Last weekend my teenage daughter and I took a trip to Rockville, Long Island. Our destination: The Bowery Bar & Fare. Just recently opened in July of this year, the restaurant is a trendy restaurant where families are particularly welcome, with its carnival-inspired global street food (I’ll expand on that in a bit) from Executive Chef Dan DeSalvo (Mastro’s Steakhouse, Morton’s Steakhouse) and delicious cocktails from Nic Richards (The Standard Hotel), served in a warm environment with an outdoor patio and beer garden. There’s cool music running and interactive games for all ages, plus live TV’s around the restaurant showing sports/live events. We happened to be there during the Women’s Finals at the U.S. Open (what a game!) and sat front and center near a screen to take in the game, and munched on food while watching Serena Williams get tormented by the umpire. Yes, I call it sexism without question, but we are talking about the restaurant, so let’s return to the subject at hand.
You may be wondering what I was doing out in Rockville. Well, given its proximity to Long Beach, Jones Beach, and the Rockaways, it’s a great dinner stop on the way back to our home. So, after a trip to the beach, we made our way there for dinner. I instantly liked the youthful vibe of the restaurant. There are stuffed animals lining one wall as you’d find at a carnival. On another wall, you’ll find a roulette wheel. Nearby is a DJ booth decorated with vintage radios and balloons. And graffiti art fills the restaurant, as well as interactive games such as Connect Four and a chess board. It’s very festive and certainly family-friendly and inviting. Given the early time (around 5:30 pm), we were surrounded by other families.
Global street food and carnival fare…let’s expand on that. Chef DeSalvo has taken some very basic ideas from all over the world and added a gourmet touch. I had to try a few starters as I love small plates, so we tried Suppli, fried rice balls with mozzarella, ground beef, and marinara, obviously an Italian dish. It was out of this world and a great first choice. From Mexico, we chose Mexican Corn, made of traditional Queso Fresco and Elote. It was very tasty, though I would have liked it even spicier. I don’t eat meat, so my daughter tried the Philly Cheesesteak sliders on her own. Even though my ancestry largely comes from Philly, she doesn’t recall having them, and actually inhaled them. The sliders come in a set of three and are very filling. The Tomato Dakos, a Greek dish, is made of tomatoes, feta, extra virgin olive oil over crostini. We both loved it. The tomatoes were fresh, and the Mediterranean-esque flavoring on the salad was simply perfect. My very favorite dish of the night was the Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger with cheddar and usual suspects, including lettuce and tomato, on a brioche bun.
As a vegetarian, I was truly inspired and found myself enjoying a burger (not real meat, of course) more than I have in years. The impossible became the absolute possible for this humble vegetarian. We topped off the meal with a side of Brussel Sprouts with white onions, which was not our favorite dish but was enjoyed. For dessert, we tried their cake pops, which were cold, close to frozen, but highly enjoyable.
That was all the food we could handle, but the menu offers a whole slew of other street food such as Chicken Paella, Jaffles (a type of Aussie street sandwich using pancake dough as bread) Gyro Sliders, Bao Street Tacos and Chili Cheese. The cocktail list is also quite unique, filled with signature drinks, with interesting names to boot such as Fool’s Gold, Shoot the Freak, and 40 Thieves. They also serve a variety of liquor-filled snow cones, beers, and a special watermelon blonde ale brewed just for The Bowery by Lithology Brewing Co.
The verdict? Both my teen and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and want to go back, despite the fact that it’s not around the corner. I want the Impossible Burger, she wants to the Tomato Dakos, which I’m pleased about. I’ve never seen her eat tomatoes before! The things teens do when they’re having fun.
Also, take note, kids eat free Monday through Wednesday nights.
The Bowery Bar and Fare is located at 300 Sunrise Highway, Rockville Centre, NY 11570
Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to facilitate this review, and any others that I produce on my experience, but all opinions are my own.