"It has been our pleasure to bring joy to your summers and fill your cup with a little more fun," read a statement announcing the closure of Kismet’s Surf’s Out, a statement that stunned longtime fans of the longtime bar-eatery’s casual-but-not-divey vibe. Hope springs eternal, however, because Frank Bragaglia (and company) of Babylon’s The Brixton bought Surf’s Out, and frantically transformed the place in time for a Memorial Day weekend grand opening.
"We accomplished that," said general manager Taylor Figgiani in the kind of halting tone that comes with opening an establishment during a period of epic supply chain shortages. The place, re-christened Dive, had been open a month by this time and there was still no word on when the new bar stools would arrive, when the new picnic tables would arrive, when the employees’ Dive shirts would arrive.
"But we’re open, and we’re making due with what we have," Figgiani said. That Dive was doing more than just making due was evident in the revamped — and mostly finished — mustard and teal dining room, which happily evokes a retro ’70s vibe without resorting to cliché. The kitchen too is doing more than making due, keeping the best of the Surf’s Out menu (read: sushi) and adding a few other intriguing dishes besides.
Among the most noteworthy additions is something called Miru Mountain, in which pieces of an avocado and spicy tuna roll are topped by a veritable haystack of spicy crab meat ($23). Other items worthy of mention include a yummy "lobster out" roll that combines crustacean meat, shrimp tempura, avocado and wasabi mayo ($25), and a salmon poke bowl ($23) that is at least as lively as the lemon-lime mojito ($15) at Dive's beautiful bar. Both are best consumed against a live music backdrop, and luckily, the place has bands booked every weekend.
In the present environment, it’s an achievement to get any restaurant up and running. Indeed, the only thing more challenging is getting a restaurant up and running on Fire Island, where transport issues create headaches and contractors are in impossibly short supply. So Dive is something to celebrate in this season of renewal, and if you agree, consider getting tickets for its July 4 grand opening bash, available at the restaurant’s website.
Dive is at 1 Bay Walk, Kismet, 631-538-7400, divekismet.com. Opening hours are Sunday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.