Thyme on a busy weeknight. The place is packed with prosperous-looking couples, many of whom seem to know one another.
The convivial atmosphere is heightened by Thyme’s friendly staff, serving good food at a brisk pace. The menu is reasonably priced, but the daily prix fixe is a particularly good value. For $24.95 you get three courses, and it’s in effect Sunday, and Tuesday through Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 to 5:30. (Thyme is closed on Monday.)
Eggplant rollatini was a restrained composition of cleanly fried eggplant slabs wrapped around a fresh ricotta filling accompanied by a simple, fresh marinara. My pal’s big bowl of lobster-corn chowder had a lovely hint of tarragon.
Having never made a foothold in Italian cooking, tarragon, a French stalwart, is a sadly underused herb here. But chef Khaldoun A. Said ably deployed it not only in that chowder but in my main course, PEI mussels and littleneck clams in a lobster-tarragon broth over capellini with spinach and tomatoes. The skate Milanese featured a lovely piece of fried skate wing, but the salad that came with it was a rather undistinguished mesclun mix, albeit upgraded with shaved fennel.
For dessert, individual molten chocolate cake was very satisfying (when is it not?), though the crème caramel was on the tough side.
Thyme Restaurant and Cafe is at 8 Tower Place, Roslyn; 516-625-2566.