A chic, restaurant that feels understated and special at the same time, with elevated fare that is nonetheless approachable: Nassau’s North Shore should be littered with such places but, in fact, they are few and far between. Now there’s one more: Maidstone 1845, which opened in January in the old Haiku Sushi space, tucked away in the Woodbury Town Plaza on Jericho Turnpike
The restaurant is a collaboration between chef Lewis Vargas and first-time restaurateur Simone Mitchell. Vargas cooked most recently at his short-lived La Tavola Trattoria in Huntington but, before that, cut a swath through restaurants, from Vero in Amityville to Almond in Bridgehampton, to TriBeCa Grill in Manhattan.
At Maidstone 1845, he’s doing farm-to-table-inspired New American cooking though, he conceded, “it’s hard to be farm-to-table when you open in the dead of winter.” (He’s looking forward to the seasonal openings of nearby Rottkamp Brothers Farm in Old Brookville and Meyer’s Farm in Woodbury.)
Current small plates (most are $15 to $19) include a meaty crab cake on a creamy bed of corn and leek; hamachi crudo with radish, fennel and coriander; and burrata with delicata squash, peaches, hazelnuts and pomegranate. Among mains (most, $26 to $37) are Crescent duck, the breast roasted, the leg confit; pan-seared halibut with slow-roasted tomatoes, lobster broth and Manila clams; and espresso-dusted pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and apple chutney. Vargas shows real commitment to vegetarian cuisine with a curried cauliflower steak with pickled raisins and toasted pine nuts; and roasted heirloom carrots with farro and ramp chimichurri.
A newly-launched lunch menu features more salads, sandwiches, burgers and bowls.
Maidstone 1845 owes its hushed vibe to tablecloths, cork siding and wooden sound baffles. There are seats at the bar, high-tops in the lounge and tables and banquettes in the narrow dining area. There’s also a “tasting table” that can accommodate up to 10 people.
Maidstone 1845, 8025 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury, 516-980-1845, themaidstone1845.com