Since 2006, The Lake House has successfully balanced high-caliber cuisine with a mom-and-pop vibe. That balancing act may become more difficult now that the three-star restaurant, one of Newsday’s Top 10 fine dining picks, has moved from its modest location along Bay Shore’s West Main Street to a grand new building overlooking the Great South Bay.
The Lake House, which is keeping its name despite the move, now seats 155 inside, plus another 40 on the deck — more than tripling the capacity of the original restaurant. But the partners, Matt and Eileen Connors and Jason Gut, wisely broke up the space into discrete dining areas to create intimacy. The décor calls to mind a luxury sailboat, with lots of rich wood, white accents and marine blue paint. The entire south facade looks directly onto the water, where you may be transfixed by the Fire Island ferries chugging past Nicky’s on the Bay toward Kismet.
Connors, the chef, has kept his menu largely intact, adding new seasonal mains such as caramelized local sea scallops with fava beans, ramps, fingerling potatoes, spring peas and prosciutto ($31) to old favorites like the herb-marinated Angus skirt steak with roasted garlic potato puree and Gorgonzola butter ($31). Starters include the Lake House salad with creamed chanterelles, asparagus, arugula, Humboldt Fog cheese and a poached egg ($15) and a pressed ingot of crispy suckling pig with Parmesan polenta, honey-glazed onion and fried quail egg ($15).
Available in the roomy bar or on the outside deck is a bar menu comprised of simple crowd-pleasers such as lobster roll with house-made chips ($24), a burger (custom blended by Babylon’s Village Meat Market, $16) and PEI mussels two ways ($16).
The Lake House, serving dinner Tuesday to Sunday and brunch on Sunday, is at 135 Maple Ave., Bay Shore; 631-666-0995, thelakehouserest.com