DINING REVIEW: Zest for Life on Long Island

by Shoshanna M. |

Clockwise: Sophia and Andrew Caradona’s mouth’s water at the appetizers, some main dish selections, and Chef Mike himself.

Zest Long Island

298 West Main Street • Bay Shore, NY

(631) 647-4497 • http://zestlongisland.com/

 

Having opened their doors for business only a month ago, Zest has already received a warm welcome from the restaurant patronage of Bay Shore, and with good reason. In a hamlet with an ocean of eateries on Main Street, Chef Mike Liebman has managed to create something special and unique.

Other publications have called his eclectic menu as Tapas dining, but this label seemed too constrictive for the wealth of globally influenced choices during our experience when gathering with friends recently. Indian, Asian, as well as European continental selections are just some of the tempting possibilities offered – with all entrees under $20.

Some that got high marks with us include the beer-battered cauliflower appetizer; vegetarian empanadas; and of course  the Thai PB & J sandwich (pulled pork, Thai peanut sauce, grilled scallions and shallots). There is also a vast selection of artisan crafted pizza pies, sizable enough to be enjoyed by two or more people, as well as an array of local Long Island craft beers are available as well to wash it all down with.

The standalone building on Montauk Highway existed as a Friendly’s ice cream parlor for decades. In 2017 it became Slice of Bay Shore, but still looked very much like a Friendly’s. While this could have been an impediment, word spread about the place even with a number of pizza joints in the neighborhood because Chef Liebman was at the helm. Early this autumn he was offered the chance purchase the building, and seized the opportunity for his own restaurant vision.

It does not look much like a Friendly’s anymore. Bold artwork decorates the turquoise and berry-toned walls, creating an edgy yet relaxing atmosphere. Ample privately-owned parking is an added bonus, as you can focus on feeding family and friends, but not those Main Street meters.

We will be back again.

HOURS: 4-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday; Noon to 10:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday; and Noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays.

 

About the Author

Shoshanna M.

Shoshanna McCollum is editor of Fire Island News. Author of two books, and award-winning journalist for multiple Fire Island and South Shore Long Island publications since 2000, she resides year round on Fire Island with her husband and many cats.

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