105 Harbor Rd. Cold Spring Harbor, NY 631-659-3888
An easygoing eatery that steers a safe course through familiar American and Continental favorites, allowing for an unexpected taste of the moment.Hours: Open every day for lunch and dinner. Dinner from 5 p.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Weekend reservations suggested. Ambience: Very Good Service: Good Reservations: Recommended Credit cards: Accepted
Harbor Mist rolls in where more than one restaurant has drifted in the fog. It's an easygoing eatery that steers a safe course through familiar American and Continental favorites, allowing for an unexpected taste of the moment. The results often are good, from owners Barman and Michelle Sharifi, who ran La Taverna and then Aqua Blue in Roslyn. The look of the successor to 105 Harbor, Inn on the Harbor and, way back, The Old Whaler depends where you eat. The upstairs dining room serves up a peachy, sunny hue and a pretty water view, which both underscore that the calendar reserves a few more days for summer. Downstairs, you'll find a bright space, too, with a fireplace for a hint of autumn. The busy bar: all-seasons style.
Chef Terrence Cave, who worked at Docks and the departed Cub Room in Manhattan, delivers a mellow shrimp risotto that suddenly announces itself once more with a spark of chorizo sausage. Orecchiette tossed with broccoli rabe and nuggets of sweet and spicy sausage heads the pastas. And try the jumbo lump crab cake, spurred by chipotle-spiked aioli and citrus-marinated cucumber; as well as the herbaceous littleneck clams oreganata. Sweet, nutty, caramelized sea scallops benefit from sage brown butter and garlicky mashed potatoes. Grilled Montauk swordfish veers Catalonian with a mild riff on romesco sauce, then segues French with a light potato gratin. Branzino, which is becoming the year's all-purpose fish, serves as a good vehicle for flavorful tomatoes, roasted garlic, olives and capers. Enjoy the tender steak frites, matched with hand-cut fries and creamed spinach; and the rack of Australian lamb, finished with a red-wine reduction, accompanied by a potato gratin that has a hint of horseradish. For dessert: well-made, time-capsule tiramisu.
Satisfactory chicken with wilted spinach and mashed potatoes; and Alaskan salmon with fingerling potatoes, in a white wine-and-mustard reduction. Duck confit, however, arrives dry; New England-style clam chowder, thin and bland. The lobster bake, while generous with clams, mussels and corn, is overcooked. Arid Italian cheesecake and dull cannoli.
THE BOTTOM LINE