These Bloody Marys are anything but basic. Long Island restaurants are stretching the garnish for the brunch staple well beyond a simple stalk of celery — now the drink is coming out with bacon, shrimp, pickled veggies and over-the-top accouterments ranging from a skewered slider to a mini lobster rollprecariously perched on its rim.
“Lately foodies seem to be taking an interest in every part of their meal,” says Kassata Bollman about the recent spike of interest in atypical Bloody Marys. She and her husband, Scott, own Bruce & Son, an all-day brunch restaurant in Greenport that changes its take on the classic seasonally.
The spicy, tomato juice-based drink has always been popular, says Jon Krasner, owner of Saltbox in Montauk, but people have been getting "more excited about pushing the limits." His entry: The "Fat Mary," topped with a lobster slider, grilled shrimp and bacon.
These are Long Island's most interesting twists on the original.
American Beauty Bistro
WHERE: American Beauty Bistro (24 Central Ave., Massapequa) NAME: “The Ultimate” TOPPED WITH: Bacon strip, shrimp garnish. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: “People’s eyes light up when I explain our Ultimate to them,” says owner Maria Pallotta. For $2 more, customers can add straws of meat and consider the whole drink brunch. MORE INFO: 516-590-7477, americanbeautybistro.com
WHERE: Chadwicks (49 Front St., Rockville Centre) NAME: “Bloody Mary With the Works” TOPPED WITH: A steakhouse burger slider, candied bacon and shrimp cocktail. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Customers walk in and at first they say, ‘That’s so strange,’” says GM Patrick Sweeney. “But then they order it and they’re like, ‘That’s so good.’” His tip: Dip your shrimp in the Mary mix, but probably just eat the slider on the side. MORE INFO: 516-766-7800, chadwicksrvc.com
WHERE: The Shed (54 New St., Huntington) NAME: “Shrub”-topped Blood Mary TOPPED WITH: A high pile of pickled cucumber ribbon “shrubs.” WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Don't ask what's on the rim -- the glass is coated with a secret mix of salts, herbs and spices. The mix is made with gluten-free vodka, then spiked with a specialty Tabasco-horseradish mix. MORE INFO: 631-385-7433, intheshed.com
WHERE: Saltbox (99 S. Edgemere St., Montauk) NAME: The “Fat” Mary TOPPED WITH: A lobster slider, grilled shrimp and bacon. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Jon Krasner refers to his venue’s concoction as a “vodka stew … thick, spicy and dirty,” adding that his Montauk location specifically appeals to a mindset where “people want a drink for brunch and don’t really want to eat a huge meal. … A trip to Montauk should be fun and so should your Bloody Mary.” MORE INFO: 631-238-5727, montauksaltbox.com
WHERE: Nantuckets (9 Trader's Cove, Port Jefferson) NAME: Maine Lobster Bacon Bloody Mary TOPPED WITH: Lobster claw meat and bacon. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: “We used to just use shrimp,” says owner Richard Gertz, “But we wanted to build on it and the lobster seemed like a match." MORE INFO: 631-509-4848, nantucketsportjefferson.com
Bruce & Son
WHERE: Bruce & Son (208 Main St., Greenport) NAME: Seasonal Bloody Mary TOPPED WITH: Here, pickled shishito pepper -- but ingredients change seasonally. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Bollman says the venue's take on the classic changes with the seasons. The current charred pickled shishito garnish was chosen for the pepper that's currently growing on the North Fork. So "it was a perfect fit," he says. MORE INFO: 631-477-0023, bruceandsongreenport.com