken potpie ($14.95) and a flight of four milkshakes ($9.25).
At breakfast, recently, Del Lima's Maine wild blueberry pancakes were light and appealing but so crammed with berries, they took on a shocking Caribbean blue color. While service was friendly and well-meaning, the place clearly isn't running on all cylinders yet. Even so, it has a definite buzz.
Currently, breakfast items are served all day, but lunch and dinner items aren’t available until noon. This may soon change, said Ruby Singh, adding that the diner is still fine-tuning a number of things.
Chow Down Diner is at 4011 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage, 516-597-5310.