Horace & Sylvia’s Publick House in Babylon has new owners and – more importantly – a new chef. Heading up the kitchen team is Liam Beardslee, who cooked at Declan Quinn’s in Bay Shore.
On a recent week night, I find the handsome gastro pub bustling and crowded. What I get, however, are mixed messages.
Since the menu says nothing about the restaurant’s $19.95 three-course Sunday to Thursday prix-fixe (advertised on a little card posted above the booth), I ask the hostess to tell me the particulars. “I’m not that informed," she says. "You’ll have to ask your waitress.” Turns out, you get a choice of soup or salad plus any entree and dessert. Not bad.
Drinks are brought immediately, but it's longer than half an hour before I get a bite of food. All I can think of are the exemplary hot biscuits I'd had years before. And, yes, they actually materialize in all their hot flaky goodness (just one to a customer), along with our salads. There's an “untraditional” Caesar — a lively mix of Gorgonzola, diced tomatoes and croutons and a Waldorf with apples, dried cherries, walnuts and mixed greens in a surprisingly un-cloying maple dressing.
Another long lapse before getting a super-thick grilled double-cut pork chop with a cinnamon apple topping actually too sweet for apple pie. There's no telling how the roasted chicken with spinach and mashed potatoes really is, since it's swamped by a surfeit of garlic-laden pan gravy.
Love the strawberry shortcake finale – two of those terrific biscuits, a mass of perfect berries and freshly whipped cream. A good thing, I suppose, that I couldn't overload on biscuits earlier in the meal.
Dinner runs about two hours.
Horace & Sylvia’s Publick House is at 100 Deer Park Ave., Babylon, 631-587-5081
Biscuits at Horace & Sylvia's Public House in Babylon/Joan Reminick