Bethpage has always punched below its weight where restaurants are concerned. Sandwiched between heavy-hitting Hicksville and newly ascendant Farmingdale, it boasts only one establishment — the Orient — that regularly draws customers from surrounding towns.
Fay Arolithianakis hopes to change that with the opening of Me & You. The former executive chef at Mill River Club in Oyster Bay is a longtime Bethpage resident who, when she was off duty, never found herself dining in her hometown.
After 13 years as a country-club chef, Arolithianakis was looking for "something fresh to do," and so she partnered up with chef Jose Alvarenga, a colleague from Mill River, to finally "do something for myself and do something for Bethpage."
Initially the idea was to focus on breakfast and lunch six days a week (the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays), but customers demanded dinner and so Arolithianakis added it Wednesday through Saturday.
There’s nothing earth-shattering about Me & You’s menu; it’s a combination of classics, old and new, prepared with care. Breakfast items include eggs Benedict with home fries ($16), avocado toast with eggs over easy and burrata ($18), huevos rancheros ($15.50), Special K-crusted French toast ($14), Belgian waffles with berries ($13) and Nutella crepes with fruit and whipped cream ($15).
At lunch there are sandwiches from grilled-vegetable-mozzarella panini and crab cake sliders to burgers, either a beef-brisket blend of a homemade chicken patty brightened with minced zucchini and summer squash. All sandwiches come with a choice of salad or fries (sweet or regular). There are a half-dozen salads such as steakhouse shrimp and string beans and prosciutto and fig served over grilled bread. A "Not the ordinary" category features chicken tinga tacos, blackened and sugared salmon and an 8-ounce roasted sirloin with cream spinach and whipped potatoes. Almost all lunch items are $14 to $17.
Dinner starters include grilled octopus with white-bean purée, crispy pork belly with carrot-ginger purée and napa cabbage slaw, roasted pear salad. Mains include pappardelle with sausage ragù, miso-glazed Chilean sea bass and lamb two ways (harissa-marinated grilled chops and braised shoulder with preserved lemons.
Me & You’s dining room is done up in subtle shades of cappuccino and milk chocolate, with delicate floral touches. Tables are socially distanced as are the chairs at the bar. There’s also seating for about a dozen customers outside on the sidewalk.
Arolithianakis said that the name of the restaurant referenced both her and her work partner, chef Alvarenga, as well as she and her daughter. The olive branch in the logo honors her family’s olive groves on Crete.
Me & You is at 326 Broadway, Bethpage, 516-719-0088, meandyourestaurant.com