I should have a bumper sticker on my car that says, "Will travel for food." I live in Suffolk, but I'll travel just about anywhere for the chance at a good dish. A great meal is about an experience. It's not just a cut of meat, or mood lighting. There's a journey that an amazing dish, staff, and a restaurant can create. It's pretty spectacular, because most times you don't even know it's about to happen. Such was the case when I visited EB Elliot's. Of course, since I traveled to Freeport, I had all the hopes of a child with a new Lego set. But, what did I know? It's not like I'd ever been to EB Elliot's before. I passed a full bar as I walked up the stairs to the dining room. There was definitely a sense of tradition, but the vibe of something new.
The restaurant's manager, Greg, greeted my group soon after we were seated. He was clearly proud of his restaurant and its menu, which set such an upbeat tone for the night. The restaurant's chef, Casey, stopped by the table to introduce himself and to talk about how times are changing for EB Elliot's. Do restaurants have hypemen? If so, someone book this guy. Between Greg and Chef Casey, before a dish even came my way, I was so excited to see what EB Elliot's brought to the table. No pun intended.
Chef Casey's passion for creation is more than evident, but what stood out most of all was the support. More than a few people sang Chef Casey's praises, as a great chef but also as an all around good guy. He takes care of his team, and that resonates through the restaurant. This is the start of that journey I was telling you about.
Richie, the bartender, absolutely knows what he's doing. I'll be honest, I've never met a Cosmo I didn't like, but the Cucumber Colins and this Mule were just as fab. This is my open invitation for Richie to make me a drink anytime. I mean it. Any. Time.
It was about the time when the first starter hit the table that I knew I was in for a treat. The Crab Cakes and Coconut Shrimp came out of the gate getting everyone doing that happy food dance we all know. EB Elliot's nailed both of these starters. After those were polished off, the Butternut Squash Ravioli showed up, served with brown butter, sunflower seeds, and cubed butternut squash and sweet potatoes. This is an app? Like, "just" an app? Come on! Then came the perfectly seared Scallops Virgo over a pink crab meat blush sauce. Can it even get better? Oh, you bet your yoga pants it can! Hello, Tuna Tostada! Stay with me here: seared tuna on Asian slaw on fried wontons skins, topped with seaweed salad, and served with wasabi creme and soy glaze. With starters like this, the bar for the entrees just shot through the roof - and so did my certainty that I'd devour anything that Chef Casey sent my way.
How could I possibly find room for more? No problem, I've got this. The Langusto features scallops, shrimp, lobster tail, lobster meat, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in pink blush sauce over papardelle. The explosion of flavors and textures in this dish are exceptional. My only complaint were the number of witnesses preventing me from licking my plate clean.
The Bone In Berkshire Porterhouse Pork Chop with the sweet potato and apple hash shines. This is that dish where you find yourself closing your eyes while you're chewing, which can be awkward for those around, but none of that matters, because you can't see them!
I couldn't get enough of the Chicken Tutto, which is sauteed with sun-dried tomatoes in an Old Bay wine and cream stock. It's smartly served with those fluffy mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. The flavors of this dish are so full and comforting. I could eat this on - no problem.
This last entree changed my life forever. The Shrimp and Quinoa is served with crisp asparagus and grape tomatoes. Its heavenly, spicy sauce completely blew me away. I ate all that I could, and then hoarded the rest away for later. And, guess what? It tasted just as good the second day.
The benefit of going out during Fall is that you get Fall desserts. Check out the Pumpkin Spice Tiramisu Martini with egg custard, whipped cream and marscapone over pumpkin spice latte soaked lady fingers. Words can't even begin to describe the sweet, warmth of this dessert. Next, the Warm Apple Crumb has slices of Granny Smith apples covered in sugar and cinnamon, sliced, served inside of a home-made apple crisp,and topped with whipped cream. This take on a classic is what I call a home-run. Last, the Raspberry Cheesecake & Chocolate Truffle Mousse Sampler is just as perfect as you think. If you don't believe me, look at the pics. If you still believe me, go get them for yourself. I blissfully went from one to the other, pretending that I was too full to take another bite, and then starting the routine from the top. If nothing else, I got to practice my acting skills. Sidenote: I have no interest in becoming an actor.
I didn't realize that when I walked over the threshold of EB Elliot's that I'd checked my self-control at the door. Look at those pictures! There's no natural human being that can even kind of exercise restraint when any of these dishes land at the table. You know that scene from National Lampoon's European Vacation when Audrey is just shoveling food in her mouth, and food is coming and going before she can focus on one plate? I played out the non-fiction version of that scene - shamelessly. Every time I thought that I was done - that I couldn't possibly take one more bite - a new dish appeared that made me think, OK, maybe I'll just try a little. I left feeling perfectly fappy. Fappy - adj. meaning and perfect combination of fat and happy. As I drove home, thinking about the spectacular meal I'd just experienced I had two thoughts: 1.) My stomach clearly has a greater capacity than I thought, and 2.) I can't wait until the next time I visit EB Elliot's, at which time I'll eat the other half of the menu.
To Chef Casey and the amazing staff at EB Elliot's, you rocked my world and destroyed my waistline - and I'm not mad about it! Throw anything away that you previously may have thought about EB Elliot's. There's a new sheriff in town, and he means business.
EB Elliot's Waterfront Dining & Bar
23 Woodcleft Avenue Freeport, NY 11520