Oakdale, the only L.I. town with two Italian restaurants named Mama’s, has an ambitious new eatery: Wild Side Organic Café & Market, from Jay Jadeja and Raquel Wolf, owners of the West East All-Natural Bistro & Wine Bar in Hicksville.
As at West East, the emphasis is on organic and non-GMO foods and the cuisine is global. (Some of the oversized portraits of the couple’s heroes that adorn the Hicksville restaurant have even migrated to the new spot: Welcome to Oakdale, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and the Dali Lama.)
While West East is fine dining, Wild Side is casual. Its motto: Fast Slow Food. Jadeja, the chef, partnered with Kevin Penner, formerly executive chef at 1770 House and other East End restaurants, to create a menu of takeout-friendly salads, soups and sandwiches.
There’s nothing casual about the pizza, though. Jadeja built a wood-burning oven and he’s making authentic, Naples-style pizzas, $12 to $14, with long-fermented dough, mozzarella di bufala from Italy and other rarefied ingredients. Sandwiches ($15) include a fried chicken sandwich with chili oil mayo, roasted pork belly withi kimchi and burgers both vegan (made with kale and black beans) and not — the Wild Side burger made with house-ground beef is topped with a sunnyside-up egg, Cheddar or Swiss and duck bacon. The place seats about 20 diners, at tables and at an L-shaped bar that offers a great view of the pizza oven. Wine, beer and liquor are served.
So much for the cafe. The market, Wolf’s purview, stocks various organic staples — pasta, condiments, and even cosmetics. On Wednesdays, there’s a pickup for Farmigo, an online farmers market that offers fresh produce, organic dairy, grass-fed meats and more. Starting in June, there is to be a weekly pickup for a CSA from MarGene organic farm in Mattituck. Click here for more information or to sign up.
The place is already a haven for the special-diet crowd. The night I dropped by there were, among the six guests at the bar, a vegan, a vigilant GMO avoider and a gentleman allergic to cherries and carrots — but only when the birch trees are flowering.
Wild Side Organic Cafe & Market is at 1551 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale, 631-791-1800, wildside-cafe.com.