Fans of Carle Place's LL Dent who are mourning its impending closure have another new spot for southern-style cuisine, but they have to drive a few dozen miles east to Port Jefferson Station.
LI Pour House, a four-and-a-half year old pub known for its barbecue and self-serve beer, has been reborn as Mr. P's Southern Skillet. Taking the kitchen reins is chef Anthony Citarella, formerly of Locale in Patchogue and Taste American Grill in Massapequa (and a culinary graduate of Johnson & Wales University). He has rolled out a menu that plucks from Louisiana to the Carolinas, where Citarella once worked.
Among those plates are fried green tomatoes ($9), country-fried chicken steak ($24), shrimp and grits ($25), and a pork chop over sweet potato hash with apple-bourbon gastrique ($26). A pulled-pork burger comes with apple-cabbage slaw and melted pepper jack cheese ($16), and vegetarians can opt for an Impossible burger ($14). Citarella said the kitchen is making most everything from scratch, from aioli to demiglacé to a definitely non-Southern New York-style cheesecake, $7.
Mr. P's owner, Anthony Pallino said the LI Pour House concept had run its course, and he wanted to create a more "Nashville-style restaurant." The renovation included new murals of country music stars on the walls; live music will be part of the weekend scene. There's still a self-serve beer wall, but also a roster of $10 cocktails that draws liberally on brown spirits for drinks such as a blackberry whiskey smash.
Mr. P's Southern Skillet is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Monday (closed Tuesday) at 650 Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station, 631-509-0718. mrpssouthernskillet.com