Chef Guy Reuge Opens Restaurant in Cold Spring Harbor

The wait is over! Renowned Long Island chef Guy Reuge has finally worked his way up-island to Cold Spring Harbor. The luxurious new Sandbar restaurant was three years in the making, and now occupies the spot on historic Main Street that once housed Wyland’s Country Kitchen, Bedlam Street and Charlotte’s Bistro.

Reuge, executive chef at  Mirabelle Restaurant at the Three Village Inn and Mirabelle Tavern in Stony Brook, which is owned by Lessing’s Inc., was determined to open a restaurant in the Huntington area.

“Several of my customers have been asking me for years to open something in this area,” he says.  “It’s been a long time coming. Cold Spring Harbor was a perfect location.”

Sea scallops with butternut risotto.

Sea scallops with butternut squash risotto.

Chef de cuisine Eric Werner, a graduate from the New England Culinary Institute, has worked with Reuge for more than four years. He is currently the chef de cuisine at Sandbar, working side by side with Reuge. James Olsen serves as general manager.

The restaurant, which officially opened Monday, September 27, serves lunch, dinner, and a bar menu from noon until midnight.

I had a fantastic lunch there just days after it opened, and I cannot say enough about the food, service and décor. The wait staff, dressed in khaki pants, white aprons and blue shirts, was attentive and knowledgeable, and blended well with the nautical-themed room. The high, curved ceilings give the impression of the hull of a boat, and from which large brass, lantern-type light fixtures hang. Soft beige walls stand beautifully next to steel beams and white plantation shutters, which serve as room dividers. Elegant, yet simple white dishes with edges reminiscent of a scallop shell, sit atop beige leather placemats on dark wooden tables. A beautifully patterned booth runs one length of the restaurant and is accompanied by navy blue leather chairs.

The artwork on the walls is by local artists, including William B. Jonas and Mary Swiggett, who have painted their interpretation of sandbars. Jonas’ work are views of Cold Spring Harbor.

ginger almond tart

ginger almond tart

The building had been greatly expanded, and it also includes an elegant mahogany bar, a private party room that seats 30, and a glass wine cellar that houses 125 different types of wine.

As for the food, it was fantastic and was wonderfully executed in pure Guy Reuge style.

The menu for lunch and dinner ranges from foie gras of the day to a bacon-onion marmalade cheddar burger.

I started off with the tuna tartare appetizer, a generous portion that is perfect for sharing, followed by seared scallops served over butternut squash risotto with pepitas and crispy sage leaves. Both were outstanding. I also tried the Scottish salmon with broccolini, heirloom potatoes and port wine. The fish was perfectly cooked as expected. For dessert, there was no other choice than Guy’s signature dish: a ginger almond tart with caramel sauce and whipped cream. Pure heaven.

The food at Sandbar, American cuisine with a French flair, features seasonal ingredients. The menu for lunch and dinner ranges from foie gras of the day to a bacon-onion marmalade cheddar burger. There is something for everyone in all price ranges. The bar offers an extensive cocktail list.

Sandbar is open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m., Sunday 4 to 10 p.m., and lunch is served Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m.