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The truffled roasted chicken at Schafer's. (May 17,

The truffled roasted chicken at Schafer's. (May 17, 2012) Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

Open wide.

This buoyant, water-view perch has you covered for six days. The buzzing eatery offers up lobster "Tails Tuesday" and "Lobster Night Thursday," some half-price wines each Wednesday, the "dueling piano" show Friday and Saturday. And, in case you've missed anything, a 150-minute happy hour on Friday.

By Monday, everybody needs a rest.

Regulars who dine downtown in Port Jefferson will remember that this address used to house The Catch and Dockside, among other eateries. Schafer's arrived last year, full of polished wood and windows on the water.

The mood, however, is informal and so's the eclectic, mostly American cuisine of chef Paul Govin, who earlier cooked at nearby Danfords. The namesake Schafer is Tom, who also owns the more casual Tommy's Place a short walk away.

You'll enjoy Govin's tempura rice balls with tuna, flavorful and packing a little heat. Fat, steamed mussels get their spice from cuts of andouille sausage. Cool off with a platter of hummus, ready to be slathered on pita triangles.

The crabcake, however, arrives underseasoned. And the house's version of a beef-Manchego-chimichurri pupusa is dry. But the trio of pulled pork sliders has the right flavors and suits the style of the eatery, especially on a warm, lazy day. Pasty stuffed cherrystones don't.

Schafer's does emphasize seafood. The steamed lobster, Maine variety, is a dependable main course, moist and buttery. The refreshing lobster roll is a tasty alternative -- even if it's served on a flake-free croissant. Very good: crisp fish-and-chips, a generous affair, here delivered with steak fries.

Sesame-seared ahi tuna has a crunchy coat, but the fish shows up closer to well done than the requested rare. Similarly, the filet mignon in steak Oscar has a hue closer to gray than pink. The crabmeat, asparagus and hollandaise sauce fare better in this update of the old sauteed veal-and-Béarnaise original. A juicy bacon cheeseburger reaches the table as ordered. Truffled roasted chicken, matched with a light risotto, is moist and fine.

The dessert "chocolate bag" becomes a container for heavy-duty mousse. The sweets improve with a vertical triangle of flourless chocolate cake and the berried bread pudding. Cheesecake is dense and dull. Respectable sorbets are accompanied by fruit, some ripe, some not.

But it's only May.


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