Don't get hungry for dinner till 8? Long Island's growing supper club scene offers a chance to get out of the house almost any night of the week and enjoy high-quality live entertainment along with food creations by a number of the island's better-known chefs.
On a recent Saturday evening, the Ted Hefko Trio, which also plays gigs in Manhattan and Brooklyn, filled the bar and dining room at Hemisphere in Bay Shore with New Orleans-style jazz.
A supper club vibe also enlivens the atmoshpere at the newly opened Suffolk Theater in Riverhead, at Grasso's in Cold Spring Harbor, which is introducing a new spring menu, and at the redecorated Puglia's in Garden City.
118 E. Main St., Riverhead
INFO 631-727-4343, suffolktheater.com
WHEN Food served in tandem with Thursday-Sunday shows
First opened in 1933, the former Art Deco movie house recently reopened with cabaret-style tables that seat 350, rather than conventional theater seating.
ON THE PLATE Tom Schaudel, known for his Long Island restaurants, including Coolfish in Syosset and Jewel in Melville, designed the menu. It includes small plates (clam fritters, sashimi or crabcakes), and three-course dinners. Two bars serve cocktails, craft beer and Long Island wines.
ON THE FLOOR The schedule features comedy, music and films. On April 26, a showing of "Moonstruck," the 1987 Cher romantic comedy, will be accompanied by live music, an Italian meal and Champagne toast ($65). Other upcoming shows include Tito Puente Jr.'s tribute to Lionel Hampton, April 20 ($35).
9 S. Park Ave., Bay Shore
INFO 631-647-8526, hemisphere-bayshore.com
WHEN Wednesdays-Sundays (although entertainment is not offered every night)
Cozy and elegant, Hemisphere has seating at the bar, in a dining room and in private booths.
ON THE PLATE Executive chef Jeffery Slade, who previously was chef at Daniel, one of Manhattan's premier French restaurants, created Hemisphere's modern American small-plate menu. The dozen or so choices include crispy rock shrimp, scallops and lamb chops.
ON THE FLOOR Lots of jazz, including return engagements by Hefko tomorrow and April 19, and New York Jazz Mission April 20. Also, Live Art Fusion, a performance art experience combining painting and live music on April 18.
987 Stewart Ave., Garden City
The Long Island branch of Puglia's nearly century-old restaurant in Manhattan's Little Italy was hopping with the sounds of a disco band on a recent Friday night. Many come two or three nights a week for the mix of live music and Italian fare. "Puglia's is the last game in town for people 40 and up," says Angelo Amato, 75, of Plainview, a regular.
ON THE PLATE Traditional Southern Italian cuisine, reflecting the restaurant's Little Italy roots, includes Mulberry Street mussels, calamari with Puglia's hot sauce, and stuffed rice balls. A $19.95 sunset dinner special is offered from 4 to 6:30 p.m., before the music starts.
ON THE FLOOR Puglia's offers live music for an older crowd on Tuesdays, when a disco band plays, says owner Gregory Garofalo. On Wednesdays, John Ganci sings classic Sinatra and Tony Bennett tunes. Thursday is Latin night, and Friday and Saturday feature disco bands.
134 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor
INFO 631-367-6060, grassosrestaurant.com
WHEN Shows Tuesday-Saturday and Sunday brunch
ON THE PLATE The dinner menu, which changes according to the season, currently features New Zealand lamb chops, Long Island duck and crab meat-white bean salad. Sunday brunch is a la carte.
ON THE FLOOR Shows include Broadway standards by cabaret artists at the baby grand and jazz by established musicians, including Jerry Weldon, a sax player with Harry Connick Jr.'s Big Band.
Grasso's also features dueling pianos on Thursday nights, when Frank O'Brien and Tim Givins perform show tunes and contemporary hits.