Catch a Yankee game or watch the U.S. Open at the month-old Long Island Ale House in Medford, an airy new sports bar where French doors bring the outside in.
Elevating the simple pub menu are the locavore leanings of chef Daniel Garbarino, a Johnson & Wales graduate who catered for the U.S. Open and cooked at Angus McIndoe in Manhattan and Blue in Blue Point. Most of the produce he uses is grown on Long Island. Brews are regional, as well. “If they make a beer on Long Island, we carry it,” said Garbarino, who added. “If we don’t know of it, we want to.”
Certified Black Angus short rib meat is ground in the kitchen daily, said Garbarino. On a recent visit, I tried the restaurant’s signature LI Ale House burger ($9.95), oozy, beefy-rich and stacked high with caramelized onions, melted American cheese, fried onion “strings,” bacon, lettuce tomato, a mayo-based sauce. It was an insurmountable challenge for the human mouth, but, with the help of knife and fork, made for very good eating. So, too, did the hand-cut fries accompanying it.
Specials change weekly. I wasn’t impressed with chicken “pinwheels,” ($16.95) but the risotto sharing the plate was rich and texturally right. An appetizer special of pancetta-wrapped figs ($8) was very good.
For dessert, there was a commendable crème brûlée as well as fine handmade dark chocolate truffles. The chocolates were plated under a veil of spun sugar — a bit too dramatic for so casual a table.
Long Island Ale House is at 2016 Rte. 112, Medford, 631-569-5515