Popular Happy Hour Appetizers of Ocean Beach, Fire Island
By Trevor Smith
If you’re planning to set sail and head to the beaches of Fire Island don’t expect to get paradise at a cheap price. However, if you live in the daily bump and grind that is New York City, an island retreat with a relaxing vibe of the water’s edge can be worth its weight in gold; and what better way to compliment a weekend getaway then tickling your palette with the flavors of summer. So, prepare to drop anchor, shell out some cash, and come aboard to review some of ocean beach’s savory appetizers.
Matthew’s Seafood Restaurant
Tucked away on the corner of the island, and away from the hustle and bustle of the main strip you will find Matthew’s Restaurant, with a bay view dockside. Upon entering you’ll feel a familiar quality, like you just stepped into your relative’s home. This place has history, which adds to its character and you can easily pass hours there chatting with patron’s bar side. The bar tender on call was friendly and knowledgeable with her 25 years experience, and she offered us service promptly. We decided to taste their Buffalo Shrimp that was butter flied, lightly breaded, fried, and accompanied with hot sauce and a mild blue cheese. At $11.00 for seven jumbo shrimp you may want to share this appetizer with a friend, but the robust spicy seasoning left us thinking: do I really have to share? (935 Bay Walk Ocean Beach, NY 11770.
Walking into Bocce Beach you can see that this establishment has been given a facelift with it’s strategically placed nautical motifs. But, with most cosmetic fixes, it leaves you feeling that the character and charm with age has been wiped clean from the plate. We sat at the bar and decided to sample a seafood standard, Crab Cakes (fairly priced at $11.00). Service was efficient, but lacked interaction from our bar tender, which matched our first impression of the restaurant. Two hot Crab Cakes came out of the kitchen, unfortunately on a cold plate, which doesn’t help to keep the food warm. The crab cakes were served with a pankco breading (Japanese breadcrumb) and a citrus mayo dip. All around we found the crab cake itself to be enjoyable. Although, we would have preferred a little less salt, which over powered our palette at times. (927 Evergreen Ocean Beach, NY 11770 (631) 583-8100).
The Hideaway has a classic country French décor with white linen table clothes and glass blue vases throughout. The water’s view makes it a romantic place to grab a cocktail and nibble on an appetizer. Our order was taken by an interactive an energetic young bartender who offered up suggestions on their appetizers and made us feel welcomed. We chose their chili lime ribs, which came to us with a generous half-rack of ribs and a crisp slice of corn bread. This sweet and tangy morsel cost us $13.00 dollars, but was well worth the price with its ample portion that could serve as an entrée. Our only criticism was we couldn’t quit detect the citrus lime flavor in their ribs. All an all the Hideaway lives up to its name and leaves you feeling like you stumbled on an undiscovered treasure (785 Evergreen Walk Ocean Beach, NY 11770).
CJ’s is the only Restaurant open past the summer’s end, and is not big on pretenses. This no fuss restaurant makes it kid friendly and a good place to grab a quick bite or wet your whistle. We kept it simple and ordered their hot wings, which happen to come in a variety of different sauces (Sesame Ginger, Orange Ginger, BBQ, Cajun, and Teriyaki). Our interaction with our bartender was brief, but cordial. The appetizer came with 11 large sized wings and was seasoned with an uneventful helping of plain out of the bottle hot sauce. The wings were not crispy enough for our liking but for it’s price it will serve for a quick fix to fill your belly.
(479 Bay Walk Ocean Beach, NY 11770)
Tuna “Pokie” Tartar ($13.50): Served on a long rectangular plate, this dish featured three medallion shaped molds of chopped tuna tartar, each topped with a deep-fried pot sticker triangle—creating an image reminiscent of tiny sailboats. Avocado scoops, passionfruit puree and wasabi vinaigrette were drizzled around the plate’s perimeter, completing the presentation. The light crispiness of the deep-fried pot stickers, buttery texture of the perfectly ripened avocado, and fresh tuna tartar mingled beautifully, while the two sauces added concentrated sweetness and zing. This appetizer foreshadowed the core culinary theme Maguire’s of Ocean Beach: outstanding ingredients are allowed to shine through, minimally altered.
We wrote this review to highlight some of the more popular happy hour spots. We are also huge fans of: The Albatross, Castaways, and The Sand Bar.