By Shoshanna McCollum
GENERATIONS AGO Maguire’s Bayfront Restaurant was home to the Ocean Beach Yacht Club. Offering unrivaled views of the Great South Bay on their vast back deck, there is no mystery to why it is one of the oldest continually operated dining establishments on Fire Island. It is at once seeped in tradition, but at the same time springs eternally youthful thanks to a menu curated with sophistication, and a “beach elegant” vibe.
This is to the credit of co-owners James Betz and Drew Becker, who are just on the cusp of celebrating their twentieth year of this successful partnership. They started as young entrepreneurs in the late 1990s. Today they are mature, handsome men, both married to lovely wives and raising families of their own on Fire Island.
On a sultry summer weeknight we had some of the best seats in the house as a classic Fire Island sunset lit up the summer sky in pastel pinks, while the faint breeze kicked off the bay kept things comfortable. Couples and families staying past July Fourth created an animated atmosphere with idle chatter and taking cell phone pictures to document their vacation experience. Our waitress, the attractive Jennifer, was friendly and intuitive.
For starters, one could go with the traditional – when it comes to Long Island steamers Maguire’s has it down to an artful science. But their Asian-fusion type selections are just so tempting! We broke down and went for the chilled shrimp summer roll and were glad we did. Served cold, this combination of shrimp, avocado, and clear noodles with peanut dipping sauce on the side curbed the hunger without spoiling the appetite.
In a sea of restaurants on Fire Island that offer craft and specialty brews, perhaps none are as eclectic as the selection that Maguire’s has compiled. One of our favorites is Franziskaner Weissbier from Munich, Germany. It has a robust ?flavor? with definite hone?y notes. Served up by Jennifer in a tall, chilled glass, it was very much welcome to quench the summer thirst.
To cleanse the palate we shared the Mediterranean salad. Maguire’s pays as much attention to their produce as they do their seafood. Salads are always fresh and crisp here. ?You? will want to finish ever? last bite of this harmonious blend of romaine, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives and feta in light red wine vinaigrette.
For the main course this author and her husband veered in different directions: one going by land, the other by sea. He went with the drunken pork chop, which had a bourbon marinade, mango chutney and Cajun-style rice. It was a thick, generous chop broiled just enough to keep it juicy. The shrimp and scallop pineapple also beckoned from the menu. It was a bit of a surprise with seared scallops and shrimp in red curry sauce served whimsically in a hollowed-out pineapple with coconut jasmine rice on the side. They got an A+ in presentation for that one, with fine ?flavor to match.
We barely had room for dessert, but a reviewer’s job requires sacrifice.
“The coconut bread pudding is excellent,” said Jennifer.
Their coconut bread pudding is excellent. Served warm with vanilla ice cream and drizzled in caramel sauce it is one of those things a wandering mind might think about in February, when Maguire’s is closed for the winter and none is to be had. However, we both happen to be connoisseurs of key lime pie, so we shared a slice instead. Key lime pie is never made the same way twice. The menu failed to mention that this tart and sweet creamy confection was superbly complimented with a sublime raspberry sauce! Another winter food fantasy has been born.
Maguire’s Restaurant participates in the “Taste of Fire Island” weekday specials, Monday through Thursday throughout the summer; happy hour with $7 frozen drinks Monday through Friday from 3:30-4:30 p.m.; and their famous “lobsterpalooza” special every Thursday night. Maguire’s is also a proud sponsor of the Ocean Beach Community Fund’s fundraising concert gala featuring New Orleans singer-songwriter, Eric Lindell on August 6, 2016.
• Lunch served daily noon-5 p.m.
• Dinner served daily 5:30-10 p.m.
? ?Bar and dance ?floor open until ? 4 a.m. ?Fridays ? & Saturdays
Located at 1 Bay Walk, Ocean Beach, NY 631-583-8800 | www.maguiresbayfrontrestaurant.com
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