By Janee Law & Lizzie Wilcox
When walking into Sandbar Restaurant in Cold Spring Harbor, customers are immediately taken to a tranquil oasis. With wooden chairs and floors, and blue accents to capture a coastal ambiance, the American-style restaurant features cuisine from both land and sea.
“We wanted a neighborhood place where you can sit at the bar and have a burger and a beer, or you come in here and sit down and have a really nice gourmet meal,” James Olsen, general manager, said. “Something for everybody.”
With Guy Reuge serving as the executive chef, and Eric Warner as the chef de cuisine, the menu delivers a combination of tavern favorites and seafood specialties that provide a local fare and elegance.
“They’re both excellent chefs, and put out great food,” Olsen said, adding that the restaurant highlights its attention to detail with every dish.
Starting with appetizers, two popular dishes are the duck tacos ($12) and the chickpea fries ($12). The tacos are filled with pulled duck, daikon, and jalapeno and topped with hoisin sauce. Wrapped in a soft shell that has been slightly cooked to give the otherwise soft dish a slight crunch, the tacos are not too spicy, despite the jalapeno, and are served with a lime on the side for a hint of citrus.
For seafood lovers, the Long Island striped bass ($34) is highly recommended. Accompanied by crunchy baby artichokes and lightly salted fingerling potatoes, the fish is light and has a crunchy skin. The dish also delivers sweet bite from the Thai chili oil that coats the bottom of the plate
Easy to cut and bursting with flavor is the pepper crusted flat iron steak ($34). Cooked to order, the steak is topped with butter, peas and fried golden quinoa, which gives every bite a little crunch.
When there is room for dessert, don’t miss out on the warm toasted lemon pound cake ($10), which is always catches the eye of customers. The cool coffee ice cream in the center of the bowl complements the warm, fluffy cake. The cake and ice cream is drizzled in chocolate syrup and sprinkled with confectionary sugar, giving the taste buds the comfort it deserves.
One of nine restaurants on Long Island owned by Lessing’s restaurant group, Sandbar Restaurant, located at 55 Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor, first opened its doors in September 2015, and has the capacity to seat up to 91.
Olsen said the restaurant's main focus is to make customers feel comfortable and happy, knowing that they’re being served with care.
“I expect us to be one of the top restaurants on Long Island. That’s my goal,” Olsen said. “Customers will have a great dining experience food-wise, hospitality-wise, service-wise and they’ll sit in a beautiful dining room.”
55 Main St.,
Cold Spring Harbor
Atmosphere: Casual and upscale
Price range: Moderate-expensive
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 12-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 12 p.m.-12 a.m.