There are two obstacles to restaurant success on Long Island: Tuesday nights and bad spaghetti with clam sauce. On both fronts, Bravo! Nader in Huntington fell face down into the plate last night.
OK, there’s nothing a restaurateur can do about the day of the week. Few people have the means or inclination to shell out 30 or 40 bucks for a non-weekend dinner these days. And while specials, prix-fixes and (horror of horrors) coupons are pinpointed to bolster the midweek blues, nothing excuses bad cooking. As we say here at Feed Me, if you’re open for business, even if it’s the chef’s night off, you gotta deliver the goods.
I wag my finger at chef-owner Nader Gebrin, who has a loyal fan base in Huntington and a reputation for passionate cooking. How could he have allowed that spaghetti and clam sauce debacle on my plate to have come out of his kitchen? The pasta was swimming in a clam broth so salty that my tongue dried out after a few bites. There was not a plump clam in a shell to be found, only mounds of brown rubbery globs overly laced with cloves of garlic. My friend’s grilled flounder with vegetables was equally uninspiring, reminding me of the mediocre catered food at so many weddings and bar mitzvahs.
There is fierce competition in Huntington for dining dollars, and if Gebrin is to stay relevant, he cannot give up, any day of the week.
Bravo! Nader is at 9 Union Place, Huntington, 631-351-1200.