Aruba has come to Bayville. On select evenings this summer, the 200 tons of sand and 50 palm trees trucked in by the Crescent Beach Club and its on-site restaurant Ocean each year are playing host to tables accommodating from two to 10 patrons for dinner.
“People in the restaurant always want to go down to the beach, but we rake it every single day, so if they walk all over the beach, then it’s more work for my guys, so I don’t let them," said general manager Matt Silver.
Like many others in hospitality these days, the waterfront venue has suddenly been afforded a previously unimaginable flexibility. The wedding business, so robust that Silver normally hosts one every day of the week in summer, has all but dried up. So these days, restaurant patrons cannot only walk on the beach, they can have a meal there. “You know those places in Aruba where you can eat and put your feet in the sand? When we couldn’t open for events, I thought, let’s do it,” he said.
Besides the tables, five on-site cabanas — cabanas are having a moment, no? — are also available for private sand-dwelling dining. Both feature a prix-fixe menu paid in advance ($71.69, including tax and tip, cabanas incur a $100 surcharge), and reservations are required. A fuller menu is offered at Ocean — temporarily renamed Beach Shack 2020 — but reservations are required there too. Among the highlights: mahi mahi tacos ($17), lobster rolls ($34), and a seafood pasta dish ($30), its linguine tossed with shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops in a lobster cream sauce.
“It’s not once-in-a-lifetime, but it’s pretty close,” said Silver staring out at the Crescent’s empty beach, wedding arbor and seating areas. The Sound was calm, the temperature moderate, the skies cloudless. It was a great day to get married.
“I always told the restaurant customers to stay away,” he laughed. “I didn’t want them to go down and walk through someone’s wedding.”
The Crescent Beach Club and Ocean restaurant are at 333 Bayville Ave. in Bayville, 516-628-3330, cometotheocean.com. Check the website for upcoming beach dining dates. As with the restaurant, reservations for beach tables and cabanas are required and can be made at 516-473-1350. Opening hours for Ocean’s Beach Shack 2020 are Sunday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.