Sophisticated And Youthful Seafood Cuisine
By Leah Weinstein/
There are certain ingredients that make a
Foodie take notice, but not even the finest ingredients are
enough on their own. The best combinations at Bedlam Street
Fish and Clam Company fuse the classic and non-traditional
with a flair for unique flavors.
Jonathan Passman worked at Bedlam for two years as an assistant
chef with the former owner before he and his family took over
last winter. With the help of his younger siblings, who both
manage the restaurant, they have given Bedlam a fresh, youthful
edge without impeding upon its historic charm.
Passman, 32, is the executive chef and his culinary skills
command attention. This avid fisherman knows his fish, and
his passion is evident on his menu.
He describes the restaurant as upscale yet cozy and casual.
The ambiance and food reflect all three of these characteristics.
The small dining room is opened up during the summer by the
large doors facing Main Street. During the winter, the small
size provides for a warm atmosphere. Passman and his siblings,
Sarah and Matthew give Bedlam its charm through the use of
details. From the food to the hospitality, it exudes warmth.
The comfortable interior with black and white photos and a
chalkboard with the daily specials add to the charm of downtown
Cold Spring Harbor.
The patrons on a weeknight range from families to couples
enjoying their meal to nearby residents stopping in for a
Two of the waitresses at Bedlam have worked at the location
for over 30 years each. Passman knows there is a history to
his business and the town it feeds but as a young, creative
chef, his influence is obvious in the menu. He gradually introduces
a personal touch on classic seafood cuisine with a sophisticated
yet comforting style.
A glance at the menu shows his versatility and desire to make
Bedlam reflect his eclectic taste.
The menu is equally divided among seafood and meat and although
the dishes lean more towards exotic flavoring, there are well-prepared
staples to be enjoyed as well.
The tuna sashimi napoleon layered with zesty chopped vegetables
is a great appetizer at a place where most of the other fish
Smoked salmon crepes ($14) drizzled with vodka dill and lightly
topped with a combination of pickled red onions, caper crème
fraiche and tobiko caviar are intricate yet so simple.
The corn-fried oysters ($14) are lightly breaded and just
about melt in your mouth.
The braised beef and mushroom quesadillas ($11) add a great
twist to a list of more traditional seafood appetizers. Served
with caramelized onions, blue cheese and Creole crème
fraiche, they bring a youthful touch yet don’t stray
The list continues with lobster, shrimp or crab cocktail ($16,
$15, $15 respectively) and Oceans Eleven, a platter of three
raw oysters, three raw clams, three shrimp, one lobster tail
and jumbo lump crab meat.
Three salads provide a range of tastes with detailed ingredients
and dressings. The seasonal greens ($11) include roasted butternut
squash, crumbled goat cheese, poached beets, crushed spicy
pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette.
There is a classic Caesar salad ($10) available as well.
The final salad option is a warm duck confit salad ($12).
With frisee, brie, cranberry poached pear, a truffled-butternut
squash dressing and crispy wontons blended together, it is
a great example of Passmans skill.
The three pasta dishes are also available during lunch hours
at a moderate price and add eloquence to the daytime menu.
They each include the signature ingredients that raise the
food on the Bedlam menu above par.
Each dish really hits a different niche and hits it hard.
A sweet potato gnocchi ($16 dinner, $13 lunch) is served with
diced Anjou pear, bacon and a gorgonzola fondue. A Fini linguini
“Cozze Y Vongole” ($18 dinner, $13 lunch) includes
mussels, clams, garlic and oil and shaved pepper. The whole-wheat
fusilli ($18 dinner, $14 lunch) comes with shrimp, spiced
goat cheese, spinach and a creamy pecan pesto.
Michelle, a young waitress who has been working at Bedlam
for three months, recommended the Portuguese Fisherman Stew
($34). This satisfying seafood combination includes lobster
tail, jumbo shrimp, mussels, clams, Andouille sausage, in
a saffron-tomato bouillon. Work your way to the bottom of
this bowl with a partner.
The blue point braised short ribs ($27) has a sweet glaze
that seeps into every bite and can be pulled right off the
One flaw was a short list of white wines to pair with the
different preparations for fish.
A Mahi-Mahi special in a curry lentil stew, with fennel, leak
and golden raisins was a surprisingly pleasant blend of sweet
and spicy without overwhelming the natural essence of the
Even someone who isn’t a self-proclaimed Seafoodie only
needed one hesitant bite before finishing the dish by the
A homemade bread pudding is one wonderful desert option, but
the peanut butter chocolate cheesecake is just the right amount
of everything to end your meal on a high note.
Bedlam is the place to take a break from shopping on Main
Street with an expanded list of salads, wraps, sandwiches
and grilled flat breads. It can also be that perfect low-key
evening for the sophisticated palate. Head over to Bedlam,
your tastebuds will thank you.
Bedlam Street Fish and Clam Company
55 Main Street
Cold Spring Harbor
Cuisine: Seafood, American
Atmosphere: Upscale, Casual
Price Range: Moderate
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday:
11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.