If you are looking for good food, water views, and a touch of summer during fall, then head over to The Cove Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Glen Cove.
“You can’t go wrong when you have a waterfront property,” said owner George Iordanou. “We’ll keep the outside going as long as possible. We have lots of heaters set up, so as long as it stays nice, we will keep it open. Summer doesn’t have to end.”
Even when it does come time to head inside, you can still enjoy the views of Hempstead Bay from beautiful glass doors and windows while enjoying a fabulous meal.
George and his son Philip Iordanou purchased the restaurant in April of 2016, and had it up and running a month later, officially opening in May. George Iordanou is no stranger to the restaurant business. The Manhasset Hills resident has been in the hospitality business for over twenty years, owning restaurants in New York City. Philip has been working in the hospitality business for about five years, with his last job managing a modern American Greek restaurant in Astoria. Now father and son have teamed up together to run The Cove, and they have gotten a wonderful response from the local community.
Since the space had previously been a restaurant, they were able to get it up and running quickly so they would not miss the summer season. They kept the reclaimed wood, but wanted to bring some elegance to the room, which features high ceilings and lots of windows and doors. They started by adding white fabric walls and some lighter furniture, which brought a more modern look to the place. Inside it seats 85 to 90 people comfortably, and there is also a bar which seats more people. Outside can hold up to 250 people in season.
The Cove offers a well-rounded menu which includes a lot of seafood and comfort food that’s Mediterranean in style. During the summer months, guests can come off their boats and enjoy a plate of calamari or a lobster roll with a signature cocktail like their Flaming Watermelon – a combination of Anejo tequila infused with jalapeno, watermelon, lime juice, simple syrup and fresh basil. A great deal is their lobster bake which includes a 1 ¼ pound lobster, four clams, sausages, potato and corn for $29. As the seasons change, Iordanou’s vision is to introduce winter comfort foods like lamb chops, risotto and lamb shanks. The raw seafood bar will continue year round.
“It’s an upbeat type of restaurant in the summer with people coming off their boats, sipping champagne and having a good time,” said Iordanou. “Now we are looking to set up wine dinners in the winter. We want people to know that this is an all-year-round restaurant.”
The Cove also does a good number of private corporate catering events, and plans to have more in the future.
Running the kitchen is self-taught sous chef Danny Echeverria, who has been cooking in restaurants for twenty years. Alongside him is Chef George Bazan who has worked for George Iordanou for seventeen years. The two chefs put out flavorful, clean, and well-executed dishes, and the portions are quite generous. Everything I ate at The Cove I thoroughly enjoyed.
They started me off with a meaty crab cake which was moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. It was incredibly soft and light, and it was served with an interesting combination of smoked tomato sauce and pineapple salsa. The condiments had lots of flavor and did not overpower the dish, which was artistically presented on the plate. For crab cake lovers, this dish was excellent. It won me over.
Next up was a delicately cooked whole Branzino which was stuffed with lemon slices, fresh thyme and fresh chives. It was a beautiful piece of fish, cooked perfectly with delicious crispy skin. It came with fresh sautéed spinach and wonderfully seasoned crispy roasted potatoes which were garnished with fresh scallion and pepper. On the side was a small bowl of finely chopped tomatoes, capers and basil. I liked that I could put my desired amount of the tomato mixture on each bite of fish. I loved this dish because it was bright, fresh, and well executed.
I ended my culinary experience with one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, the linguini vongole. I usually prefer white clam sauce, but I have to say, I really enjoyed this dish. It was loaded with fresh chopped clams, and several whole clams surrounded the perimeter.
“The chef wanted to do something different with this dish,” said Philip Iordanou. “He wanted to do something other than the typical white wine sauce. This dish features little neck clams, fresh herbs and garlic in a clam broth.”
For me, linguini vongole is comfort food, and this dish really satisfied. Although I did not have dessert, The Cove offers a seasonal dessert menu which includes sorbets and gelatos, cheese cake, warm chocolate cake with white chocolate sauce and vanilla pastry cream, crepes stuffed with Dulce de Leche and a fruit tart with vanilla pastry cream.
The Cove Restaurant and Oyster Bar is currently open for lunch and dinner six days a week. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays. Call ahead for hours since they will be closing for lunch as the weather gets colder.