Craft Kitchen and Tap House 2.0 has arrived in Wantagh, four years after its original location in Lynbrook opened. It occupies the space that, since 1994, was Hemingway's American Bar & Grill. This team — Anthony Geraci and Thomas McNicholas — also owns Kasey's in Rockville Centre and both have ownership with other investors in Honu Kitchen & Cocktails in Huntington.
For the most part, the menu and décor imitate its original location, but there are two noticeable differences: Wantagh has added a pizza oven and is turning out four pizzas (Margherita, Buffalo, vegetable and Craft (fig jam, arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella and truffle), $13 to $16), and Lynbrook has a patio, which Wantagh does not.
The restaurant offers 24 craft beers on tap (including local brews Barrier Money IPA, Blue Point NY Pinstripe Pilsner and Blue Point Pumpkin Ale) and seven specialty cocktails ranging from the dark and stormy (Goslings Black Seal rum, fresh mint, lime and ginger beer) to the Craft old-fashioned (Bulleit bourbon, cinnamon syrup, bitters, Luxardo cherry and a lemon rind) to The Spa (Effen cucumber vodka, St. Germain, splash of pineapple and fresh lime juice), plus a selection of 20 wines.
Familiar comfort foods make up the menu here: appetizers range from $7 for soup of the day to $16 for a Mediterranean platter; tacos, from $13 for beef to $19 for fish; salads, from $12 for a classic Caesar to $14 for the holiday park (greens, red quinoa, toasted chickpeas, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, julienne carrots, tomatoes); burgers, from $15 for the salmon burger to $17 for the bourbon-bacon burger; grilled cheese from $12 for the old-fashioned to $16 for The Monty (short rib, Gruyere, arugula, grated Parmesan on Italian bread); a variety of wings for $12; and more.
Inside, TVs are suspended around the perimeter of the restaurant, looming above reclaimed-wood walls and tables. Most of the 50-plus seats are at high-top tables in the bar area. (The L-shaped bar itself seats 13.) Another dining area, "the porch," with six tables, is adjacent to doors that open to the parking lot in good weather.
Live acoustic acts are usually booked Thursdays to Saturdays from 8 to 11 p.m., and when there’s no music, after 10 p.m. you can be your own DJ via the spot’s jukebox.
There’s a sizable parking lot out front, which Craft shares with Pipeline Coffee Co., Boss Crokers Bar & Grill and New Wave Seafood Market and Restaurant, among many other storefronts, so when parking’s not available, head toward the back of the restaurant where there’s a municipal lot.
The restaurant is open weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. and on weekends from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. The kitchen closes at 11 p.m. but, on Fridays and Saturdays, a limited late-night menu is available.
Craft Kitchen and Tap House is at 1885 Wantagh Ave. in Wantagh. 516-781-2700. craftlynbrook.com