Freeport’s Nautical Mile has undergone one of its biggest culinary makeovers this year with fare that includes everything from tacos to burgers and a microbrewery to help wash it all down.
In all, five new full-service restaurants have opened or will open soon along the festive stretch with its lively nightlife scene. They arejoined by Brew SA, a microbrewery featuring 11 brews ranging from a traditional style pilsner to a coffee studded stout, all made on sight in full view of customers.
“There’s a lot going on. This is bigger than normal,” said Ivan Sayles, president of Freeport Chamber of Commerce and the Nautical Mile Merchants Association.
Gone is El Toro 28, replaced by Limoncello (229 Woodcleft Ave.), a classic Italian restaurant run by first-time restaurateur Armando Escobedo.
The large space was gutted and renovated with more of a rustic feel, including wood beam ceilings and a brick patio designed for the evening scene. The 200 seats include several tables on a deck that wraps around the restaurant with an intimate view of the Woodcleft Canal.
Dishes such as lobster seafood risotto ($28) and orecchiette with pork sausage and broccoli rabe are on the menu. ($25). For now, all diners receive a complimentary glass of the restaurant’s namesake drink.
Farther down the block, Ralph’s Italian Ice relocated about a half-mile south to 300 Woodcleft Ave. to a newer space where it has cheaper rent, said owner Al Dicicco.
Joining it in the building is the second location of Montana Brothers Pizzeria, a Freeport mainstay where brothers Frank and Joe Montana serve slices, including a bacon, chicken ranch ($5) and more inventive beach fare such as vodka sauce nachos ($10).
While El Toro is gone, another Mexican-centric spot has opened. Taco Tuesdays took over the Ralph’s space, with a takeout window featuring no-nonsense tacos and house-made empanadas.
Over at Hudson’s on the Mile, at 340 Woodcleft Ave., the lively restaurant is adding a deck that will overlook the Mile and have its own bar and small-plates menu.
The old Paradise space at 379 Woodcleft Ave. has given way to Maui, a restaurant that advertises itself as Polynesian with an American twist, including a menu where macadamia encrusted mahi mahi is paired with a coconut, pineapple and grenadine sauce ($28) and grilled salmon is topped with blood orange sauce ($28). Co-owner Paul DeSimone, who once owned Main Street Italian Bistro in Patchogue, said the restaurant features three seating areas, including a 150-foot-long deck with a large bar, an indoor dining room and a VIP room with its own bar.
Finally, some time in the next week or two, the owners of EB Eliots and Tropix on the Mile will open Burger on the Mile, a burger shack at 28 Woodcleft Ave., that will serve burgers from breakfast to late into the night, including the hangover burger (egg, bacon and cheese) and a pizza burger, which comes topped with fried mozzarella, marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella for some extra cheese.