Eating Out: Long Island

Published Date Author: , August 3rd, 2016

Polo Steakhouse

With a farming heritage reaching back centuries and harvest ranging from apples to zucchini, Long Island is among New York’s most fertile regions. Add its bountiful waters, world-class wines, artisan producers, specialty purveyors, and, most critically, the right talent to bring these ingredients to life, and Long Island is confidently asserting its own culinary identity. At the vanguard of this success was Guy Reuge. Following early training in his native France, the much decorated chef, enchanted by America, moved to New York City in 1973. Following a decade at hotspots including Maxwell’s Plum, La Tulipe, and Tavern on the Green, Reuge and wife Maria (editor of Gourmet) in 1975 opened their acclaimed Mirabelle restaurant in St. James on the North Fork of the island.

“We were pioneers in leaving Manhattan for Long Island,” says Reuge, likening the region to a culinary “Siberia” in 1983. “There was no decent bread, and we were the first to introduce mesclun salad to the menu.” An immediate hit, Mirabelle remained hot until 2008, when Reuge closed up to focus on his family. The break was short-lived. When venerable Long Island food-service company Lessing’s approached him about reviving the name at the landmark Three Village Inn in nearby Stony Brook, Reuge said yes.

“We opened in 2009 as a dual concept, pairing fine dining Restaurant Mirabelle (150 Main Street, Stony Brook, Tel: 631-751-0555. www.lessings.com) with the more casual bistro-style Mirabelle Tavern,” says Reuge, who also serves as corporate chef de cuisine for Lessing’s portfolio, including luxe newcomer Sandbar (55 Main Street, Tel: 631-498-6188. www.lessings.com) in Cold Spring Harbor. “I’ve seen and contributed to tremendous change,” adds Reuge. “Long Island no longer has to feel jealous of New York City at the table.”

By Jeff Heilman – Full Story at Passport

Long Island Gay Travel Resources

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