Lunch today at Beach Tree Cafe, the moderately priced restaurant that was the first venture from the Bohlsen Restaurant Group. Based on my Cobb salad, the place could use a visit from the Bohlsens’ corporate chef, Cornelius Gallagher,
Culinary standards are universally high at the Bohlsens’ other restaurants: Tellers and Verace in Islip, Prime in Huntington and H20 in Smithtown. So I was really taken aback by this sub-lackluster salad. The greens were a desultory mix of iceberg and romaine. The grilled chicken and avocado were OK, but everything else needed help: tasteless tomatoes; too-sweet blue cheese; fatty, undercooked bacon; canned roasted red peppers, the last refuge of the lazy salad maker. Things weren’t even cut nicely.
Can we talk about the dressing? The “lemon vinaigrette” was viscous, sweet and artificial tasting. No lemon here, bottled lemonade, perhaps. Ordinarily I would have been annoyed that the dressing came on the side—it's impossible to properly dress and toss a salad once it's been plated—but in this case it afforded me the chance to get some oil and lemon wedges so I could dress the salad myself (albeit imperfectly).
Beachtree is a very attractive restaurant. My server, the bartender, could not have been friendlier or more efficient. I hope rethinking the cooking—or at least the Cobb salad—is on the Bohlsens’ agenda.
Beach Tree Cafe is at 166 West Main St., East Islip, 631-277-4800.
Newsday photo / Erica Marcus