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Landshark's Sichuan calamari translates into crisp, fried squid,

Landshark's Sichuan calamari translates into crisp, fried squid, with a Thai-style sweet-hot sauce and crushed cashews. (Aug. 4, 2012) Credit: Johnny Simon

Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" is in its 25th season, complete with "Jaws"-dropping footage.

Thus inspired, it's about the right time to visit Landshark and take a bite out of the ultra-crowded Nautical Mile.

Landshark, with a first dorsal fin often substituted for the second "a," propels itself into Freeport, namesake lager on tap, seafood on the menu, party in progress. You pretty much know what to expect before you get here.

The successor to Blue 42 is a casual catch, tight tables inside and out, some providing a water view and all geared toward an image of islands other than Long. If you plan to arrive by boat, there are a dozen private slips nearby.

Landshark has a bar upstairs, where imbibers work their way through sangria laced with Southern Comfort, the Pomegranate Flirtini and ChamBREW, a Corona punctuated with a shot of Chambord. From this party perch, you can see the water, as well as Landshark's tiki bar across the street.

The kitchen is under executive chef Justin Magistro, whose resumé includes restaurants in Florida, Cirella's in Melville and Fox Hollow in Woodbury. Consulting chef John Brill's Long Island stops: Red Fish Grille in Plainview, Four Food Studio & Cocktail Salon in Melville and the departed Chesapeake Bay Clam & Chowder House in Long Beach.

Their fare goes with a cold brew.

Sichuan calamari, which translates into crisp, fried squid, with a Thai-style sweet-hot sauce and crushed cashews, pairs well. Too sweet with anything: Bacardi coconut shrimp breaded with coconut and finished with coconut rum sauce. Stick with the shrimp cocktail.

Steamed mussels fra diavolo delivers the heat and doesn't overdo it. The "classic," with white wine, roasted garlic and chopped tomatoes is its competition.

Chef Magistro sends out a satisfying lobster roll served on a brioche bun. His jumbo crabcake also is worth sampling. The beer-battered flounder, however, is undone by a crunch-free, peel-away coating.

Dinner improves with grilled ahi tuna and swordfish. Crab-crusted Atlantic swordfish finished with what's described as a ginger-orange beurre blanc, underscores less-is-more. Maple-mustard glazed Pacific salmon is just overdone.

If you're inclined toward turf instead of surf: filet mignon with arugula, tomatoes and blue cheese is preferable to the Jack Daniel's-glazed rib-eye steak, capped with onions advertised as "crispy" but delivered as limp.

Sweets include respectable cannoli and a modest riff on strawberry shortcake. But the zeppoli are very deflated, as if ... da-dum ... da-dum ... da-dum da-dum da-dum ...

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