210 Merrick Rd. Rockville Centre, NY 516-442-2600
Long Island's latest gastropub holds true to its motto "In Hops We Trust" with 48 beers on tap. Exposed brick and ductwork, industrial-style lighting and picnic-style benches make this a hip and modern spot to dine. The food is reliable, but the main reason to come here is to enjoy a rambunctious crowd and an eclectic choice of beer.Hours:
Open every day, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Kitchen closes at midnight.Ambience:
One-level dining areaNotable dishes:
beef short-rib sliders, bacon-wrapped shrimp, "Grown up grilled cheese"
Bet on Parlay.
Long Island's latest gastropub, true to its "In Hops We Trust" motto, pulls 48 tap handles. And the foamy spot sends out enough good food to go with all the beer.
Exposed brick and ductwork, industrial-style lighting, a concrete floor and bar, seating at heavy-duty picnic-style benches and at tables in the back, walls of TVs tuned to sports -- Parlay goes all in cultivating an image. Welcome to Rockville Centre-burg. All they need is a rooftop lounge.
What you'll need is an appetite, and a fondness for near-numbing noise when the crowd is big and the big game is on the line. The pivotal questions: How much beer can Lord Stanley's cup hold? What do you imbibe during the NBA Finals? In the bottom of the ninth?
Parlay recommends Blue Point Mosaic IPA with chicken wings, which are plump and sauced Buffalo, maple-barbecue and Asian-sesame. Long Ireland Celtic Ale is suggested with the savory, moist "Peking duck" puffy steamed buns, filled with duck confit, hoisin sauce, pickles, cilantro and scallion.
Nothing, however, will boost the dull, nearly blackened crabcake. The lobster roll is ample and respectable, but no more. A salad of roasted beets and fennel with orange, arugula and ginger yogurt just seems waterlogged. Flatbreads are satisfactory alternatives, led by one topped with sausage and broccoli raab.
But nibble on the beef short-rib sliders, capped with Gorgonzola cheese, onion jam and tomato marmalade. It's a dish made for beer. Hefty bacon-wrapped shrimp with marinated fennel, orange, cilantro, saba and yogurt also are recommended, though they don't need the supporting cast to stand out.
"Grown up grilled cheese" means Cheddar, manchego, provolone and Swiss, and you should add bacon to complete the crunchy, full-flavored show. Parlay's hamburgers, however, favor overcooking to under. If you want yours medium-rare, order it rare. The namesake burger, with roasted green chilies, Cheddar, bacon, and cilantro-spiked aioli, on a brioche bun is fine, though the advertised avocado may be missing. The tasty, tall "cowboy" burger piles on manchego cheese, barbecue sauce, onion rings, bacon and a fried egg.
Juicy, onion-crusted chicken with mashed potatoes and asparagus; and the combo of shrimp with Cheddar grits, bacon and green onion are very good. But the mussel pots feature small, often dry mollusks. They aren't rescued by Thai, fra diavolo of ale-and-cream sauces, either. Baked macaroni and cheese: leaden.
Desserts are afterthoughts, from dry brownie sundae to drowned bananas Foster.
But there's always a lively fruit beer.