The interesting thing about the location of Amityville’s new Bayview Kitchen is not that it sits on Bayview Avenue, although that is a useful mnemonic, but rather that it sits just three blocks from Chef Antoine Reid’s home. Or what was his home until last...December.
“It burned down a few days after Christmas,” he told us by phone in between his busy lunch and dinner shifts. Reid lost not just a domicile in the fire but what he termed his “test kitchen,” a basement space in which he spent years perfecting recipes for his first restaurant while simultaneously running a thriving catering business.
Reid is an Amityville native but also something of a prodigal son, having lived in Rhode Island while attending culinary school at Johnson & Wales before returning to Amityville five years ago. He and his siblings are also first generation Americans of Jamaican descent, a fact that led to some spirited back-and-forths in Reid's childhood home. “We liked fast food and sushi, things our parents had never heard of,” he said with a laugh. “That’s what started us on this fusion thing.”
That "fusion thing" has already led to some marvelous discoveries, at least on the evidence of a recent dinner we had at the 40-seat breakfast, lunch and dinner establishment. Like what, you ask? A plate of shrimp is simmered in a broth of coconut curry and served over rice jazzed up with cilantro ($18, “it’s a dish that’s a staple in the Caribbean and we’ve infused it with coconut”). Reid, who owns Bayview Kitchen but developed his recipes and cooks with co-chef Asim Henry, also touts his “what-a-jerk” shrimp and grits ($15), in which the shrimp are seasoned in a housemade jerk marinade, and his Big Poppa ($21), a standard steak and eggs served at breakfast but kicked up a notch by what Reid calls a Caribbean chimichurri. (“We use peppers like scotch bonnets instead of things like jalapeños.”) Oh, and don’t forget about the chicken wings ($12), which are best enjoyed with Reid's own sorrel barbecue sauce. It has notes of hibiscus tea and perfectly accents the wings, which by the way are marinated for 12 hours, roasted and then briefly fried.
Bayview Kitchen offers lots more pleasures for the curious diner, like a plate of nachos that substitutes plantains for tortilla chips ($12, and better than it sounds), and small pods of whole okra fried in cornmeal ($5, and way better than the nugget version).
“It’s been overwhelming,” Reid said of the journey to his Aug. 1 opening. “The Kitchen has had nothing but positive support from the community where we were born and raised. We’re very grateful.” Whence the kitchen in Bayview Kitchen, we wondered?
“Love comes out of the kitchen,” said Reid. “No one fights in the kitchen. You don’t mess around with the people who make your food.”
Bayview Kitchen is at 393 Bayview Ave. in Amityville, 631-608-4785. It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday brunch is served from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed Monday.