Just past the towering public library and adjacent to the harbor is Cold Spring Harbor’s Harbor Mist Restaurant.
The Christmas tree in the corner of the upstairs dining room wears white lights, distinct in the wood-floored room whose walls and light are a soft yellow.
Bread baskets come with long pieces of flatbread and a plate of hummus, and the drink menu comes with such options as the “Cremesicle” – vanilla vodka, whipped cream vodka, orange vodka and orange juice – and the Bleu Cheese Martini – vodka and bleu cheese-stuffed olives.
The restaurant is known to be an Italian seafood establishment, Manager Justin Visconti said, but really has “a little bit of everything.”
“We’re pretty diverse,” he said of the restaurant, which also does “a lot of catering.” Harbor Mist is nearly five years old now, Visconti said, and is owned by husband-and-wife Barman and Michelle Sharifi.
The restaurant’s appetizers seem to highlight seafood options. The Tuna Tacos ($12) come three to a plate. Crispy wonton shells are filled with a confetti-like mixture of blackened tuna and mango salsa. The orange-hued Thai Calamari ($11) is dotted with black and white sesame seeds and served on a bed of seaweed.
A waiter brings over two tiny dishes, each containing one golden-brown sphere on a toothpick. The spheres are samplings of Beef Wellington, meaty and flaky and perfectly cooked. Beef Wellington is not on the menu; Chef Ramon Lourido makes it sometimes in hors d’oeuvre form, he said, to serve to guests as they wait for their entrees.
Among the restaurant’s signature dishes is the Chicken Scarpariello ($24) – a half-chicken buried in Italian sausage and peppers, flavored by garlic, rosemary and white wine. The “Signature Dishes” section of the menu includes customer favorites, Visconti noted; pork chops with vinegar peppers and jumbo shrimp with spinach, diced tomato and cheese ravioli are in that section.
On the specials menu Sunday night was the lobster ravioli, freshly made and served in a creamy sauce.
Specials change often, Lourido said, varying by season. In the fall, there is baby kale; in the summer, there is more seafood. The rest of the menu changes “little by little” he said.
Lourido has made some changes to the menu that existed when he started cooking at the restaurant about two years ago, he said, but has not changed everything.
“We try to improve it very day,” he said. “When you have a clientele, it’s very difficult to change everything in one shot.”
Desserts at Harbor Mist, listed on a menu titled “Desserts by Michelle,” are classic. Menu lines include tiramisu, Italian cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake and ice creams. The Italian cheesecake is sweet, but not too sweet, and the chocolate mousse cake is rich, but not too rich.
105 Harbor Road (25A), Cold Spring Harbor
Atmosphere: Upscale with a waterfront view
Cuisine: seafood, Italian
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday/Saturday: 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sunday: 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.