The Cajun seafood campaign has sustained its first casualty: Mighty Catch Cajun Seafood & Bar has closed, at least, according to a sign on the door, temporarily.
When it opened two months ago, Mighty Catch barely changed the bistroid interior of its predecessor, the short-lived Wayne French Kitchen. The seafood restaurant was a collaboration between Wayne’s chef-owner (and namesake), Wen Chen, and an old friend in the restaurant business, Tom Lau.
Despite the vaguely French décor, Mighty Catch served a menu that is becoming increasingly popular on Long Island: a customized combination of spiced shellfish boiled in a bag. Typically the bag is brought to the table and diners dig in with plastic-gloved hands but, at Mighty Catch, the shellfish was emptied into a bowl and eaten with silverware.
In September, Lau told Newsday that the Cajun seafood concept was “the next big thing” for Chinese-American restaurateurs. “First there was Chinese buffet,” he said, “then a lot of people opened Japanese restaurants, then Asian fusion, now Cajun seafood.” Neither he nor Chen responded to inquiries.
If Mighty Catch lost the battle, Cajun seafood seems to be winning the war. Within the last three months, Red Crab Juicy Seafood and Voodoo Crab both opened, within three blocks of one another, on Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre. Ben’s Crab in Oceanside, Long Island’s first Cajun seafood restaurant, just spawned a second location, in Uniondale. Cajun Claws recently opened in Patchogue; Cajun Crab Shack, which has some corporate relationship to Hicksville’s Hook & Reel, just opened in Floral Park and Cajun Buckets are poised to open in Westbury and West Hempstead.