Waterside locations on Long Island don’t stay empty for long. After 11 years alongside one of Seaford’s canals, Parkside Café closed for good after last season. Now Stephen and Jennifer Rosenbluth, owners of Merrick’s Anchor Down Seafood Bar & Grill, have opened a restaurant in its place: Cardoon Mediterranean seats about 20 people outside, 30 people inside.
Stephen stressed that Cardoon is not an outpost of Anchor Down. “They are two distinct concepts,” he said. “We didn’t see a lot of Mediterranean restaurants on the water, so that’s what we decided to do — though of course the menu is heavy on seafood, and we have a raw bar.”
The menu follows the Mediterranean coast from Italy and Greece, through the Middle East and around to North Africa. Highlights include a chopped salad with romaine, tomato, olive, cucumbers, peppers, pomegranate and feta ($12), watermelon-tomato salad with roasted corn and feta ($13), fried baby artichokes with ramp pesto aioli ($13), coriander-crusted lamb ribs ($16), falafel with yogurt and summer salad ($22), tagliatelle with shrimp, gigantes beans and merguez sausage ($27), whole grilled dorade ($28), pan-roasted striped bass with broccolini and artichoke-truffle velouté ($32) and grilled chicken with shawarma spices, tabbouleh, harissa and tzatziki ($24). There’s a burger too ($18), topped with haloumi (the squeaky cheese), pancetta, arugula, roasted tomato and ramp pesto aioli.
The wine list is heavy on Spain, Italy, Southern France and Greece, with some New World bottles mixed in. Craft beer (much of it local) is served in bottles.
The Rosenbluths were drawn to the name “cardoon,” an edible thistle that grows all around the Mediterranean. It looks like a fibrous head of celery and tastes like an artichoke. Unfortunately, cardoons won’t be in season until the fall, when Cardoon hopes to serve cardoon fries.
Cardoon Mediterranean is at 2479 Adler Court, Seaford, 516-785-2390.