The 10 best gastropubs on Long Island: Eat here now
The word "gastropub" is comparatively new to the English language, but the appeal of what one serves goes back a long way. Here's homey, full-bodied fare, that goes well with a brew or two. Following are the 10 best gastropubs in Nassau and Suffolk.
BBD's -- Beers Burgers Desserts(Credit: Randee Daddona)
BBD's -- Beers Burgers Desserts, Rocky Point: Chef-owner Ralph Perrazzo's burger-centric gastropub offers both craft beers and bourbon on tap. Kick off your meal with bacon-crusted mac and cheese or pulled pork bao (Chinese steamed buns). The extensive burger menu lets you choose patties that are grilled, griddled or steamed, with a variety of toppings available. Then, there's ramen, the Japanese noodle soup that's become an obsession for Perrazzo. Inventive desserts and alcoholic shakes are appropriate finales.
Mac and cheese with pretzel crusted topping is served at BBD's -- Beers Burgers Desserts in Rocky Point.
That Meetball Place(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
That Meetball Place, Patchogue: Craft beers from taps and bottles pair well with the creative, meatball-driven menu at this hip downtown spot, furbished with reclaimed wood and brick. While the decibel level is clamorous, the noise doesn't faze the young crowd scarfing down meatballs of all kinds: chicken, beef, seafood and even veg-ta-balls. Get them over pasta, tucked into sliders, thrown over salads or as part of a composed sandwich. Finish with a skillet-baked cookie topped with a ball of gelato and schlag, Austrian-style whipped cream. (Pictured: Classic meatballs and fresh rigatoni.)
That Meetball Place in Patchogue serves a skillet cookie dessert.
Jackson's(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
Jackson's, Commack: Over the past year, this casual American spot has gained serious gastropub cred with its list of craft beers (many local) on tap and in bottles. What's also on tap: a great three-course meal, available all the time, for $27.95. From chef Harry Poole's repertoire: Thai lettuce wraps, skillet-roasted mussels, a BLT wedge salad, southern-fried chicken with biscuits (pictured), and a pastrami Reuben. Finish with a brownie sundae or chocolate pudding parfait.
Jackson's in Commack serves a Thai chicken lettuce wrap appetizer.
Left Coast Kitchen & Cocktails(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Left Coast Kitchen & Cocktails, Merrick: Come to Chris and Heather Randell's neighborhood spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages and a good time. The cocktails are imaginative; the beer selection on tap, in bottles or cans and very well-chosen and varied. Recommended: chicken and waffles; poached eggs with jalapeno-garlic-cheese bread, bacon, tomato and scallions; mascarpone cheese-stuffed French toast; biscuits and gravy; omelets; warm lobster roll (pictured); ''Cuba libre'' pork chop with rum-and-Coke glaze; LCK burger; Baja-style fish tacos with cod; ''Porky McPub'' platter; hot-and-sour ''slurpee'' noodles; cashew chicken and shrimp; pappardelle with spicy lamb Bolognese sauce; pan-roasted sea scallops; French onion chowder; white Cheddar macaroni and cheese; and ''Tijuana street corn'' with Cotija cheese.
Hot-and-sour slurpee noodles are served at Left Coast Kitchen & Cocktails in Merrick.
Tullulah's(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Tullulah's, Bay Shore: Hard surfaces, high decibels, a stylized hipster vibe and a sense of irony pervade Tullulah's, where the cocktails and wines are good, there are 13 beers on tap and the food is what you want to eat with them. It's Williamsburg via Bay Shore. Recommended: herb-and-cheese-filled tempura squash blossoms, pulled-pork tacos, baked oysters, spicy fried chicken; fried chicken sandwich with pickled vegetables, bone-in pork chop with Sriracha glaze, Painted Hills steaks, patty melt, banh mi sandwich with house-smoked crisp pork belly, chorizo sausage with brown-sugar-glazed apples and Sriracha aioli, and Thai-style coconut- and kaffir lime-seasoned mussels. (Pictured: Pan-seared scallops with French green lentils and chive cream.)
Baked cauliflower with crisp pork belly, aged Cheddar and crumbled Brussels sprouts is a savory choice at Tullulah's in Bay Shore.
Bluestone Tavern(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Bluestone Tavern, West Sayville: What used to be a staid steakhouse is now a hip tavern done in pale, weathered wood, stone and brick. It's drawing a younger crowd with its roster of craft beers, both bottled and on tap, as well as its menu of well-priced, spirited dishes. Recommendations from executive chef John Menz's repertoire include chicken Parm pops; a meatball flight with lobster, beef and pork balls; and steamed Asian dumplings. Simple, satisfying roast chicken and a marinated sirloin sandwich work well, too. Finish with ''milk and cookies'' -- warm chocolate chip cookies and a mini chocolate shake. (Pictured: Short rib sliders.)
The meatball flight features three meatballs -- from left, beef pomodoro; pork-apple with maple demiglaze; and lobster in a chive cream sauce -- at Bluestone Tavern in West Sayville.
Sapsuckers Hops & Grub(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)
Sapsuckers Hops & Grub, Huntington: Big flavors come with big noise, so open your mouth and cover your ears. Choose from a menu of contemporary comfort classics, offered with an impressive roster of interesting craft beers on draft and by the bottle. You might begin with ''three little pigs,'' or pulled pork sliders topped with sprightly slaw and house-made pickles. Blackened catfish is a standout, as is the Decadent Dog, served on a pretzel bun with cheese, onion and mustard (pictured). Other hits: a fine Cubano sandwich and spicy shrimp gumbo.
Sapsuckers Hops & Grub in Huntington offers a mac and cheese made with parmesan, sharp, mild cheddar and fontina topped with an herbed bread crumb crust.
Heirloom Tavern(Credit: Alessandro Vecchi)
Heirloom Tavern, Glen Head: Kent Monkan refreshed and refined the local concept of a gastropub with Heirloom Tavern, which pairs the basic and the sophisticated with excellent results. He packs a lot of flavor in this sliver of a restaurant at the Long Island Rail Road station, bolstered by craft beers. Recommended are the Scotch egg, lobster taco, filet mignon sliders and an endive salad with Gorgonzola, bacon and poached pear. Also: bay scallop tempura, meatball hero, fettuccine with lobster carbonara, strozzapreti pasta Bolognese, pan-roasted duck breast hinting of Grand Marnier, Berkshire pork chop with sherry vinegar sauce (pictured), Painted Hills strip steak with peppercorn sauce, white chocolate cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake and beignets.
Lobster fettuccine carbonara is a rich variation of the classic Roman dish at the Heirloom Tavern in Glen Head.
Old Fields(Credit: Heather Walsh)
Old Fields, Greenlawn: The two branches of Old Fields balance notable craft brews with often-excellent food that raises your expectations about pub-style fare. Recommended: shrimp and white Cheddar grits; jerked, braised pork belly with chipotle cornbread; Berkshire slab-cut bacon; macaroni and cheese (pictured); buttermilk fried chicken; popcorn fried chicken and waffles; duck potpie; bone-in rib-eye steak; filet mignon; New England-style clam chowder; diver sea scallops; "Davey Gravey" beef burger served between grilled cheese sandwiches; bread pudding with vanilla ice cream; and ice cream sodas. (Second location is at 318 Wynn Lane, Port Jefferson; 631-331-9200)
Bread pudding is served at Old Fields in Port Jefferson.
EAT Gastropub(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
EAT Gastropub, Oceanside: First-class brews, local and otherwise, are the beverages of choice at EAT Gastropub, and there's plenty of hearty food to accompany them. Winning dishes include chips 'n dips, which take in guacamole, feta cheese-and-spinach and cauliflower-and-Parmesan cheese, served with tortilla and taro root chips; house-made smoked bacon; chicken potpie; fried chicken with thick waffles; turkey burger with hand-cut fries and house-made pickles; macaroni and cheese with tasso ham; and olive oil cake with vanilla ice cream. (Pictured: Gastro burger.)
House-made chips are served with a quartet of dips at EAT Gastropub in Oceanside.