By now we’re largely familiar with flights of wine and beer — usually three or four glasses of small pours designed to allow customers to compare flavors.
The team behind the recently opened Flight restaurant in Patchogue believes it’s on to a novel idea: expanding the concept to include flights of cocktails and food. To owners James Bonanno and David Johnson, the proprietors behind Tap Room gastropubs in Patchogue and Massapequa, why have one when you can have three?
Here, gin and tonic becomes a tasting of three different gins, with a variety of tonics and garnishes. A plate of sliders includes a five-spice tuna, a ground chicken and a beef. Mac and cheese means small servings each of five cheese, a truffle Cognac and a goat cheese
“We wanted to do something a little bit different,” Bonanno said. “The concept really stemmed from some of my travels, specifically Spain. But we didn’t want to do Spanish, necessarily, but wanted to do small plates.”
The chef is Jason Tepper, who trained at Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island, spent more than a decade working in country clubs in the Miami area and helped open restaurants in Las Vegas before deciding to return to Long Island.
The concept began taking shape roughly a year ago.
High school buddies of Tepper’s were grounded in Las Vegas because of a NewYork City snowstorm. They were not able to find a hotel so they stayed at Tepper’s home.
As they talked, Tepper learned that Boanno and Johnson, fellow graduates from Bayport-Blue Point High School, were looking for a chef.
“I have been dying to come home for years now,” Tepper said. “That’s how things got started. Jamie flew me down to check out the space and talk about the concept.”
The 52-seat space features an open kitchen, a pizza oven and what Bonanno calls a “rustic modern” look. That means exposed brick, exposed ductwork and reclaimed wood.
Tepper said the flight food concept was one he first began playing with while in Vegas.
“A lot of my plates have meaning to them,” he said, noting the Hiz & Herz tasting, which he named after the nearby salon his mother once owned, and plays on her love of surf and turf. “It’s American style small plates.”
38 W. Main St, Patchogue, 631-714-4177, flightpatchogue.com