Great cocktails and elegant dining at The Linwood
Joseph Pascal, a bartender at The Linwood, preps the bar before the lunch shift.

IB/Waszynski

Great cocktails and elegant dining at The Linwood

Story By: RANDALL WASZYNSKI
10/10/2019


The Linwood Restaurant and Cocktails opened its doors at 150 East Main Street in July, and owner Drew Dvorkin said it has filled a niche in Bay Shore’s growing dining scene.

“It is a boutique restaurant that is styled in the fashion of a boutique hotel,” said Dvorkin, who owns multiple restaurants in the community’s main corridor. “A boutique hotel offers the individualized attention and the personal experiences that often get lost in big-chain hotels — the same way they often get lost in big restaurants.”

Dvorkin called the 65-seat dining room a smaller, intimate space.

“What that does is allow for more personalized attention and for our staff to pay more attention to detail, and it allows us the flexibility to go the extra mile to give great service to our guests,” he said. “It also allows for us to have very specific programs, in terms of our cocktail program.”

 

The cocktails

The cocktail program, which Dvorkin noted is extensive and prolific, offers versatility with seasonal specials and alterations, as well as promotional items. The restaurant launched its fall cocktail menu on Sunday. “Roots and Relaxation” is the featured item on the menu and includes an optional chipotle grasshopper as a garnish.

“The cocktails will be much more reflective of the season and the change of weather,” Dvorkin said.

The cocktail program was instituted and is maintained by general manager Tracy Johanna, who has an extensive cocktail background and is a nationally renowned mixologist. Although Johanna is ultimately in charge of the cocktail program (as well as running the front of the house), the program allows for staff inclusion.

“Every time we do a new menu, we choose a bartender who creates a drink,” Dvorkin said. “It gives them a chance to express themselves and take some pride and ownership in the program as well.”

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Johanna created Blush and Bashful, a drink that makes use of pink gin to give it that cause-friendly pink presentation. Dvorkin said 50 percent of the sales are donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

On the topic of theme and decor, Dvorkin pointed out the blue seating, which he called soft and luxurious.

“I think it is a traditional color,” he said. “We wanted to find the proper marriage of comfort and glamour.”

Weekend afternoons at The Linwood are primarily reserved for private events. They are open seven days a week for dinner. As of recently, The Linwood is open for lunch on weekdays.

 

The menu

The ricotta cavatelli bolognese is a three-meat ragout in a house-made pasta. Although the cavatelli is the top-selling entree, the fried chicken is a close second. The chef, Henry Freidank, said that guests are often ordering fish dishes and duck as well.

The soup of the day, during the fall, will typically be hearty and cream-based. Seasonal spreads are also quite popular among the starters offered. It comes with grilled naan bread and three different spreads. Dvorkin said that the burrata mozzarella, which also changes seasonally — currently including fig and red onion jam — is also a top hit. He gave mention to the lobster melt, filet mignon sliders and grilled octopus as well. Although the brussel sprouts are labeled as a side, Freidank said they are often selling as appetizers.

Don’t forget dessert—the homemade New York-style cheesecake is the prized menu item at The Linwood and is served in considerable portions. Everything is always fresh and made to order. n