Neither testy nor touchy, Petulant Wino arrives in Aquebogue with small plates, big flavors and good spirits.
Restless restaurateur Tom Schaudel provided the curious and attention-getting name, and clearly some of the cuisine's inspiration. He and his daughter Courtney co-own the bright newcomer, situated where Comtesse Therese Bistro used to be. Schaudel's establishments also include Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar and Jewel in Melville; A Lure in Southold; and A Mano in Mattituck.
It's a friendly, immediately likable spot, mixing some contemporary art and traditional appointments. The dining area is cozy, polished, streamlined just enough to reflect the new style.
There are local wines and beers to go with the inviting cooking of Lenny Campanelli, recently chef at CoolFish in Syosset, a former Schaudel restaurant.
Nibble on his savory mini grilled-cheese sandwich, with Taleggio, braised short rib, and pickled onion; or the chipotle-braised duck taco. Sample grilled oysters topped with spicy Japanese mayo. Or welcome summer with a salad of local roasted beets, strawberries and pistachios.
And, if you're up for a larger plate: pan-roasted local black bass, with Thai green curry and banana salsa.
They're all very good and make you want to return. Meantime, raise a glass of Paumanok dry rose to the North Fork's newest destination.
Petulant Wino, 739 Main Rd. (Route 25), Aquebogue; 631-779-3900.