By Tes Silverman
Jewel Restaurant has shined in Melville since spring 2011 when owner and chef, Tom Schaudel, opened the Route 110 establishment. Schaudel, who has also operated restaurants including Rockfish in Huntington and The Mansion at The Woodlands in Woodbury, planted the restaurant in the ground level of the Rubie Corporate Plaza, which is a fitting setting considering the building’s all-glass construction that complements its interior decor.
As diners walk into the foyer, they’re introduced to brightly-colored fountains that line the entrance. Once inside, the decor is playful as evidenced by upside-down lamps and and strings of blown-glass balls throughout the dining area.
This playfulness extends to the New American menu prepared by Schaudel, a Long Island native, who prioritizes the use of locally-grown produce, as well as fresh seafood, meats and other ingredients that enhance every dish.
For Chef Michael Ross, that playfulness is the backdrop of a successful eatery. He thinks it’s no accident that diners love coming to Jewel.
“Tom and I are a good team and people see that. We serve good, quality food in a cool atmosphere,” Ross, a six-year chef at the restaurant said. “We want our diners to feel comfortable in an elegant setting”.
Schaudel and Ross wow diners with their farm-to-table menu that consists of appetizers like grilled oysters ($16.95) and beet salad ($12.95).
The grilled oysters are made with prosciutto, garlic, lemon, Brandy, and butter, resulting with an appetizer that’s delicately flavored and has a creamy consistency.
As for the healthy beet salad ($12.95), it’s made with baby arugula, pistachios, topped with Point Reyes blue cheese, and drizzled with citrus vinaigrette. The salad delicately sets the table for diners to dive into the next course.
Jewel prepares beautifully-executed entrees like pan seared scallops ($39.95) and lobster ($39.95).
The scallops are seared beautifully, and accompanied with saffron kale risotto, edamame and white chocolate-honey-truffle sauce, resulting in a great combination of sweet and slightly briny flavors. The dish filling, yet surprisingly light.
The lobster is butter-poached, made with mushrooms and leeks, placed on top of lobster risotto and drizzled with white truffle oil. It’s perfectly poached, and while the lobster risotto could be thought of as too heavy, it is light and doesn’t overpower the sweetness of the lobster. With the earthy texture of mushrooms and leeks, as well as the earthy flavor of the truffle oil, the dish is filled with contradictory textures and flavors, but they combine beautifully.
In addition to the delicious dishes, Jewel boasts of an entire wall filled with a huge wine collection suitable for any wine aficionado. From reds and whites and “Tom’s Hot Picks,” diners might have a tough time deciding which wine to pair with their meal.
To end on a playful note, the banana cream pie in a jar ($9) is a must-try.
The Banana Cream Pie is served in a mason jar that’s filled with vanilla custard, vanilla cookies, and topped with whipped cream and caramel. The light and creamy custard, along with the crunchy vanilla cookies make for a very tasty dessert. For those who prefer a sweeter taste, it can be topped with whipped cream and caramel.
For an exclusive dining option, diners can explore the Chef’s Room. In this setting, 10 diners can choose either a Long Island-, global- or vegetarian-themed menu to go along with wine pairings designed by Schaudel and Ross. It’s perfect for the adventurous diner.
In addition to the Chef’s Room, The Atrium, Starlight Room and The Rubie Board Room are other private dining options for special events.
For sushi lovers, right on the other side of Jewel’s main dining area is Be-Ju Sushi, which is another nod to Schaudel’s playful sensibility. The dining room is dedicated to serving sushi to 25 diners.
400 Broadhollow Road, Melville
Ambiance: Casual Elegance
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 5-11 p.m.; Sunday 5-9 p.m.