Lox toast with cream cheese and capers at Roto Grocery in...

Lox toast with cream cheese and capers at Roto Grocery in Bay Shore. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Roto Grocery is a little slice of Brooklyn smack in the middle of Bay Shore. The tiny shop’s proprietors, Brock Ferraro, 25, and Jack Monahan, 26, were inspired not only by that borough’s retro-chic Court Street Grocers — a combination cafe, gourmet market and sandwich shop — but also by hip Charleston cafes such as Babas and The Daily.

“We wanted to bring in that eclectic vibe that Bay Shore had been missing,” Ferraro said. Roto opened in December. 

Breakfast is served all day and includes rustic sourdough toast topped with avocado, za’atar and Aleppo pepper or lox, cream cheese and capers or peanut butter, banana and chia seeds; egg roll-ups (wraps filled with egg and crisped prosciutto or mashed potatoes); homemade banana bread with espresso whipped cream and sea salt; and crepes topped with pistachio cream. Most breakfast items are under $8.

For lunch, there’s broccoli-leek-spinach soup; blood-orange salad with mint and feta; and winter salad with spinach, beets and goat cheese.  Ferraro and Monahan love melted cheese, topping their meatloaf sandwich with munster along with caramelized onion jam and horseradish aioli. Roasted chicken is pulled and piled onto ciabatta with fried onions and garlic aioli before being blanketed by Gouda. All lunch items are under $16.

To drink, you can get anything from a cappuccino to a tahini latte.

There’s also a small selection of exclusive dry goods such as Senesi tomato paste, Graza olive oil, Fly by Jing Sichuan chili sauce and Righteous Felon black garlic.

Owners Jack Monahan, left, and Brock Ferraro at Roto Grocery...

Owners Jack Monahan, left, and Brock Ferraro at Roto Grocery in Bay Shore. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Ferraro and Monahan became fast friends when they were both attending The College of Charleston, drawn together by their love of good food and travel, and their desire to share it. Neither was a trained chef, both had worked in restaurants throughout their lives and neither wanted to pass up the opportunity to take over what had been a market attached to Fire Island Vines, a winery-wine bar that opened in 2020.

“They weren’t doing much with the space,” Monahan said, “and we saw great potential in it.”

“Roto” refers to rotation, the idea that the menu is always changing and so is the concept. “It’s a proving ground,” he said. “A work in progress,” Ferraro added.

Right now Roto is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. On Sundays, the kitchen offers “Sunday Sauce Service,” a complete takeout meal such as rigatoni with meatballs and sausages or pork loin with cherry-pepper gravy, accompanied by salad, sides and dessert. A full tray, which feeds 5-7, is $120; half is $75.

Roto has two tables but to-stay customers can also spill over into the adjoining dining room of Fire Island Vines. Once a wine permit has been secured, there will be small plates and evening service.

Roto Grocery is at 17 E. Main St., Bay Shore 

Top Stories

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access