for reservations call:
Playing With Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast is a voyeur’s peek into the crazy world of the restaurant culture. Filled with vignettes of difficult customers, stressed-out cooks, harried wait staff, and the truly disturbed, this book takes an affectionate romp through Tom Schaudel’s restaurants to introduce you to the most memorable cast of characters he’s experienced in his forty years in the business. You’ll meet a ninety-year old-woman who happens to be a serial “bird-flipper,” a woman trying to drag a twenty-foot Christmas tree out the front door undetected, an elderly gentleman walking out with an 8.5" x 15" metal clipboard menu holder stuffed down his pants, and a woman who got drunk, passed out, got revived, and aced an intervention, all in under twenty minutes. An absolute must read for “foodies,” these stories and the many others will provide pure entertainment and lots of laughs for a long, long time to come.

Buy Now on Amazon


13550 Main Road Mattituck, NY 11792
for reservations call:

Here at Plated Simply we are the creation of three inspired partners in the hospitality industry, Long Island's best known chef Tom Schaudel and restauratuers Adam Lovett & Courtney Schaudel.


Here at Plated Simply we work with you to transform your vision of any affair into a reality.  Whether you're looking to celebrate a special milestone, impress with a corporate event, astonish with a fabulous soiree or create a wedding experience that will last a lifetime, Plated Simply is you you.


Tom will help you assemble the perfect menu, creating a taste of style unique to your event.  Adam and Courtney will perfect the details from choosing an exquisite table design to professional staffing we will guide you step by step allowing you to fully be a guest at your own party.

13550 Main Road Mattituck, NY 11952 631.298.4800 We're open 7 days a week! Happy Hour M-F 4-7 Dinner from 5pm Lunch Sat & Sun from 12pm
for reservations call:
Opened in June of 2008, by partners Adam Lovett and Tom Schaudel, aMano brings a hint of the Tuscan countryside to Mattituck. Wood oven fired pizza and pastas star on the menu along with local ingredients from the nearby farms and bay. The Italian inspired appetizers and entrees are paired with wines from both Long Island and Italy to showcase both Old and New World Flavor.
for reservations call:

A Second Helping: Whining and Dining on Long Island picks up where Tom Schaudel's first book, Playing With Fire, left off as a playful romp through the crazy world of restaurants, dining rooms, and professional kitchens. Filled with short stories of neurotic customers, stressed out servers, crazed cooks, and the undeniably unhinged, his unique and humorous observations will have you wondering how the expression, “The customer is always right,” ever came to be. Looking back through a fifty-year restaurant career, Tom has assembled a cast of characters that would be the envy of fiction writers everywhere. In this book, you will meet an f-bombing octogenarian, a D-level celebrity asking for separate checks at her wedding, an aspiring counterfeiter with a seriously flawed gift certificate, the nine-year-old antichrist, and a woman who flushed a six-carat diamond ring down a toilet bowl. This latest collection is guaranteed to make you stay up late and laugh out loud and is a must read for anyone who has ever eaten in a restaurant, worked in a restaurant, asked to use the restroom in a restaurant or, God forbid, dreamed of owning a restaurant.

Buy Now on Amazon

103 Mill River Road Oyster Bay, NY 11771 516.922 3556
for reservations call:
516.922 3556
Situated on Long Island's famed Gold Coast, the Mill River Club has been a forward-thinking club since it's inception in 1964.  We pride ourselves on our diverse membership, beautiful golf course, excellent golf, tennis and pool facilities, knowledgeable golf and tennis professionals, family-friendly environment, fine and casual dining opportunities, and abundant social opportunities for adults, family and children.  We look forward to showing you why member's feel the Mill River Club is their home away from home. 
62300 Main Road, Southold NY 11971 631.876.5300
for reservations call:
A Lure, located at the landmark Port of Egypt Marina, is a North Fork waterfront seafood restaurant and a joint venture by chef Tom Schaudel and restaurateur Adam Lovett. The duo, known for A Mano in Mattituck, Passionfish in Westhampton Beach and Jedediah Hawkins in Jamesport, is joined by chef de cuisine and partner Jeff Uguil who leads in the kitchen. The idea behind A Lure is to create a seafood chowder house, serving impeccably fresh fish and seafood, in a relatively casual and convivial setting for locals, boaters, day-trippers and vacationers on the idyllic north shore of Long Island wine country.
103 Mill River Road Oyster Bay, NY 11771 516.922 3556
for reservations call:
Situated on Long Island's famed Gold Coast, the Mill River Club has been a forward-thinking club since it's inception in 1964.  We pride ourselves on our diverse membership, beautiful golf course, excellent golf, tennis and pool facilities, knowledgeable golf and tennis professionals, family-friendly environment, fine and casual dining opportunities, and abundant social opportunities for adults, family and children.  We look forward to showing you why member's feel the Mill River Club is their home away from home.


All of Tom's restaurants have private dining and party packages. Please contact the catering manager at the individual restaurant for information on menus and prices, or to help you personalize your affair. 

Call Restaurants

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coming events



Tom Schaudel restaurants are an equal opportunity employer that prides itself on fostering talent and nurturing success. 

We are always interested to hear from responsible, motivated individuals who have a passion for food, service, and wine.

If you are interested in pursuing a career at one of Tom's restaurants please contact us using the form below and send us your resume.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Chef Tom Schaudel

After graduating from The Culinary Institute in 1973 and working in various venues, Tom opened his first restaurant, Panama Hatties (Huntington), in 1983. He has since been the driving force behind such acclaimed L.I. restaurants as Spring Close House (East Hampton), Downtown Grille and Wine Bar (Montauk), 107 Forest Avenue (Locust Valley), Lemongrass (Roslyn), Tease (Roslyn) Coolfish (Syosset), Thom Thom (Wantagh), Passionfish (Westhampton Beach), Starfish (Merrick), The Jedediah Hawkins Inn (Jamesport) and The Mansion at the Woodlands (Woodbury).

Growing up on Long Island and living on the East End has seriously influenced Tom's culinary sensibilities, and his style has been described by Michael Todd of Grapezine magazine as "Atlantic Rim." His current line-up of restaurants include Jewel by Tom Schaudel (Melville), Be-Ju Sashimi and Sake Bar (Melville), Amano (Mattituck), Alure (Southold), The Petulant Wino (Aquebogue), and Ross-Schaudel Catering and Event Planning (Mattituck). Tom also has his own line of wines, under the Tom Schaudel "Reserve" label, made here on the North Fork and served at all of the restaurants.

He has been featured on such television shows as Gordon Elliot's Door Knock Dinners on Food Network, Chef's Night Out on Metro Channel, and has been a frequent guest chef on Long Island's own Channels 12 , 21, and Telecare, The James Beard House in New York City, and Ed Lowe's Morning Show. He has written a book called Playing With Fire-Whining and Dining on the Gold Coast, about his one hundred wackiest customers from the last forty years, and hosts a weekly food, wine, and lifestyle,  radio show of the same name on 1100 WHLI am every Saturday morning from 10:00-11:00.

Tom’s band “Hurricane,” fearing James Benard, Brian Le Clerc, Michael LeClerc, Klyph Black, and “Bosco” Michne, has been rocking Long Island for twenty five years and is still blowing hard enough to keep from being downgraded to a Tropical Depression. Catch them out east in the summer and back west in the winter and join the mailing list for gig dates.


Coming Soon!


Playing With Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast

by Thomas G. Schaudel (Author)

Playing With Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast is a voyeur's peek into the crazy world of the restaurant culture. Filled with vignettes of difficult customers, stressed-out cooks, harried wait staff, and the truly disturbed, this book takes an affectionate romp through Tom Schaudel's restaurants to introduce you to the most memorable cast of characters he's experienced in his forty years in the business. You'll meet a ninety-year old-woman who happens to be a serial "bird-flipper," a woman trying to drag a twenty-foot Christmas tree out the front door undetected, an elderly gentleman walking out with an 8.5" x 15" metal clipboard menu holder stuffed down his pants, and a woman who got drunk, passed out, got revived, and aced an intervention, all in under twenty minutes. An absolute must read for "foodies," these stories and the many others will provide pure entertainment and lots of laughs for a long, long time to come.




A Second Helping: Whining and Dining on Long Island

by Thomas G. Schaudel (Author)

A Second Helping: Whining and Dining on Long Island picks up where Tom Schaudel’s first book, Playing With Fire, left off as a playful romp through the crazy world of restaurants, dining rooms, and professional kitchens. Filled with short stories of neurotic customers, stressed out servers, crazed cooks, and the undeniably unhinged, his unique and humorous observations will have you wondering how the expression, “The customer is always right,” ever came to be. Looking back through a fifty-year restaurant career, Tom has assembled a cast of characters that would be the envy of fiction writers everywhere. In this book, you will meet an f-bombing octogenarian, a D-level celebrity asking for separate checks at her wedding, an aspiring counterfeiter with a seriously flawed gift certificate, the nine-year-old antichrist, and a woman who flushed a six-carat diamond ring down a toilet bowl. This latest collection is guaranteed to make you stay up late and laugh out loud and is a must read for anyone who has ever eaten in a restaurant, worked in a restaurant, asked to use the restroom in a restaurant or, God forbid, dreamed of owning a restaurant.

buy now

Book - Playing With Fire:  Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast


Playing With Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast Playing With Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast
Plated Simply Catering
Amano Osteria & Wine Bar
A Second Helping: Whining and Dining on Long Island A Second Helping: Whining and Dining on Long Island
Mill River Club Bar, Grill and Dining
Alure Chowder House & Oysteria
Mill River Club Bar, Grill and Dining

Petulant Wino Review

By Peter M. Gianotti, Newsday,

Restaurateur Tom Schaudel and his daughter Courtney Schaudel own Petulant Wino in Aquebogue. (Credit: Randee Daddona)Petulant Wino uncorks in very good spirits.

The North Fork's newest must-eat, must-drink restaurant is co-owned by Courtney Schaudel and her father, perpetual-motion chef Tom Schaudel, who provided the name and doubtless plenty of the inspiration. This is his third North Fork production, following A Mano in Mattituck and A Lure in Southold.

The former Comtesse Thérèse Bistro has been brightened and polished, streamlining the style and adding some contemporary flair to the 1830 building, with its tin ceiling and framed mirrors listing drinks.

An oversize, decorative dragonfly is artfully perched near one corner. The in-the-moment, symbol of transition suits this cozy hangout of candlelit compact dining rooms, bar, deck and courtyard. Petulant Wino has a little glow and a lot of flavor.

That comes from chef Lenny Campanelli, who did an excellent job recently at CoolFish in Syosset, a former Schaudel property. His small-plates, tapas-spurred approach encourages sharing.

Have a glass of local wine or a bottle of Long Island beer and nibble on the pretzel croissant and creamy deviled egg. Sample lemongrass-poached shrimp with green-tea soba noodles. Try either the fluke or striped bass crudo. Taste a triangle from the tuna "pizza" with scallion pancake and wasabi aioli.

Tender grilled octopus arrives tossed with potatoes, chorizo, fried garbanzos and piquillo peppers in almond-based romesco vinaigrette. Grilled oysters find a foil in spicy Japanese mayonnaise. Pickled onion and braised short rib enrich the savory, mini grilled cheese sandwich made with Taleggio.

The salad of roasted beets, goat cheese and pistachios improves on the one with dry roasted corn and not-too-sweet watermelon. Crisp, fried kale makes its obligatory appearance. Pickled rhubarb cuts the indulgence of lush, slow-roasted pork belly; pickled onion and lime do the same for the good, chipotle-braised duck taco.

Beef with broccoli and black bean sauce seems almost satirical in this company, but it's made with sirloin. Snappy pan-roasted Long Island blackfish, with Thai green curry and banana salsa, fits right in. Likewise, duck breast paired with mushroom-and-blueberry risotto. Petulant Wino's Black Angus burger with fruitwood-smoked bacon, white Cheddar and black truffle aioli is deservedly popular.

Lemon-cheesecake parfait, a peach and brown butter tart, and warm fig cake with salted caramel gelato: apropos finales.

And you leave far from petulant, just wanting to return.

Schaudel's Petulant Wino opens in Aquebogue

By Peter M. Gianotti, Newsday,
June 5, 2014

Newsday / Erica Marcus

Petulant Wino uncorks in Aquebogue at 4 p.m.

It's co-owned by general manager Courtney Schaudel and Tom Schaudel, her father and the chef-restaurateur whose establishments include Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar and Jewel in Melville, A Lure in Southold, and A Mano in Mattituck.

The eclectic restaurant moves into the site occupied by Comtesse Therese Bistro for the last three and

one-half years.

Its chef is Lenny Campanelli, who recently cooked at CoolFish, a former Schaudel restaurant in Syosset. His menu takes in a raw bar, charcuterie, a cheese board, soups and salads, plus pastas and small plates.

Typical dishes on the work-in-progress menu include crisply fried kale with smoked mushrooms and egg, grilled onions and mustard vinaigrette; green-tea smoked duck breast with soba noodles; housemade mushroom-and-potato ravioli with black truffle butter; tuna "pizza" with scallion pancake and wasabi aioli; spiced yellowfin tuna with red curry vinaigrette; seared Arctic char with ratatouille; and a Black Angus burger with fruitwood-smoked bacon, aged white Cheddar, foie gras butter and black truffle aioli.

The price range is $30 to $50 per person.

To see other new restaurants on the East  End, click here.

Petulant Wino, 739 Main Rd., Aquebogue; 631-779-3900.

Be-Ju Tom Schaudel's sensational new sushi emporium in Melville

By Barry Kay, The Examiner,

Be-Ju Gallery

Be-Ju sushi and sashimi restaurant

Rating: ****4 STARS

Be-Ju is another exciting culinary gem, from Tom Schaudel, the culinary world's brilliant, and entrepreneurial executive chef. . Located within his magnificent Jewel restaurant, Tom and chefs shigeki yamamoto, and hiroki tanii have created a pan asian world, decorated in tones of cream and earth. Be-Ju is dominated by a large sushi bar ,behind which chefs yamamoto and tanii create their wondrous dishes.
This restaurant is dedicated to the art of creating authentic sushi/sashimi of the highest quality, and using only the freshest imported and local fish from the surrounding waters. The exceptional sushi chefs at Be Ju specially prepare each fish to bring out it’s unique characteristics.

Tom Schaudel
is one of Long Island's most prolific and exciting chefs. After graduating from the C.I.A. in 1973 he has been the driving force behind many top Long Island restaurants such as Panama Hatties, Downtown Grille and Wine Bar, 107 Forest Ave., Lemongrass, Tease, Coolfish, Passionfish, and Starfish. His current line-up is Jewel and Be-Ju in Melville, aMano in Mattituck, aLure in Southold, Ross-Schaudel Catering and Event Planning in Jamesport, and The Petulant Wino in Aquebogue. Tom has had numerous appearances on The Food Network, Channels 12 and 21, Telecare and the Metro Channel N.Y.C. as well as guest radio segments on WOR, WEHM, and KJOY which led to Tom hosting his own radio show, “Playing with Fire” on WHLI, every Saturday morning from 10:00-11:00. His book, “Playing with Fire: Whining and dining on the Gold Coast, published in 2009, won an Indie book “Honorable Mention” award for humor. Tom has a line of ten wines under the Tom Schaudel “Reserve” label that he makes at Paumanok Vineyards and are available exclusively at his restaurants. He has received numerous awards over the years from The James Beard House, The Magro Foundation, The Child Life Rainbow Program, The Wine Spectator, The Wine Enthusiast, The Long Island Food Critic, Island Harvest, Long Island Press Best of the Best, and Dan’s Papers and in 2010 was the inaugural inductee to the Long Island Restaurant Hall of Fame. Tom is an accomplished musician with an offbeat and hilarious sense of humor.

Tom met Chef Yamamoto when chef Yama was working at Nagashima, a popular and highly successful sushi restaurant in Jericho. Yama is a certified sushi master chef, and also worked at the famed 3 star New York Nissan restaurant. After collaborating on a number of restaurant projects, tom was convinced that yama was the best sushi chef he had ever known and asked him to join him in opening Be Ju in 2013. The restaurant has given chef yamamoto the opportunity to have his skills exhibited in full display. Yama personally selects his fish in Montauk, and in his off time roots and suffers with the NY Jets.

Tanii, yama's associate at Be Ju, is also a Certified Master Chef who had years of experience at the famed Nippon restaurant in NY, which was America's first sushi bar. After he left Nippon, Tanii worked at the famed Daruma sushi restaurant in Great Neck for 9 years, before joining Tom at Be-Ju. Highly skilled, with an easy going manner, he brings a stellar reputation and great skills to Be-Ju. Tanii is one of the select few sushi masters who are licensed to prepare the exotic and potentially deadly (fugu) blowfish. Tanii enjoys running marathons and playing baseball.

We visited Tom at Be Ju on a beautiful Thursday evening,  and were immediatley enveloped in a large and lively happy hour group milling around the large circular bar at Jewel.. Tom met us and gave us a "cooks tour" of Be-Ju, which was originally a series of beautiful party rooms at Jewel, first utilized for cigar and wine dinners.With the introduction of Be-Ju, the rooms have been converted into a beautiful asian stylized restaurant . Be Ju features a linear dining room and sushi bar, with seating by the oversized tinted green windows. The menu offers a series of Special Sushi dinners , individual sushi offerings and unique chef combinations of sushi and sashimi.

Be-Ju is a perfect place for a business lunch or dinner, cocktails and networking.

Kudos to Tom, Yama, and Tanii who have created an exception sushi/sashimi palace on long island.

FOUR STARS - Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar

By Peter M. Gianotti, Newsday,

Bluefin tuna sushi is marvelous at at Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar in Melville. (Jan. 11, 2014) (Credit: Yana Paskova)The crown in the Jewel is Be-Ju.

This great sushi spot opens in what had been the glassed-in, cigars-and-Cognac space in Tom Schaudel's Jewel in Melville. The beverage now is superb sake; the smoke, reserved for finishing duck and salmon.

Be-Ju is as serene and pristine as Jewel is buoyant and brassy. It arrives in creamy hues and deep earth tones, seating about 20, plus seven in the sushi bar's glistening chairs. The restaurant-within-a-restaurant offers some of the best uncooked fish on Long Island.

Chefs Shigeki Uchiyama, who worked with Schaudel at the original Thom Thom in Wantagh, and Hiroki Tanii perform at the sushi bar. Schaudel sometimes appears there, too.

Uchiyama and Tanii present exceptionally rich and meticulously sliced fatty tuna, all soft pink and white; and grand, velvety medium-fatty tuna. Yellowtail, amberjack and Japanese mackerel also are outstanding.

Be-Ju holds out marvelous, wild bluefin tuna and superior, paté-style discs of steamed monkfish liver, with sea urchin and ponzu sauce. Kumamoto oysters are served with pearls of mango, cucumber and verjus.

The kitchen delivers a wonderful shrimp-and-sea urchin risotto, hinting of ginger, garlic and lemongrass, sporting a gleam of gold leaf; yellowtail with a dab of lightly spicy red-pepper mousse; and a masterfully excessive lobster roll, kaleidoscopic with crab, avocado and cucumber, wrapped in soy paper, topped with a perfect cut claw.

Delicate Lapsang Souchong tea-smoked salmon announces itself with an aromatic puff when the little jar that holds it is opened. Star-anise smoked Long Island duck breast is good, probably the chewiest choice on the menu. Tuna tataki climaxes with a shaving of black truffle.

It's populist that Be-Ju also sends out a spicy tuna roll, one that emphasizes the fish and allows you to forget all those incendiary versions that mask dull seafood. A well-made California roll is available, too, just in case.

You'll enjoy the bracing soup with chicken, coconut, green curry and kaffir lime that's dubbed "Asian penicillin," and the gently earthy, satisfying mushroom dashi soup with nutty honshimejis.

Coconut tapioca, with mango sorbet and black-sesame cake croutons; apple-filled pot stickers with soy-caramel dip; yuzu-white chocolate semifreddo with toasted coconut; and a chocolate-wasabi bombe with ginger-chocolate sauce spark the desserts.

Be-Ju implies bijou: something refined, prized. It's a gem.

Tom Schaudel's Be-Ju opens in Melville

By Erica Marcus, Newsday,
November 30, 2013


Newsday / Erica Marcus

When Tom Schaudel opened his sparkling Melville restaurant Jewel in December 2011, he designated one of the many dining areas a cigar-and-Cognac lounge. Turned out he overestimated his customers’ appetite for stogies and brandy because more often than not, he said, the room served as a way station “for chairs that the busboys didn’t want to carry downstairs.”

So he transformed it into Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar, which opened on Friday night.

Decorated in tones of cream and earth, the room is dominated by a sushi bar behind which labor Shigeki Uchiyama, who worked for Schaudel at Thom Thom in Wantagh, and Hiroki Tanii. The two men are not slinging spicy tuna rolls. Be-Ju is dedicated to sushi practiced at a very high level. The first item on the menu is the 10-course omakase (“chef’s choice”) menu, which allows customers to “experience the chef’s inspiration.” It is “seasonal and reflects the best of what the market has to offer and each course is designed to harmonize with the next.” Cost: $110.

A la carte items include Maine shrimp with yuzu aioli, tuna with roasted-garlic mayo, tangerine ponzu and chervil (both $14 for two pieces); lapsang suchong tea-smoked salmon with green onion shoyu ($14); uni (sea urchin) custard with blue-claw crab, lime and caviar ($16) and bluefin toro with green-olive tapenade and first-press olive oil (market price). More than 20 varieties of fish are available as either sushi or sashimi for $5-12 and, as the market dictates, beyond.

There are 20 sakes (including two “second mortgage" selections, for $120 and $140) and two plum wines.

“What is if someone asks for a California roll?” I asked Uchiyama. “I handle that,” interjected Schaudel. “I beat them up.”

Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and is located inside Jewel Restaurant at 400 Broad Hollow Rd., Melville, 631-755-0555.

Real Food - Jewel Restaurant - Chef Tom Schaudel


Back of the House - Tom Schaudel

By By Betsy Davidson | Photographs by Doug Young, Edible East End,
October 21, 2013

Long Island’s busiest restaurateur keeps on truckin’.

Why Tom Schaudel? Long, long before reality television made household names out of the victors of Iron Chef and Food Network Star, there was Tom Schaudel.

 Long Island’s de facto top chef has been working in the restaurant biz, in virtually every capacity, since 1968. As a 15-year-old rabble-rouser kid from Carle Place (“hometown to two of the greatest guitar players of all time…Joe Satriani and Steve Vai”), he lied about his age to score a minimum wage dishwashing job at Sir Loin’s Steak Pub in Westbury. Washing dishes was the means to an end; the wannabe rock star guitarist needed money to purchase an amp. Under the sketchy tutelage of a cook named Shorty, a man with a “penchant for carrying unlicensed firearms and drinking,” Schaudel got a back-of-the-house baptism by fire. Ever the colorful storyteller, Schaudel entertainingly recounts tales of misadventures with Shorty that, in spite of the obvious recklessness, make one laugh out loud. Within a short amount of time, dishwashing led to a spot as a prep cook and an eventual reality check. “Being a mediocre guitar player was never going to earn me a @#$%load of money,” says Schaudel. Potentially influenced by Shorty and definitely inspired by his Swiss grandmother, who infused his senses with the smells and tastes of good fresh food, Schaudel enrolled at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, then located in New Haven, Connecticut, and graduated in 1973.

 The next few years found Schaudel honing his culinary skills while working his way up various restaurant ladders (he estimates that he has cooked in at least 30 different restaurants and fed two million people), eventually opening his first restaurant, the wildly popular Panama Hatties in Huntington Station in 1982. Since then, Schaudel has been the impetus behind many of Long Island’s most successful restaurants, including Angelfish (Long Beach), Thom Thom (Wantagh), Lemongrass (Roslyn), Coolfish (Syosset), 107 Forest Avenue (Locust Valley), Rockfish (Huntington), Jedediah Hawkins (Jamesport), PassionFish (Westhampton), Spring Close House (East Hampton) and Downtown Grille & Wine Bar (Montauk). Schaudel is currently the chef and owner of Jewel (Melville), A Lure Chowder House & Osteria (Southold), A Mano Osteria & Wine Bar (Mattituck) and Ross-Schaudel Catering & Event Planning (Mattituck). He will be opening two new restaurants in September: Be Ju Sashimi Bar (Melville) and Petulant Wino (North Fork).



In addition to his restaurants, Schaudel is also the culinary director at Brenda & Eddies (formerly Christiano’s, Syosset), Upstairs at the Mansion (Woodbury), Chow Down Diner (Bethpage), the Water’s Edge (Long Island City) and the newly opened Suffolk Theater (Riverhead). To most anyone this would be an exhausting lifestyle. To Tom Schaudel, not-so-much.

Schaudel is clearly proud of his Long Island roots, and it shows at his restaurants. At Jewel, the vast glass-walled wine cellar houses a 3,000-bottle collection of 300 labels, and at least 130 of those are Long Island wines. His menus also boast the seasonal best from Long Island’s farms and fisheries. When asked to prepare a quintessential Long Island summer dish, Schaudel immediately suggested mango-barbecued lobster with purple potatoes, corn sauté, tomato and basil because “it screams summer.” Sporting an ever-present colorful bandana, the always-animated Schaudel asked rhetorically, “What are the four things we think of when it is summertime here on Long Island? Lobster, corn, tomatoes and basil.” Who would question that?

So, here we are, some 40 odd years later and Tom Schaudel is now a 60-year-old rabble-rouser (ask him about his foie gras tattoo). He is still playing electric guitar (he did manage to earn enough at Sir Loin’s to purchase that first amp) with his band, Hurricane, and is still masterfully and creatively working it, Midnight Rider–style in his now-famous restaurant kitchens throughout Long Island.

Betsy Davidson is the editor of Edible Long Island.

Tom Schaudel: LI’s Restaurateur and his Influence on Local Dining

By Rashed Mian, Long Island Press,

Tom Schaudel at Jewel in Melville. (Photo by Jim Lennon)A red electric guitar is slung over Tom Schaudel’s shoulder and his faded jeans tremble as he taps his feet to the beat of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” Schaudel’s trademark bandana is conspicuously absent as his four band mates—two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer—rock on alongside him.

Schaudel, one of Long Island’s top restaurateurs, is grinning while leading the quintet through the Southern rock classic, his wrist rhythmically down-strumming as if he’s chopping up a Chilean sea bass destined for his frying pan. Between jabs, he bursts out the chorus triumphantly, like the uncorking of an aged wine bottled up far too long.

The performance is in celebration of Peconic Bay’s wineries, and there’s no one more worthy to grace the stage and energize the crowd. The celebrity chef has developed an incredible following throughout his four decades as the Island’s most recognizable culinary artist, nourishing thousands along the way and resurrecting countless restaurants with his Midas touch while sweating away 200,000-plus hours in the kitchen. To him, it was time well spent.

“I’m totally in love with restaurant culture,” says Schaudel, who embarked on his 45-year-long journey when he took a job at a restaurant to save money for an amplifier and was instantly intoxicated by the food’s aroma. “It’s the one place in the world where I feel like I belong.”

Now 60, he continues to hit the high notes. At his newest incarnation, Jewel in Melville, he recently talked about food and music, with his back to a massive wine collection while his clientele devoured what’s left of their lunches. Behind his shoulder decorative lamps hung upside down disorientingly from the ceiling. Around his forehead is an orange bandana that confirms he is, indeed, Tom Schaudel.

Schaudel owns four Long Island restaurants and a catering business including Jewel. His impact is undeniable, say industry leaders.

“He really is what Long Island restaurateurs strive to be,” says Long Island Dining Alliance President Donna Trapani. “He’s certainly that person who’s impacted the food industry, not only with the amount of restaurants that he has opened, consulted for or even been the chef for—he has taken owning restaurants to another level.”

“He’s really considered Long Island’s top chef, no question,” she continues. “Honestly, to me, he’s an empire builder.”

“A lot of people would just see the name Tom Schaudel and that’s enough for them to go,” agrees Mario Saccente, executive vice president of the Long Island chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association. “He is one of very, very few on Long Island that his name means you should try his restaurant. Just by his name alone, his restaurant is worth visiting.”

With 40 years in the business, Schaudel has weathered his fair share of failure and success, also witnessing some of the most bizarre customer behavior imaginable, as documented in his book Playing with Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast.

Through it all, Schaudel’s passion remains the food.

“It’s the color of the fresh vegetables, the fish and the thin-skinned lemons that still get me out of bed in the morning,” he says romantically. “It’s not all the other stuff that comes along with this…it’s truly the product that I get sweaty about. I’m still addicted to it.”

Schaudel’s obsession has its limits, however. At one point, he cocks his head back, opens his mouth and mimics snoring while describing a meeting with his accountant.

“[I’d] rather be at the dentist,” he says.

And though his consulting work is renowned, the chef admits at times he had trouble convincing his counterparts to act on his advice.

“I’ve been at this 45 years, so I know something,” insists Schaudel. “For them, when it doesn’t work out they say, ‘I paid you do to this.’ It wasn’t worth the money for me at that point; I rather just deal with my own stuff.”

Whether he wants to admit it, Schaudel has left an indelible mark on the local restaurant industry.

“He’s always one step ahead of everybody,” Trapani says. “He brings local ingredients, which is one of the newest trends. If Tom is bringing something to the table, most people will follow what he’s already instituted.”

If one thing does get under Schaudel’s skin, it’s eaters who refuse to expand their palates and thus, limit their options.

“I’m more concerned about the wussification of America,” he says. “I mean, we’re afraid of everything now: We’re afraid of gluten, ‘I can’t eat this, I’m allergic to sauté, I can’t eat the other thing, this makes me fart, that makes me fat, that makes me old.’ It’s food, man. You’re really missing out on a lot of fun by limiting yourself.”

Despite the lofty praises, newspaper and magazine profiles, appearances on television and even his own wine, Schaudel remains grounded. To him, he’s just like any other Long Islander.

“At the end of the day, what is this?” he says. “I own a restaurant, so what? In the scheme of things, it’s not world peace, it’s a fucking restaurant, it’s food. If I die tomorrow Long Island somehow will go on.”

He considers what just came out of his mouth, and adds, “Hopefully they’ll stop for a day or two.”

Undoubtedly, they’ll continue to imitate him.

A Feast for the Eyes Before Food Is Served

By Joanne Starkey, The New York Times,

Phil Marino for The New York Times


There are restaurateurs on Long Island who are better known than Tom Schaudel, but most of them have made their reputations in Manhattan. Mr. Schaudel is Long Island’s homegrown restaurant king.

Born and raised in Carle Place, he had his first restaurant job there as a dishwasher. He later went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and opened his first restaurant, Panama Hattie’s, in Huntington in 1983; he sold it in the late 1980s, and it closed recently. In a phone conversation after my visits to his newest restaurant, the year-old Jewel in Melville, he estimated that he had owned 14 or 15 restaurants on Long Island.

Mr. Schaudel currently owns, with partners, three restaurants besides Jewel: CoolFish in Syosset, A Mano in Mattituck and A Lure in Southold. But Jewel, in the Rubie Corporate Plaza, is the brightest sparkler in his crown. Marc Beige, the owner of the building, is a partner in the restaurant.

Jewel is also the largest of Mr. Schaudel’s restaurants, with seating for 215, in addition to room for 150 in the atrium, located elsewhere in the building and usually used for private parties.

At Jewel, patrons enter a foyer with burbling fountains bathed in colored lights on both sides of the walkway. In the main dining room, strings of blown-glass balls hanging from the ceiling create a celebratory mood. (On both our visits, we heard more than one rendition of “Happy Birthday.”) 


Another highlight is the glassed-in kitchen, where diners can view the chefs at work. Mr. Schaudel is the one with long white hair and a bandanna, facing the kitchen, with his back to the dining room. He keeps an eye on everything leaving the kitchen, and it shows.

We had only minor quibbles with the food and none with the friendly, accommodating servers.

The meal starts with a basket of assorted warm, chewy rolls. On one occasion, the soup of the day — seafood chowder with a rich broth — was a worthy follow-up. The best appetizers, though, were the grilled octopus and the crab salad. The former was a mélange of tender tentacles, olives, capers, red onions and red grapes, all in a merlot vinaigrette. The salty tang of the olives and the sweetness of the grapes seemed to alternate in the mouth. The crab salad, big enough to share, featured lump crab, avocado and cucumber in a lemon aioli with a mango sauce on the plate.

The “almost Caesar” (without egg) was a chopped rendition and very tasty. I was less taken with the assembly of beets (roasted, poached, pickled, red and yellow); the sinus-clearing horseradish cream on the plate detracted from the earthy flavor of the beets.

Almost everything we tried was very well executed. Our favorite entree was the fork-tender, root-beer-braised short ribs with buttermilk smashed potatoes, baby carrots and pickled onions. Another top-notch main course was blackened catfish atop a tasso hash with Creole mustard on the plate. The udon noodles with red curry, seafood, baby carrots, purple potatoes and edamame were another hit, well seasoned with a slightly sweet yet punchy flavor. The sirloin steak was flavorful and nicely charred, but the onion rings on the plate were underdone and pasty.

There are five pizzas on the menu ($12 to $21). The millionaire’s pizza is an appealing treat, and economical enough for nonmillionaires to order ($21). It starred black truffles, mushrooms and fontina cheese on a crisp crust, all crowned with a fried egg. (The combination works.)

This is the first Tom Schaudel restaurant I have visited that didn’t have his signature chocolate bag on the dessert menu. We didn’t miss it. We were very happy with the espresso cheesecake, the warm apple cobbler, the flourless chocolate cake over salted caramel sauce and the chocolate brownie paired with crème de menthe ice cream.

Jewel, festive to begin with, shines especially brightly in the holiday season.


400 Broadhollow Road
(631) 755-5777


THE SPACE Large, lovely restaurant seating 215, including a couple of small rooms that can be used for private parties. Full wheelchair access.

THE CROWD Lots of groups, including some children. The staff is terrific.

THE BAR Marble-topped bar with stools on three sides. The lounge area has 16 high tables for two set for dining, plus four couches. About 300 wines by the bottle ($22 to $600), one-third of them from Long Island, and 26 by the glass ($9 to $15).

THE BILL Lunch entrees: $12 (sandwiches) to $44 (steak). Dinner entrees: $12 (tomato-basil pizza) to $46 (rib-eye steak). On Sunday evenings, there is a three-course meal for $29.95. American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover accepted.

WHAT WE LIKED Seafood chowder, grilled octopus, crab salad, “almost Caesar” salad, short ribs, catfish, udon noodles in curry sauce, sirloin steak, millionaire’s pizza and all desserts.

IF YOU GO Lunch: Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner: Monday to Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. Reservations are a must. There is ample parking.

RATINGS Don’t Miss, Worth It, O.K., Don’t Bother.





By Peter M. Gianotti, Newsday,

Applewood-smoked bacon, farmhouse Cheddar, lettuce, tomato and frites top the '5-Napkin Burger' on the menu at Jewel restaurant in Melville. (Jan. 31, 2012) (Credit: Doug Young)Glittery Jewel stands out for size, setting and star chefs. It's the latest theatrical production under the byline of Long Island's roving restaurateur, Tom Schaudel.

Schaudel and co-chef Michael Ross lead a brigade in the open kitchen of this first-floor panorama, which anchors Rubie Corporate Plaza.

Rubie is known for its major costume company. Jewel's flamboyant outfit is impossible to ignore.

In scope, this is the most ambitious undertaking by Schaudel, who gets attention the way a beach attracts waves. His current eateries include CoolFish in Syosset, A Mano in Mattituck and A Lure in Southold. Ross formerly cooked with Schaudel at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport. He's a veteran of departed Fiddleheads in Oyster Bay and Bel Posto in Huntington.

Their current showcase seats almost 250 in a fun house of swirling wood, much marble, upside-down lamps above the lounge, colorful bubbles floating over the dining room, a tiled namesake waterfall at the bar, and quotations from sources as varied as Julia Child and Tommy Smothers announcing the kitchen.

Jewel already is a lunch destination, one not entirely devoted to protein and testosterone. On weekends, it's high-decibel party time. The food, however, is comfortably New American, fueled with local wines and produce, plus countless Schaudelfreude imprints.

Enjoy the "5 Napkin Burger," bacon-Cheddar edition, a steak knife rising from it like Excalibur. "BLT&T" successfully adds sushi-red seared tuna to the standard. Excellent steaks and satisfactory individual pizzas are available at dinner, too.

But duck "in a jar" suggests a variation on chicken salad. Tender octopus: aggressively vinegared. "Bacon and eggs," with braised pork belly and a poached egg, arrives mired in dense Asian "spiced jus."

Butter-poached lobster; pork, cider-braised via Jericho Cider Mill; and lamb with a za'atar spice rub are recommended. Likewise, the opener of tuna tartare and main course of tuna with Thai red curry. Crabmeat, with passionfruit coulis and an avocado crown, deserves its status as a special. Overcooked prime rib, with Yorkshire pudding akin to a dried popover, doesn't.

Skip the "Jewel Box" rendition of the "Kitchen Sink," a dull sundae, even with special-effects smoke. You'll be nostalgic for Schaudel's "chocolate bag" -- and for Jahn's.

The pistachio ice-cream sandwich works. So does Jewel. But it needs more polishing to sparkle.

Award Winning Chefs - Tom Schaudel

Discover Long Island,

 Click here to view full article and view video

Tom Schaudel has made a career of bringing extraordinary cuisine to area restaurants, including ALure and A Mano.

After graduating from The Culinary Institute in 1973 and working in various restaurants, Tom Schaudel opened his first restaurant, Panama Hatties (Huntington), in 1983.

He has since been the driving force behind such acclaimed restaurants as Spring Close House (East Hampton), Downtown Grille and Wine Bar (Montauk), 107 Forest Avenue (Locust Valley), Lemongrass (Roslyn), Coolfish (Syosset), Thom Thom (Wantagh), Rockfish (Huntington), Angelfish (Long Beach), Passionfish (Westhampton Beach), and The Mansion at the Woodlands (Woodbury).

Growing up on Long Island has seriously influenced Tom's culinary sensibilities, and his style has been described by Michael Todd of Grapezine magazine as "Atlantic Rim." At the Inn he combines classical technique with the best produce, fish and game the North Fork has to offer.

Tom and Chef de Cuisine Michael Ross have created a series of menus that reflect the four seasons, tasting menus paired with Long Island wines, and a series of guest chef dinners and special events. Tom also has his own line of wines, under the Tom Schaudel "Reserve" label, made here on the North Fork and served at the Inn.

He has been featured on such television shows as Gordon Elliot's Door Knock Dinners on Food Network, Chef's Night Out on Metro Channel, and has been a frequent guest chef on Long Island's own Channels 12 and 21, The James Beard House in New York City, and Ed Lowe's Morning Show. He recently published a book based on his experiences on Long Island.


By Maria Babaev,,

photo by Glenn BucaloRenowned chef and  restaurateur Tom Schaudel has added a culinary gem to the route 110 corridor in Melville. While this may be off the beaten track for some, it is well worth the trip. This 10,000 square foot masterpiece speaks volume, style and showmanship. It joins Four Food Studio and Blackstone Steakhouse in an area that is popular with the corporate set. The high-profile building that houses Tom’s latest creation is the new Rubie Corporate Plaza, at the busy intersection of the LIE and Route 110;  it’s an arresting sight, all dark glass with a rounded front.

Once inside, the visual feast begins; walls of glass, art-deco pieces and ornate lighting add to the architectural interest of this dazzling interior. The menu is equally appealing- Tom Schaudel-style. American ecletic with Mediterranean influences, diners can choose from a wide array of dishes, including unusual pizza creations and speciality cocktails.

Visit for more information. Reservations are highly recommended.

Views of Peconic Bay, Tastes of Local Bounty

By Joanne Starkey, The New York Times,

Gordon M. Grant for The New York Times

FOR around 15 years, until its closing in 2009, the Seafood Barge at the Port of Egypt Marina in Southold was one of the North Fork’s best restaurants. A Lure Chowder House and Oysteria, which opened in the Seafood Barge’s waterfront space in May, is a worthy successor.

A Lure seems larger and airier than its predecessor, thanks to the removal of a curtain that divided the dining space. There is also a new outdoor dining patio, which seats 100, and a deck that serves as an outdoor lounge for the bar. The bright and open interior is summery, with blue walls, a white ceiling, shiny wood floors, bare tables and large bay windows that offer views of the marina and Peconic Bay. For cooler months, there is a double-sided fireplace.

At A Lure the emphasis is on local bounty. One night a special appetizer made the point: flash-fried squash blossoms filled with Catapano goat cheese and set on fresh-tasting tomato sauce. Crisply fried local oysters paired with a roughly mashed avocado relish were another hit.

Speaking of local provisions, the corn chowder, dotted with carrots and flavored with bacon, was as fresh as it gets. A bowl of plump Prince Edward Island mussels in a Thai red curry with coconut and lime was from farther away, but full of flavor. The only also-ran among the appetizers was the tuna tartare, which we thought a bit skimpy for its $15 price (now $16).

We had no complaints at entree time. All the seafood was deftly cooked: snowy-white halibut and cod, pan-seared soft shell crabs and an order of five pan-seared scallops. At the time of our visits, a section of the menu allowed diners to choose their own sauces for a selection of à la carte fish and shellfish dishes, an option that is no longer offered.

The sauces enhanced the perfectly turned-out seafood: a verjus/chive beurre blanc, roasted tomato-olive vinaigrette, ponzu, lemon-infused olive oil and a pineapple-mango salsa. (Those sauces are still on the menu with various seafood entrees.) The roasted tomato-olive vinaigrette was our favorite, but the lush chive-dotted beurre blanc was a close second. We gave high marks to a couple of side dishes: a corn-and-fava succotash bolstered by cubed red potatoes and a chunky, fresh-tasting ratatouille.

A Lure is the newest venture by Tom Schaudel, one of Long Island’s best-known chefs, who is executive chef and an owner of A Lure. His partners in the venture are Jeff Uguil, who is the chef de cuisine, and Adam Lovett, the manager. Mr. Lovett is also a partner with Mr. Schaudel at A Mano, a popular Italian restaurant in Mattituck, just down the road.

On the menu, Mr. Schaudel states: “ I believe it to be somewhat sacrilegious, while gazing out at the Peconic Bay, to eat a whole lobster any way other than steamed with lemon and butter.” I, too, am a purist and loved the sweet, tender, steamed lobster served simply with melted butter and a wedge of lemon.

The three land selections are labeled “if you must.” I disagree; the juicy, aged New York strip steak accompanied by a chimichurri sauce held its own against the seafood.

Desserts are of the same high caliber as the rest of the meal. Mr. Schaudel’s signature dessert, the chocolate bag (a banana split in a molded chocolate box), was as good as ever. The tangy Key lime pie with a graham cracker crust and garnish of fresh blackberries was delightful, as was a warm chocolate cake crowned with an imposing shard of chocolate. A special strawberry shortcake consisted of a moist house-made biscuit, plenty of ripe fruit, whipped cream and mint syrup.

A Lure is a new must-visit destination on the North Fork.

 A Lure Chowder House and Oysteria

 Port of Egypt Marina
62300 Main Road (Route 25)
(631) 876-5300  


Airy and bright waterfront spot. The dining room is noisy; the patio is quieter. Complete wheelchair access.

Casual couples and small groups, including children. The servers are attentive and friendly.

THE BAR The U-shaped bar has 15 stools and opens onto an outdoor lounge. The wine list, devoted exclusively to Long Island wines, has about 100 bottles ($22 to $100) and 10 selections by the glass ($8 to $13). There are six beers on draft ($6) and 20 by the bottle ($7).

Lunch entrees, $15 to $30. Dinner entrees, $21 to $30. (Lobsters, $28 for a pound and a quarter to $70 for a three-pounder.) Prices are average for Long Island, but the food is much better than average. American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover are accepted.

WHAT WE LIKED Stuffed squash blossoms, corn chowder, mussels in red curry sauce, fried oysters, scallops, soft shell crabs, cod, halibut, lobster, strip steak, corn-fava succotash, ratatouille, all desserts.

IF YOU GO Lunch: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Dinner: Sunday to Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m. Monday night lobster bake (no regular menu), 5 to 10 p.m. through Labor Day. Reservations are accepted only for the lobster bake.

RATINGS Don’t Miss, Worth it, O.K., Don’t Bother

Cool Fish’s Tom Schaudel: Rock Star of Food Scene

Syosset Patch,

photo credit - Syosset PatchTom Schaudel loves a challenge. In 1968, the underage 15-year-old "lied his way" into a minimum wage job as a dishwasher near his family's Carle Place home as a means to support his musical aspirations. That fortuitous choice set Schaudel on course to becoming a leading local restaurateur and arguably Long Island's premier chef.

"As a teenager I was a guitar player, but buying equipment took money," Schaudel explains, "and that need drove me to the restaurant business." Within a short time he earned a spot as a prep cook, where he found his love for the art of food.

"I chased those two muses–music and food–for a long time," says the straight-talking Schaudel. "Then it occurred to me that a mediocre guitar player wasn't going to make a &%$@load of money."

So, he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, graduating in 1973. After working his way through a number of local restaurants, gaining experience and landing his first position as a head chef, he joined with partners in 1983 to open Panama Hatties in Huntington Station.

For many, that would have been the culmination of a dream, but for Schaudel it was only the beginning. Over the years he has cooked in 30 restaurants and was the driving force behind at least 16 more, including Spring Close House (East Hampton), Downtown Grille & Wine Bar (Montauk), 107 Forest Avenue (Locust Valley), Lemongrass (Roslyn), Thom Thom (Wantagh), Rockfish (Huntington), Angelfish (Long Beach), Passionfish (Westhampton Beach) and The Mansion at the Woodlands (Woodbury).

Next up is Schaudel's biggest restaurant yet, at Ruby's Corporate Plaza in Melville, slated to open early next year. He calls it his retirement restaurant.

"Either it'll be so good I'll want to keep it going," he says with a wry grin, "or so bad I have to keep working." And he's still actively involved in Syosset's Cool Fish, as well as A Mano Osteria & Wine Bar (Mattituck) and Ross Schaudel Catering & Event Planning.

"People think I have ADD," says a smiling Schaudel, "but the truth is I enjoy developing the ideas I have in my head." Then he adds, "And after all, Billy Joel doesn't want to only play 'Piano Man' for the rest of his life." One such idea was his line of wines, including the Tom Schaudel "Reserve" label, which are sold only in his restaurants.

He has been featured on TV shows including Gordon Elliot's Doorknock Dinners on The Food Network. His weekly radio show  Playing With Fire (Saturdays at 10 a.m. on WHLI) covers food and wine, recipes and cooking tips. It's among the station's top-rated hours.

"It's fun and informative," he says. "We have a good time and get out a lot of helpful information."

In his book  Playing with Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast, an outgrowth of an annual top 10 list of quirky, annoying customers he used to do, Schaudel recounts stories involving some of the unique characters he has come across as a restaurateur.

Schaudel estimates that over the years he's served more than 2 million people. He has been called 'the kingfish of Long Island restaurateurs' and 'the Sean Connery of Cuisine', and was recently honored as the inaugural inductee into the Long Island Dining Alliance's Hall of Fame. But it's not fame or recognition he's looking for.

"It's flattering," he says, "but that's not what gets me out of bed in the morning." Despite his public persona, he maintains, "I'm just a cook trying to get better every day."

He adds, "I'm just happy I found a way to combine two vices–eating and drinking–and make a successful 40-year career out of them," he quips, before concluding on a serious note. "I'm Long Island's son, and I want to thank Long Islanders for letting me do what I love for a very long time."

Ambience, and Food That Hits the Mark

By Joanne Starkey, The New York Times,

Gordon M. Grant for The New York Times


FOR the second time in two years Tom Schaudel has created a winner on the North Fork. In 2006, the chef-restaurateur opened the elegant Jedediah’s in the beautifully restored Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport. A Mano, a more casual place that calls itself an osteria and wine bar, made its debut in Mattituck in mid-June.

A Mano, situated in a renovated old house on Main Road, is simple yet striking. It has an outdoor front terrace with jaunty bright-yellow market umbrellas and a cool, straightforward dining room. The latter has creamy yellow walls as well as a mirrored wall separated into squares by dark wood. Tables are black and bare, the chairs sturdy Mission style.

The service is super. Waitresses are North Fork-friendly professionals; busboys crumb the tables after every course and never let a water glass go below half-full.

Mr. Schaudel is known for his way with New American cooking and his handling of seafood. His menu at A Mano showcases a lot of seafood, but it has an Italian accent.

I loved everything I ate here. One night the list of specials contained three openers so appealing I found it hard to choose one. I settled on a salad of local corn paired with slabs of watermelon in a citrus vinaigrette: cool, light, the essence of summer. On a return visit, I sampled another of those specials, the best corn chowder I’ve ever had: fresh tasting, with kernels that exploded in the mouth, perfect seasoning and a flavor kick from pancetta and crab.

Other appetizer standouts were seared yellowfin tuna paired with a chunky caponata, a filler-free peeky-toe crab cake and a beet salad. The last demonstrates Mr. Schaudel’s use of local ingredients: yellow beets from Satur Farms in Cutchogue and goat cheese from Catapano Dairy Farm in Peconic.

Four seafood entrees hit the mark. Two were from the menu, two specials. The menu hits were grilled swordfish with an olive-tomato vinaigrette that made us sit up and take notice, and grilled diver scallops surrounding a creamy lemon-artichoke risotto. Equally fine were the specials: prosciutto-wrapped rare tuna over a mushroom risotto and two perfectly turned-out, crisp soft-shell crabs atop garlicky spinach.

Don’t overlook the pastas. The lasagna is a lightly packed amalgam of fresh-tasting tomato sauce, chunks of ground meat and creamy cheese. A special of penne amatriciana was excellent: a smoky-flavored, chunky sauce loaded with pancetta and onion.

I have only two criticisms of this restaurant. It is too loud at busy times. The other flaw, a minor one, is that the bread is inconsistent. One night we had wonderful, warm focaccia; a second time it was dry and hard from reheating.

Desserts are delightful. I adored the cheesecake with lemon curd and blueberries, made with sheep’s milk ricotta from Catapano Dairy Farm. Another seasonal treat was the warm peach crisp with creamy, homemade peach gelato. The old-fashioned butterscotch pudding with caramelized bananas and whipped cream will bring back memories of childhood. Chocolate lovers should not miss the Valrhona bittersweet chocolate terrine (a couple of slabs of richness) topped with vanilla-poached cherries.

And yes, there is il sacchetto di cioccolate, also known as the chocolate bag, Mr. Schaudel’s signature dessert. Who could resist this molded box of dark chocolate candy filled with a banana split? Who could resist A Mano?

A Mano
13550 Main Road, Mattituck
(631) 298-4800


THE SPACE Converted house with simple lines and appealing terrace. Not wheelchair accessible.

THE CROWD Casual; few children.

THE BAR A long wooden bar in its own room. The wine list, concentrating on Long Island and Italy, has 70 selections, $24 to $100. There are 16 wines by the glass, $7 to $14.

THE BILL Lunch entrees, $12 to $19. Dinner entrees, $17 to $30. American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted.

WHAT WE LIKE Corn salad, corn chowder, seared yellowfin tuna, peeky-toe crab cake, beet salad; lasagna, penne amatriciana, grilled swordfish, diver scallops, prosciutto-wrapped tuna, soft-shell crabs; all desserts.

IF YOU GO Lunch: 11:30 to 3:30 Saturday and Sunday. Dinner: 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, until 11 on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are taken weekdays but only for five or more on weekends.



Happiness Is Where the Kitchen Is

By Robin Finn, New York Times,

KIDS, don’t try cooking, or eating, this at home: Uccelletti scappati are tiny dead baby birds that, after being defeathered, dunked, cooked and preserved in a garlic, herb and extra virgin olive oil confit, are held by the beak and eaten whole. Really! Matt Connors, the chef and owner of the Lake House in Bay Shore, his hometown, and an avowed nonviewer of “Top Chef,” the reality show where toque-worthy humans, some from Long Island, wage war in the kitchen, was reminiscing the other day about the strangest concoction he had ever cooked. Definitely the uccelletti. ... Ask Mr. Connors about Long Island’s true top chef and he defers to Tom Schaudel, above, the irreverent, eclectic chef and entrepreneur who has an ownership stake in five establishments and regularly turns up in the kitchens of two of them, Coolfish in Syosset (he calls it a Le Bernardin for Long Island) and Jedediah’s at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport, a postcard restoration of an 1863 sea captain’s house. As for “Top Chef,” Mr. Schaudel, whose most beloved ingredients are fish and foie gras — he is adding the words “foie gras” to the heart-and-ribbon tattoo on his chest because, he said, “I’ll never break up with foie gras” — is unsmitten. “These days kids come out of the Culinary Institute saying, ‘I want to be a TV chef,’ ” he said. “I don’t get it. I’d rather cook myself stupid all day than become a cartoon of what I originally set out to be.” Mr. Schaudel, 53, of Carle Place, started out as a dishwasher at the Sirloin Steak Pub in 1968 “and through a comedy of errors wound up cooking on the line.” A high school guidance counselor, noting his fondness for black clothing, suggested that he take up mortuary science. With visions of groupies, applause and artistic concoctions, he opted for cooking — less elusive a goal than rock stardom. “Though I guess you could say I am a taxidermist to some degree,” Mr. Schaudel said glibly from the kitchen at Jedediah’s. He estimates he has owned and sold 17 restaurants (among them, the renowned Panama Hatties of Huntington Station) and cooked at nearly 30. “It makes me sound like I have A.D.D.,” he joked. “I consider myself an overnight success that took 35 years. I’m like Keith Richards: I haven’t eaten dinner at home since 1967.”

North Fork's New Wave

By Melanie Mitzner, Wine Spectator,

Although the North Fork of Long Island now has more than 30 wineries, it long lacked enough restaurants and accommodations to make it a true wine destination along the lines of Napa, Sonoma or Provence. But that's changing, as newcomers such as North Fork Table & Inn and Jedediah Hawkins Inn combine fine dining and luxurious lodging under one roof. Their menus, and that of Vine Wine + Café, reflect a commitment to local, seasonal and organic ingredients, while their wine lists show devotion both to this burgeoning region and to exploring the world's diversity.

At the eastern end of the North Fork winery trail, in Southold, the hip North Fork Table & Inn was launched this summer by an experienced Manhattan restaurant team: former Aureole and Amuse chef Gerry Hayden, former Gramercy Tavern pastry chef Claudia Fleming, and Mike and Mary Mraz of Hearth and Gramercy Tavern. The inn, which has four rooms with private baths, is decorated in a style Fleming describes as "Shaker-esque and distinctly not Victorian," pared-down yet comfortable.

The spare but elegant dining area, with nooks and open spaces, gives diners privacy simply by the angled layout of the tables. Hayden's goal is to bring a European sensibility to the North Fork, and he's emulating the style of French chefs from provincial towns, such as Georges Blanc, who stick close to home in sourcing meats and produce. The all-American fare includes wild striped bass, East Coast swordfish, Long Island duck and biodynamic vegetables from KK's Farm, as well as Colorado lamb. "It's the chef's job to subtly blend flavors," explained Hayden, "so I like to braise and roast, and procure as many indigenous ingredients as possible."

North Fork Table & Inn is headed by experienced Manhattan chefs.Mike Mraz has selected seven Long Island wines and seven international wines to offer by the taste, glass or bottle. Of the additional 29 wines sold only by the bottle, most in the $30 to $75 range, one-third come from Long Island. The wines go beyond the usual suspects, with local choices such as a 2002 Lieb Blanc de Blanc and more esoteric ones like 2003 Frédéric Lornet L'Abbaye de Genne Ploussard from the Jura.

Dessert never takes a backseat with Fleming's exquisite creations--from blackberry corn cake and coconut tapioca to a chocolate caramel tart with caramel ice cream--and seven dessert wines and Ports.

The partners have ambitious plans to improve the tourism experience. "In the winter, we plan to offer a package with lodging, cooking classes and winery tours that culminates in the pairing of food and wine for the ultimate hands-on experience," said Hayden.

Joe Watson pours nearly 60 wines by the glass at Vine Wine + Café.Farther east, in the village of Greenport, enophiles will delight in Vine Wine + Café. Proprietor Joe Watson, former sommelier at Nick & Toni's in East Hampton, has fashioned a groovy retreat, with a veranda, a patio and a tasting room with banquettes and an exquisite Carrera marble bar. Guests can choose from a frequently changing list of 54 wines--20 percent of them from Long Island--available by the glass, taste or flights and 79 New and Old World wines by the bottle from some of the world's lesser-known appellations. Prices range from $7 to $25 per glass, with most bottles from $40 to $85, though prices go much higher for the library gems such as Harlan Estate Napa Valley 1995 and Gaja Barbaresco Sorì Tildin 1995.

"I wouldn't put a wine on the list I didn't enjoy drinking myself," said Watson, who pairs the wines with the café's tasty small plates. Try a local match of Channing Daughters Vino Bianco 2005 with succulent Widow's Hole oysters, a bright honeydew and basil soup with a Muscat Blanc from Navarro in Mendocino or the bold Turley Zinfandel Juvenile 2003 with delectable Tasmanian blue cheese.

At the western end of the North Fork winery trail, Jedediah Hawkins Inn opened in Jamesport in June in the renovated 19th-century Italianate villa of sea captain Hawkins. There are five rooms and one suite. Behind the modern decor lies a stainless steel-outfitted kitchen where veteran Long Island chef and restaurateur Tom Schaudel and chef de cuisine Michael Ross transform local ingredients--some from the inn's own garden--into dishes for Jedediah's, the fine dining room. The Captain's Cellar, a subterranean wine cellar made of fieldstone and brick, is home to the restaurant's 2,500-bottle collection and offers a full dinner menu and tapas-style menu each night.

Jedediah's dining room serves 52 wines from Long Island.Come for "High Cheese," when Schaudel offers delicious pairings of New York wine and cheeses at teatime in the property's screened-in gazebo. For dinner, select from 13 Long Island wines by the glass or 100 wines by the bottle, ranging from $28 to $265. The list offers 52 selections from Long Island--more than any other North Fork establishment, he says-- along with Old World wines Schaudel considers interesting, from Austrian Grüner Veltliner to the 2003 Flor de Pingus from Ribera del Duero.

A recent tasting menu included a green bean, watermelon and blue cheese salad with a splash of Wölffer verjus, complemented by a Martha Clara Brut NV, which also did justice to tempura zucchini blossoms stuffed with local Catapano goat cheese. Black truffled, butter-poached lobster was paired with 2005 Bodegas Martínez Serantes Albariño Dona Rosa, while the 2002 Private Chef Schaudel Reserve, blended at Paumonok winery to Schaudel's specifications, matched well with the ricotta gnocchi and the deconstructed beef "Burgundy-style" with Pinot glaze.

Next fall, Shinn Estate winery in Mattituck is scheduled to open the North Fork's first vineyard-based B and B. Barbara Shinn and David Page, who practice sustainable farming in their vineyard, are restoring an 1880s farm house to create a four-room B and B. "It's a dream of ours to provide a place for guests on the vineyard property and support land preservation and family farming," Shinn said.

Tom Schaudel Rules LI Restaurant Scene: With Five Restaurants On Long Island

By Erica Marcus, Fire Fighting News,

Tom Schaudel Rules LI Restaurant Scene: With Five Restaurants On Long Island And Counting, Tom Schaudel Is Master Of His Domain.
Jun. 21--By his own reckoning, Tom Schaudel is not Long Island's best chef, but he is, unquestionably, the most conspicuous.

He is seemingly everywhere - performing cooking demos at the mall, organizing charity events, playing with his rock band, blending his own wine, publishing an annual list of the year's 10 worst customers and, most frequently, opening yet another restaurant.

Over the course of a 24-year career, Schaudel, 53, has founded many of Long Island's most illustrious eateries, including Panama Hatties in Dix Hills, 107 Forest Avenue in Locust Valley, Lemongrass, Tease (both in Roslyn) and the loosely affiliated "fish" restaurants: his flagship CoolFish in Syosset, AngelFish in Long Beach, RockFish in Huntington and PassionFish, which recently moved from Woodbury to Westhampton Beach.

His favorite suffix testifies to an emphasis on fish, and his cooking style is an exuberant blend of Asian and Italian influences married to local ingredients. The flavors are bold, the platings tend toward the ornate and vertical.

Diners who don't know the difference between Col. Sanders and Mario Batali will ask, "Is that the new Tom Schaudel place?" Serious diners have been known to ask him for his autograph. He's wildly articulate, completely indiscreet and unfailingly quotable.

Detractors may attribute Schaudel's success to all the publicity he receives, a view disputed by Morris Sendor, publisher of the annual "Great Restaurants of Long Island."

"Yes, he gets his name in the paper, but he's extremely innovative and not afraid to take chances," Sendor observed. He also noted Schaudel's involvement in every element of his restaurants. "Tom does everything - from creating the menu to designing the room and choosing the furnishings, putting together a wine list and training the staff."

Schaudel's 22-year-old daughter, Courtney, who has worked in her dad's restaurants since she was 10, attributes his success to an utter lack of pretension. "People come in the restaurant and ask me to point out the chef. They don't expect this guy in jeans with long hair who's covered in tattoos."

And although Schaudel jokes that it's been years since he's seen his toes, he is a pretty sexy chef, with his long gray hair, bright blue eyes and easy masculinity.

Last week saw the opening of the Jedediah Hawkins Inn & Restaurant in Jamesport, an exquisitely restored property in the middle of the North Fork's burgeoning wine country. Schaudel, a partner in the venture, is executive chef of the restaurant, Jedediah's. He calls the project "a personal statement, my little jewel box, my footprint in a budding Napa Valley."

The restaurant's menu, elegant and heavily reliant on local produce, was conceived by Schaudel and chef de cuisine Michael Ross, most recently of Fiddleheads in Oyster Bay, to whom Schaudel will hand over the reins once the kitchen is up and running.

Schaudel has a lot of experience in handing off. At the moment, he owns five restaurants and consults on two others. In fact, a number of notable "Schaudel places" have actually been consulting jobs, among them Meritage in Roslyn, the two PassionFish, Tease's second incarnation in Port Washington and that site's subsequent occupants, Louis & Marxx and now The Wreck.

Surprisingly, it seems that the seven restaurants haven't taken him away from his golf game or stopped him from taking a recent weeklong wine-tasting trip through Italy.

"He has more free time than guys with fewer restaurants," observed Michael Meehan, another fixture on the Long Island dining scene who is chef at Lori Restaurant & Wine Bar in Southampton. A longtime friend and admirer, Meehan thinks he knows why: "He looks for the best people, he trusts people, and he delegates."

Schaudel attributes his freedom from cooking and managing to a cohesive team that includes his chefs (Danny Heaney at CoolFish, Dave Salony at the Mansion, David Livingston at AngelFish, Kelly Joyce at RockFish); his sister Ann May, who oversees CoolFish; longtime manager Diane Flynn; bar and wine manager Mark Scordo and "the Rafaels of the world." (Rafael Cardoza, the pastry chef at CoolFish, epitomizes for Schaudel the dozens of mostly Spanish-speaking workers who began as dishwashers and have now assumed positions of responsibility in his kitchens.)

Tom Schaudel, The Delegator, is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Before CoolFish opened in 2000, "I was a seven-day-a-week guy," he said. Up until then, he had been involved with one, maybe two places at a time, none of them terribly big, none of them consistently busy. CoolFish was on a different scale.

"We went from 65 seats in the middle of nowhere - Locust Valley - to 150 on Jericho Turnpike," he recalled. "The day we opened for business, I had to put three people on the phone for reservations."

The success of CoolFish gave Schaudel a financial cushion for the first time, and within two years he was able to hire an executive chef, a move that freed him to begin consulting in earnest.

"The upside to consulting is that you make money but don't have the financial exposure," he said. "The downside is that the owners don't necessarily listen to you."

Having lieutenants in the kitchen also allowed Schaudel to be more of a presence in the dining room, a role that suits his skills as a raconteur. He has a bottomless store of tales. Like the one about the time his kitchen ran out of propane gas for the stoves and he prevailed upon the owner of the diner across the street to let him use the kitchen. "Things were actually running smoothly until it started to rain. Then we had to put garbage bags over the waitstaff - we cut out eyeholes so they could see. Only one lady complained - she said her mashed potatoes were soggy."

Rock star wannabe

Born in Queens in 1953, Schaudel moved to Carle Place when he was 4 years old. He wasn't an avid student, expending far more energy playing the guitar than on studying. By 18, though, he had realized he would never "make it as a guitarist in a big way." This was probably due not only to fearless self-examination but to his acquaintanceship with two local kids, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, musical prodigies who went on to be regarded as among the country's most virtuosic guitarists. (Schaudel still plays guitar in two bands: "I'm in the twilight of a mediocre career as a rock star.")

At age 15, he took a job as a dishwasher at the Sir Loin Steak Pub in Carle Place. Owner Sidney Solomon took Schaudel under his wing and within three weeks he was made a line cook and found that certain aspects of the job - performing for an audience, getting waitresses to pay attention to him - satisfied some of his unrequited rock-star needs. A guidance counselor at Carle Place High School suggested that the bright but not academically inclined Schaudel apply to the Culinary Institute of America, then in New Haven, Conn., and he spent the next two years learning the rudiments of classical cooking.

After the CIA, Schaudel banged around the Island for a decade. In 1983, he, Sandy Curti and Marty Smith opened Panama Hatties in a strip mall in Dix Hills. It was a popular, rollicking place - much less formal than it has become under subsequent chefs - and gave him the wherewithal in 1986 to open, again with Curti and Smith, Spring Close House (now the Laundry) in East Hampton.

After establishing one more East End restaurant, Downtown Grille and Wine Bar in Montauk, Schaudel headed back up Island. In 1992, he opened 107 Forest Avenue in Locust Valley, and in January 1994 it got a three-star review from Newsday's Peter Gianotti. "This is when it started for me in a big way," he said. 107 Forest Avenue (which eventually was rechristened 107 Ocean Bistro) inaugurated a string of openings, renamings, closings and relocations all over Nassau County.

CoolFish, opened in 2000, was, according to Michael Meehan, "Tom's home run. That's what put him on the map."

Schaudel says that CoolFish marked the moment when he started thinking like a restaurateur, and not a chef. "When I was a chef, I gave people what I wanted. When I began to think like a restaurateur, I gave them what they wanted. That's when I started to make money."

One thing his customers want is to see "chef Tom," and so Schaudel spends quite a lot of time shuttling between restaurants - a process made more enjoyable by his Ford Explorer, Porsche Boxster and vintage Mercedes 450SL. He also maintains a busy roster of guest appearances and benefit dinners and, for the past five years, has been contributing "Tom's Top Ten," an annotated list of the year's worst customers, to the annual "Great Restaurants of Long Island," a feature that publisher Sendor says is the magazine's most popular. (See the most recent at http://www article_view/60/.)

Sendor's affection for Schaudel is boundless. "He is one of the most giving people I know, of himself and of his cooking." Among the many charitable events Schaudel has been involved with, Sendor singled out the event at The Carltun in East Meadow that Schaudel organized (along with The Carltun's owner, Anthony Capetola) after 9/11, which raised more than $50,000 for firefighters' widows and children.

Committed to Long Island

Sendor's wife and partner, Rosalie, noted that Schaudel is "the biggest supporter of Long Island products - produce and especially wine." For years, his wine lists have promoted Long Island wines - by the bottle and by the glass - and his goal at Jedediah's is to feature at least one selection from every local winery. With the help of the winemakers at Paumanok Vineyards, Schaudel created his own proprietary "Tom Schaudel Chef's Reserve" line, which includes a cabernet sauvignon, a merlot and a chardonnay.

Schaudel's generosity extends to other restaurateurs as well. A few months ago he got a call from a friend of his, the accountant for a restaurant, LL Dent, poised to open in Carle Place. The owners, mother Lillian and daughter Leisa Dent, were new to the restaurant business. Could Tom give them a bit of advice?

"Tom invited us to dinner at CoolFish," Lillian said, "and talked to us about basic stuff, how things should be done." Soon after that first meeting, Schaudel began to drop by LL Dent to chat. The night it opened, and for four nights thereafter, he was in the kitchen, acting as expediter - the "conductor" who calls the orders as they're brought in from the dining room.

Lillian Dent won't forget the favor: "We call him our guardian angel.



Tom Schaudel created this dish for 107 Ocean Bistro and it has gone on to grace the menu at CoolFish. Here's an adaptation for home cooks.

4 wooden skewers

1 bunch basil, washed

1 cup olive oil

1 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup pureed mango (from 1 cup of chunks)

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 ears fresh sweet corn

1 small bunch cilantro, washed and chopped

Pinch each of salt, pepper and sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1. Soak skewers in cold water. Combine basil and oil in blender and puree until smooth. Let oil steep for 1 hour. Strain through a fine strainer and set aside. Combine barbecue sauce and mango puree and set aside.

2. Divide shrimp into 4 portions and thread onto skewers. Take corn kernels off cob with a knife and place in a mixing bowl. Toss corn with cilantro and season with salt, pepper and sugar.

3. Grill shrimp on skewers until pink, about 3 minutes on each side. Brush with the barbecue-mango sauce. Meanwhile, heat butter in saucepan and saute the corn mixture on medium heat until heated through.

4. Place hot corn in center of plate. Top with shrimp and decorate around the corn with basil oil. Makes 4 servings.


Schaudel uses this moist cake as a base for various desserts. At Jedediah's he serves it with a compote of figs and Armagnac.

1/2 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup olive oil

3/4 cup sugar

12 ounces almond paste, mashed smooth

Zest of 3 lemons

5 eggs

Optional: Cointreau or triple sec

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 8 1/2-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly with a fork.

2. With an electric mixer, beat butter, oil and sugar until fluffy. Add the almond paste and lemon zest and continue beating until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time until they are well incorporated. Mix in flour mixture until it disappears.

3. Pour into the buttered loaf pan and bake until a wooden skewer poked into the center comes out smooth, about 45 minutes. If desired, brush the top with a few tablespoons of Cointreau or triple sec. When cool enough to handle, remove from pan, then cool completely on a rack. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


"When people who live on the South Shore want a good meal, they go to the North Shore. When people on the North Shore want a good meal, they go to Manhattan. When people in Manhattan want a good meal, they go to Paris. When people in Paris want a good meal, they go to Hong Kong. When people in Hong Kong want a good meal ... they go to Mars."


"I'm in a rock band called Hurricane, but at this point - I'm in my mid-50s - we should probably be downgraded to a tropical depression."


"I haven't eaten at home since 1968."


A Taste of Gold Coast Living

By Joanne Starkey, New York Times,

THE food at the Mansion at the Woodlands, a Gold Coast estate house at the Town of Oyster Bay golf course in Woodbury, is a perfect partner for the ambience.

Diners drive onto a circular courtyard in front of the handsome Georgian-style building, walk through a foyer with a black-and-white tile floor and climb an elegantly curved marble staircase to the lovely second-floor dining rooms. (An elevator is available.)

The Mansion is the former home of Passionfish, a Tom Schaudel restaurant that is moving to Westhampton Beach. The look of Passionfish was spare, and it served innovative seafood with a number of Asian spins.

In contrast, the Mansion, which is also owned by Mr. Schaudel, features sumptuous décor and food that is traditional though never stodgy.

The two dining rooms have chocolate-brown and beige walls, gold silk draperies and medallion-patterned carpeting in those colors. The comfortable chairs feature gold plush seats and striped silk backs. Tables are set with an abundance of crystal, which sparkles in the candlelight.

Service was not sparkling, though. One evening we had to ask for more rolls, and when they were delivered, we had to prompt the server for more butter. A second night the bread service was down pat, but there were other slip-ups. I never had the feeling that waiters were really listening, and it was no surprise when cheese requested for a pasta never arrived.

But when it came to food, there was a lot to like. The Maryland lump crab appetizer was a standout. A tropical fruit sauce covered the plate, surrounding a mound of avocado mousse with the lovely crab on top. Another seafood starter that scored was tuna, tuna, tuna — a square plate with four sections holding tuna tartare, slices of tuna in a light tempura crust, sesame-coated rare slices and a refreshing salad of wasabi leaf and radish.

Three other openers I would order again were an asparagus-leek salad in a lemon vinaigrette with a wedge of blue cheese and a Parmesan crisp; a very tasty wild mushroom risotto enhanced by slices of duck sausage, wild arugula and sage; and a roasted-beet salad arranged above a mound of braised fennel with orange segments, hazelnuts and goat cheese on the plate.

But the grilled trumpet mushrooms translated to just a few slices placed atop a yellow tomato tartare.

Highlights among the entrees were the perfectly cooked black sea bass and the grilled sirloin with its salty crust, lobster béarnaise sauce, creamed spinach and crispy Parmesan fries.

Both the butter-poached lobster risotto tossed with tiny green beans and the penne rigate with teardrop tomatoes, lobster, basil and corn broth were tasty but not large enough to be main courses.

There were other low points. An appetizer of pan-roasted oysters in a broth with leeks, paddlefish caviar and salmon roe was strong and fishy-tasting. A few entrees were not cooked to order. Pepper-seared yellowfin tuna, requested medium rare, was purple rare. An otherwise pleasing beef tenderloin, a special, arrived only slightly pink, not the medium rare we ordered.

One of those skimpy pastas came up wanting: spaghetti amatriciana was overpowered by hot pepper. Usually this dish sings with flavor from pancetta, prosciutto or bacon. Guanciale, another pork product, was listed as an ingredient, but its presence was not noticeable.

The only dessert disappointment was the berry crisp, a heavyweight hockey puck with very few berries embedded in it. My favorite sweet was the exceptionally moist and flavorful roasted pineapple bread pudding in a puddle of coconut custard with a garnish of whipped cream.

Chocolate lovers had two wonderful picks. Those who don't like extraneous flavors diluting their chocolate went for the flourless chocolate cake paired with chocolate mousse and crowned with shards of dark chocolate. The other chocolate star was a tasting of four creations: chocolate crème brûlée, chocolate-banana buckle, chocolate soup and a slice from a rich chocolate terrine.

The Mansion

At the Woodlands

1 Southwoods Road (off Jericho Turnpike at the Town of Oyster Bay golf course), Woodbury

(516) 921-5707

Very Good

ATMOSPHERE Elegant dining in a Gold Coast mansion on a golf course.

SERVICE Hesitant crew that needs prompting.


RECOMMENDED DISHES Lump crab; wild mushroom risotto; roasted-beet salad; asparagus salad; tuna, tuna, tuna; black sea bass; grilled sirloin; bread pudding; flourless chocolate cake; chocolate tasting.

WINE LIST A thoughtful list of 116 selections with good choices in every price range ($20 to $225, with 34 under $30). The owner, Tom Schaudel, knows wine; pay attention to his daily picks. Also 15 by-the-glass possibilities ($8 to $15).

PRICE RANGE Appetizers, $8 to $23 (foie gras); pastas, $15 to $20; entrees, $26 to $34; desserts, $8 to $12.

CREDIT CARDS All major cards.

HOURS 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday to Thursday, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY Fully accessible. Ramp at entrance, restrooms designed for the disabled and an elevator to the second floor.


RATINGS Extraordinary, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, Fair, Poor. Ratings reflect the reviewer's reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration. Menu listings and prices are subject to change.


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