If someone calls you a big idiot, it's rarely a good thing. In the case of the newest Village Idiot in Lake Grove, though, it's accurate: The newest and largest of Long Island's three Village Idiots — the other two are in Oakdale and Patchogue — is a kinetic spot of 200 or so seats, 38 flat-screen televisions, 16 taps, one dart board and a flickering gas fire (flanked by two armchairs).
On Sept. 4, the spot took over the space that most recently held the Green Tea Japanese Restaurant in Lake Grove, which closed this spring, a few minutes' drive southeast of the Smith Haven Mall. The inside feels like a cross between a modern barn and a sports bar, with a bank of televisions flickering over an enormous three-sided bar, one with 16 taps (the spectrum runs from Bud Light to Cigar City's Jai Alai), red and white wine on tap, and rotating cocktail list with seasonal quaffs such as The Idiot Gives You Wings, a rocks drink of vodka, muddle blueberries and coconut-berry Red Bull for $12. Devotees of "slamgrias" at the other two spots — goblets filled with sangria, fruit and an upside-down mini-bottle of merlot or pinot grigio — will find them here, too, for $13.
Beyond the bar is a dining room (and out of sight, an event space); the menu is an exhaustive roster of pub food covering two sides of an oversized sheet. It migrates from sliders, wings, burgers, flatbreads, sandwiches and sharing plates such as "sweet Jesus fries" (French fries slathered in cinnamon sauce and pecans) to pots of mussels, lobster mac-and-cheese and seafood Fra diavolo. General manager Nicole Basile said that Lake Grove also cooks up a dozen or so plates not available at sister locations, such as tuna wontons and buffalo chicken pasta. (Price-wise, apps start around $8; sandwiches, burgers sliders fall mostly between $7 and $15 and larger plates between $17 and $23).
Both Patchogue and Oakdale allow kids to eat free for at least a portion of the week, and Lake Grove will roll that out in some form in the next week, Basile said. Live music is already going down a few times per week.
John Sarno, who opened the original Village Idiot Pub in Patchogue in 2011, remains a co-owner here; his partner is John Scally, Basile said.
The Village Idiot Pub, 2811 Middle Country Rd., Lake Grove. 631-676-2323. vip3lg.com