Smart chefs master change -- in the economy and on the plate. Mitch SuDock, who kept Bistro M in Glen Head going for seven years, understands that. And he's moved on. So: Welcome to Mitch and Toni's.
SuDock's new venture showcases many of the skills he displayed at his cozy, initialed restaurant. He does it in a way that, while instantly more accessible, sometimes is a little less ambitious. It's a destination eatery, but of a different kind. His partner in the smooth transition is co-owner and general manager Toni Contino, who adroitly ran the Bistro M dining room and does the same here.
Their eatery already is packed weekdays and weekends. Voices ricochet and noise levels rise fast in the contemporary "American bistro," a stylized space that has hosted several eateries, memorably including Amphora and Citrus.
Mitch and Toni's fits in, down to the whimsical wall art that deconstructs its name.
SuDock supporters will recall his "spicy crunchy" tuna tartare with seaweed salad and sourdough toasts, here updated by adding miso-soy salmon and wafers. Still good. Very satisfying openers include the tender baby back ribs and the sweet-and-sour brisket sliders, also migrating successfully from Glen Head. Parmesan flan, flanked by a poached egg with crisp pancetta and grilled asparagus with micro-greens; and the meaty, sweet Asian-accent BBQ chicken wings give them some competition. Bacon-wrapped monkfish improves on the prosciutto-bound version; pistachio-crusted halibut benefits from a lemon-beurre blanc rather than balsamic brown butter. Orange glaze replaces pomegranate on the excellent roasted duck breast, served with a fine confit of leg. And SuDock sends out a juicy, first-class strip steak. Savory side dishes, too, from lobster mashed potatoes to bacon-flecked macaroni and cheese. The moist brownie with ice cream and the chocolate-and-Nutella crepes ensure you'll order dessert.
Bland shrimp-dumpling salad; sleepy whole wheat-vegetable ravioli; underseasoned lobster tempura tacos; minor goat-cheese and white-bean dips; slightly overcooked roasted chicken and pork tenderloin.
THE BOTTOM LINE
FOR MORE NEW AMERICAN
Situated in an office-park corridor, The Grill Room is an oasis, with live jazz in the background on Saturday nights. At the table, you'll enjoy the duck tostada with mango salsa, black beans and chipotle-flavored aioli; hoisin-glazed baby back ribs; a lobster-and-crab shrimp roll; the shellfish plateau; Black Angus strip steak; and that rarity, an adroitly done paella alla Valenciana.
A Hamptonian veteran, red/bar continues to prepare fine food and a good time. Here is one of those go-to spots, especially when you've had it with the trendlet du jour. Some favorites: endive-and-watercress salad with pears and Stilton cheese, oysters mignonette, grilled octopus, fried smelts, the charcuterie platter; sauteed monkfish, grilled Duroc pork chop, and the grilled Brandt strip steak.