Review: The Gatsby
In the cultural wasteland known as the Town of Islip, there are few fine-dining options. One of the new-ish comers is The Gatsby, located on Main Street in Islip.
It's located in an enormous building that used to be a Chinese restaurant. And, apparently, there was a closet full of miso around when the new owners came in, because about half the menu (well, not really) has miso this or miso that. Even the side dish of spinach (ordered separately) is prepared with miso, for God's sake. The owners might want to change the name to "Miso Palace" or "House of Miso" or some damn thing.
Appetizers: the mussels and cockles with chorizo is not great--the chorizo flavor in the broth completely overwhelms the shell fish. It's better to be soaked up with the complimentary bread. The crab cake is good and has a number of different flavors going on, but is pricy for its size ($13 for one). The prosciutto is not bad and has a lovely fig marmalade.
Entrees: the filet mignon au poivre is executed well, but, come on, it's pretty standard stuff. The prosciutto-wrapped shrimp is also good. But the orcchiette with lobster is a disaster. The color itself, a kind of dull tan/light brown, is unappealing. I couldn't quite place the flavors in the dish, but it was kind of sweet and heavy and also overwhelmed the few bits of lobster. I suspect it is yet another item infested with that horrid miso.
Desserts: the dessert menu is boring and about what you'd expect to see on the menu at Friday's or Applebee's, just a few bucks more, and those places do it better. The peanut butter sundae is average, at best. The cheesecake is good, but, again, nothing different than what you'd get at Friday's.
If The Gatsby ever expects to compete with the big boys on Long Island (quality-wise, that is--we went on a Saturday night, and the place was packed, so they are apparently not hurting for business), they are going to have to change the menu, seasonaly or daily. Also, the menu is lackluster (at best) and is, basically, dull. If I'm going to spend a decent hunk of cash on a meal, I want some unusual, creative, interesting flavors.
On the night we went, we were 3, and after tip it came to $200. So, two people, plus tip, should be around $135--about $30 cheaper than many of the top restaurants on the island.
The restaurant has a website. I'm not saying it's slow, but if you start loading it in the morning, go to work, come home, take a nap, watch a movie, and take the dog for a walk, it will probably be finished.
3 out of 5 stars*
712 Main Street
(*5 stars meaning the best restaurants on Long Island get a full 5-star rating)