A chicken sandwich at the new Beach Bird in Oyster...

A chicken sandwich at the new Beach Bird in Oyster Bay. Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

With experience working in all different types of restaurants — Shipwreck Tavern in Bayville, the Jekyll and Hyde Corporation in Manhattan, Swallow in Greenlawn, the health-conscious chain Vitality Bowls — chef David Malinowski always wanted to venture out on his own. His star ingredient: The beloved chicken tender.

After playing around with recipes during the pandemic, he and his business partner, Michael Eisenberg, started looking for a place to roost. Growing up in Bayville, he had strong connections on Long Island,  and when the former IT Pizza and Bagel in Oyster Bay came onto the market with its whitewashed décor, blue accents and prime location, Beach Bird ("chicken by the beach,” as Malinowski explained) was born.

Serving chunky, white meat tenders — in fingers, nuggets, sandwiches, over waffles, in salads — as well as breaded or naked wings, this is one place you can absolutely bring the kids. The vibe is beach-casual with its blue-and-white checkerboard serving paper; there’s even an Instagram-ready neon Beach Bird sign for the influencer set. A liquor license is pending.

“Oyster Bay is in a booming phase," Malinowski said. 

He knows that to stand out in a buzzy restaurant town, the food has to be on point, so he butchers the tenderloins in-house and brines them for 24 hours. Made fresh to order, they're soft on the inside with a snappy crunch, and pair beautifully with the twice-fried French fries, which come in salted, ranch, Cajun and loaded (like a baked potato) styles ($5-$8). If you can’t decide between nuggets, tenders or the wings — which come in party-ready orders of as many as 50 ($75) — get a bird basket, which has all three ($33). There are also cinnamon-sugar waffle bites ($16) topped with breaded nuggets and maple syrup that are not to be missed. A dozen side sauces may confound big dippers, but they're worth sampling, especially the avocado ranch.

All that savory, salty fare needs a sweet counterpart besides waffles, so stay tuned for ice cream and fresh cookies to make customizable ice cream sandwiches, which are coming soon.

Beach Bird, 19 E. Main St., Oyster Bay, 516-240-2404, beachbirdli.com, Opening hours are Friday to Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. with plans to open daily until 10 p.m. beginning in mid-November.

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