Review: The Lake House
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