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Jellyfish in Centerport opens tonight with all-star chef

James McDevitt in 2009, when he was executive

James McDevitt in 2009, when he was executive chef at Four Food Studio in Melville Credit: Kirsten Luce

After a gestation period of over three years, Jellyfish in Centerport is set for birth tonight at 5 p.m. The place, perched over Centerport Harbor, makes its debut under executive chef  James McDevitt, who was profiled in 2009 as a Newsday All-Star Chef.

Jellyfish, situated in a historic Centerport house, is under the same ownership as the neighboring Thatched Cottage.  There’s an aquarium room with a live coral reef tank, a koi pond and even a trout pond for kids to catch their dinner, should they be so inclined. Rotating exhibits from the Vanderbilt Mansion will be featured there, as well. At the “Jelly Bar,” there’s sushi as well as clams and oysters. Get a root beer float or vanilla malted milk at the old-fashioned soda fountain. The wine and chocolate bar in the lower level will have live music and dancing, along with dessert,  from Thursday to Saturday until 2 a.m. Dine outside on the veranda, or in the formal dining room. Coming soon: an enclosed upstairs patio, to be heated year-round.

McDevitt achieved national recognition at Restaurant Hapa in Scottsdale, Ariz., and, later, Budo in Napa, Calif. On Long Island, McDevitt was both a partner and executive chef at Four Food Studio in Melville, the former Two Steak & Sushi Den and K-Pacho in New Hyde Park. At Jellyfish, he joins general manager Jack Chang, who previously managed Two and, before that, Nobu in Manhattan.

Asked to name some signature dishes, McDevitt came up with these:  Alaskan rock shrimp cakes ($15), syrah-braised octopus ($15), Cantonese-style lobster with pork belly ($34), Long Island duck breast with risotto-style creamy faro and fresh plums ($27).

Dessert chef Stacey McDevitt, who is married to the executive chef, will be making such finales as a warm date pudding ($8) and cheesecake in a jar with seasonal fruit ($10). James McDevitt said the place will be selling some of his wife’s pastries  — tarts, cakes and crumbles — for takeout, too.

Jellyfish is at 441 E. Main St., Centerport, 631-262-0300, eatatjellyfish.com.

James McDevitt, executive chef at Jellyfish, back in 2009 at Four Food Studio in Melville
 

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