Monday, August 27, 2007

Review: The Lake House

The Lake House is one of the more acclaimed restaurants to open up on Long Island recently. It’s on the west side of Bay Shore, just down the road from the massive St. Patrick’s Church and school. But keep your eyes open, or you’ll miss it. My thanks to the lovely vixen at East End Eats for the tip.

The building is (I guess) a converted house that sits on a small inlet of the Great South Bay. If you get there early, like we did, you can grab a seat by the window overlooking the water. Otherwise, as the restaurant is a converted house, seating can get a bit tight as the evening wears on.

The amuse was a piece of cold shrimp, cut in half, set atop mashed avocado, with drops of basil oil to one side. I thought the flavors were just all right. However, my shrimp was fishy.

The menu was pretty much what’s available online as of the time of this review. For an appetizer, the wife had a crab salad with jicama slaw (not on the online menu). I wasn’t crazy about the cold salad paired with the cold jicama, but the wife loved it. I had the papardelle (looked more like fettucine) with duck and shiitake mushrooms. And I believe I tasted truffles in the broth. It was great. I sopped up the broth with the complementary bread when the waiters weren’t looking. (On that night, a “French” roll and a rosemary-olive roll.)

The entrées are pretty standard: a few fish dishes, a steak, rack of lamb, etc. As often happens, the appetizers are far more interesting. The wife had the veal chop (a ribeye cut), and it was pretty hefty and thick. It came with a mascarpone polenta, and various green veggies. My only complaint was that the waiter must have misunderstood “medium rare” for “medium well.” I can’t see a restaurant of that caliber overcooking something to that degree.

I had monkfish wrapped in prosciutto. Like the veal, the portion was huge. It came sitting on a non-soup “pasta y fagioli” (pasta, chickpeas, and tomatoes, mostly) and was a nice match. My only complaint was that the dish, overall, was too salty. And I love salt. I was parched for the rest of dinner.

The dessert menu is conservative. The wife had a strawberry and rhubarb cobbler, which she loved. It had a nice tartness that cut into the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream. I had the apple tart tatin, served on puff pastry. The apples were slightly bitter, but this was mellowed also by vanilla ice cream. Don’t know if that is what they were going for. I was expecting something sweeter, overall. We passed up the 375 ml bottle of Château d'Yquem for $190 and settled for coffee.

The place is good (or very good), but not great. I was not happy with the fishy shrimp; my monkfish was too salty, and the veal didn’t have enough salt. But the portions were generous, and three courses there should fill up most people. (I had to finish my wife's veal chop and dessert.) The restaurant is one of the better places on Long Island, but I can’t quite put it up there with the very best. $152 after tax and tip.

4 out of 5 stars

240 West Main Street
Bay Shore


At 3:55 PM, Blogger NoNiceTime said...

I too dined at the Lakehouse recently and had some of the similar issues. I received the same asmuse(shrimp and avocado) as you did. While mine wasnt fishy I thought it was kind of cheesy that they cut the shrimp in half. I had the same app as your wife(crab and gazpacho) and thought it was decent, but the braised beef ravioli in truffle emulsion was out of this world. My wife had the monkfish for her dinner and I had the scallops and we enjoyed both. FYI, her monkfish was overly salty so maybe you just got a bad plate. Overall nice place.

One place you may want to try in the future is Nonnina in West Islip a few miles west of the Lake House. It received very high ratings in the Times and Newsday. It's on the Zagats website though there are no ratings for it yet. Here is the website:

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Susan said...

We will be going to The Lakehouse for dinner tonight so I'll see how it is. I did eat there a year ago and enjoyed it very much at that time. I am looking forward to it.

We did eat at Nonnina Restaurant twice recently and LOVED it both times. The service, atmosphere, bar, food and desserts are all wonderful and a true delight! I look forward to going to Nonnina again next month!

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2/14/09 Four couples ate there. The drinks were rudely overpriced ($13 for a cosmo). The lamb appetizer was excellent, the bass main dish was soso, lacking in flavor. A salmon dish was very good and a duck dish good but not great.
Service was good, desserts were limited but delicious, coffee was weak and tasteless. A 20% required tip was deemed excessive.
Overall the food was generally very tasty but expensive $80/pp.
The place was very noisy!

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