Having to take two ferries (in my car) to get to Orient by the Sea was an exciting experience. I happen to be from the other county on Long Island so I’m not used to this type of transportation.
When you first drive up to Orient by the Sea, you are immediately surrounded by docks and boats. This is a nice atmosphere to be around while eating. The view is impeccable when seated outside. I seized the opportunity and grabbed a table outside overlooking Gardiners Bay and the boats rocking back and forth on the waves.
Bobby Haase, owner of Orient by the Sea, and his staff gave a warm welcome when my guests and I walked in. We had the pleasure of having Jamie as our server, what a sweet woman. She gave us a breadbasket filled with zucchini bread and mini potato rolls, perfect for dipping in soups and chowders.
Jamie suggested I get their Orient Clam Chowder. New England-style, it was an amazing selection. It was delicious. The chowder itself contained corn, chopped red pepper and, of course, clams. It had a great flavor with a little bit of a kick to make it that much better. My mother ordered the Manhattan Clam Chowder, which was full of clams and potatoes with a light tomato flavor. My colleague Jean ordered the Seafood Bisque, which was a beautiful orange color with a thick texture and a subtle seafood flavor.
What would a meal be without an appetizer? Being mushroom fiends, we ordered the stuffed mushrooms. Instead of them being individually stuffed, they were served casserole style, something I had never expected. Breading, crab and melted cheese lay across the mushrooms, a great mixture of seafood and vegetables.
Next were the main courses. Oven-Roasted Salmon, Shipwreck Chicken and Sautéed Crab Piccata were our choices for dinner. We all tried a little bit of everything, having a choice of all three on our plates. The Oven-Roasted Salmon was a thick, brightly-colored piece of fish with a maple glaze. It came with a baked potato and a serving of spaghetti squash with a unique flavor. Chef Bill, who has been with the restaurant for four seasons, added salt, pepper and maple syrup to give the squash this sweet flavor.
Also on the plate was the Shipwreck Chicken, the name as unique as the dish. The entrée consisted of breaded chicken served with mushrooms and artichokes, surrounded by penne pasta in a wine sauce. The Sautéed Crab Piccata was also served with a baked potato and the delicious spaghetti squash. The soft shell crab was dipped in an egg batter, served with capers in a lemon butter sauce. These portions would be perfect to share with friends or family.
Dessert was something I wanted to check into as well. Chef Bill had suggested the Strawberry Shortcake. The fresh strawberries were served over a sweet cake topped off with whipped cream. There’s nothing like fresh fruit served with a cake.
After the meal, Haase explained how excited he was about Orient by the Sea’s new outdoor bar. It opened roughly two weeks ago and it was a hit. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” explained Haase. Drinks will be served along with live music on the weekends.
Orient by the Sea, 40200 Main Rd., Orient, serves lunch and dinner seven days a week during the summer. Reservations 631-323-2424. Orientbythesea.com. [/expand]