Vinny Greco first fell for Hurricane Grill & Wings when he was the assistant equipment manager for the New York Mets. As Greco tells it, there was a Hurricane restaurant near spring training camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla.; he and the players would stop in at least twice a week.
In mid-December, he became co-owner of a new Port Jefferson Station restaurant, the first Long Island branch of the Florida-based chain. “It’s real tropical – it looks like a beach,” said Greco, who has already hosted Mets alums John Franco and Dwight Gooden. Gooden, he said, stopped by unexpectedly and “shook about 400 hands.” Greco added that he's close with many players and expects more visits.
What's on the menu? Wings, of course, which come with more than 30 varieties of sauce. There are also burgers, conch fritters, salads and fish sandwiches (such as grilled mahi-mahi). Sports fans can watch whatever game is in progress on the eight 50-inch high-definition TV screens.
A big attraction is the wing-eating contest, popular among Stony Brook University students. "They think it's easy," Greco said, "but after the first wing, they're sweating."
Hurricane Grill & Wings is at 1037 Rte. 112, Port Jefferson Station, 631-509-1288, hurricanewings.com
Dwight Gooden and Hurricane Grill & Wings crew (Photo by Vinny Greco)