The Lake House - Bay Shore, NY
Whenever someone asks me for a Long Island date night recommendation, there is one restaurant that is always at the top of my list. This restaurant is The Lake House in Bay Shore.
The Lake House first opened its doors in 2006 on Main Street in Bay Shore. About a year ago, this cozy little restaurant re-located and expanded into a sprawling restaurant with beautiful views of the Great South Bay. The Lake House features several dining rooms, as well as, an outdoor dockside patio.
Even more impressive than the décor and views is the food. Rarely do I dine at a restaurant and like every single dish from appetizer to dessert. Usually the appetizers are amazing and the entrées are just ok. This is why when I dine out, I tend to order a lot of appetizers (to share of course) and steer clear of the entrée menu. At The Lake House, every dish - starting from the bread is spot on with flavor.
The menu at The Lake House can be described as American fine dining. Chef Matt Connors truly understands his ingredients and is able to take even the most basic dish and transform it into a beautiful masterpiece. Everything from appetizers to desserts features dishes with highly cultivated flavor profiles.
Since this visit to The Lake House was for a date night, my husband and I decided to start off with some oysters. The oysters were delicately sweet, fresh and subtle in flavor.
After the oysters, we ordered the Crispy Suckling Pig appetizer. This dish was served with a fried quail egg - which is one of my favorites! I love the way that it looks and the way that it tastes! It's amazing how much flavor is stored inside this tiny little egg! The dish was also served with a delicious parmesan polenta and a sweet maple vinaigrette. The saltiness from the pig and polenta was balanced beautifully with the sweetness from the vinaigrette.
For our next course, we ordered the special appetizer. It was Fresh Cavatelli with Braised Berkshire Pork Shank Ragu. The ragu and pasta literally melted in our mouths. The pork shank was fall apart tender and the pasta was so fresh that I felt like I was in Italy. Many pasta dishes are served with ricotta but this dish was served with herbed ricotta. The herbs enhanced the ricotta, to give the dish not only a creamy component but a balancing flavor to the dish.
Moving onto entrées, we went with a staple - Crisp Long Island Duck Breast and Crisp Leg Confit. Usually when I order this dish, my husband and I are fighting for the leg confit because that is were all the salty flavor lives. Not at The Lake House! Both pieces of duck were perfectly flavored and enhanced by the Spiced Cherry-Port Glaze. The duck was paired beautifully with an Apricot Wheatberry Pilaf that further enhanced the sweetness of the dish and counter-balanced the saltiness of the duck.
Last and certainly not least, are the desserts. The entire dessert menu sounded incredible - Cap'n Crunch Ice Cream, Chocolate Soufflé, S'more Sundae and Warm Cinnamon Doughnuts. We both agreed on the Warm Cinnamon Doughnuts for our dessert. After all the food we had eaten, we figured we would just both take a bite and be done. We were pleasantly surprised at how light they were and devoured the entire plate!