A Visit to Sea Cove Italian American Bar and Grill in Center Moriches, New York

By Angela Corry,

Sea Cove Italian-American Bar and Grill, located in downtown Center Moriches, New York, is a great local place for a night out or to help with your catering needs.

Remodeled, and under new ownership since just over a year ago, this restaurant is charming and elegant with its fireplace and wood accents. There is a wonderful homey feeling being in the dining area. Part of that is because the patrons are a wide variety of ages, from infants to grandparents, and all are welcome.

I brought my family for a Sunday dinner and loved the experience. Our server, Gina, was wonderful and very helpful with suggestions.

My older daughter, Charlotte, has developed a fondness for mussel’s marinara, so we chose those as an appetizer, along with mozzarella sticks to suit mine and Catie’s tastes. I always try mussels, hoping to get some of the enjoyment my family does from them. I never did, until these came out. The mussels were tender and well-seasoned with chunks of garlic and infused with the tomato sauce. The mozzarella sticks were artfully presented in a stack, instead of plopped on a plate, and the sauce with them was wonderful.

Next up came our salads. My husband had a house salad, which came with his meal, tossed with a red wine vinaigrette. Charlotte and I shared the Sicilian salad, which is filled with goodies like olives and provolone, and tossed in the house dressing. We probably should have shared with the others, but it was too good. Gina said this was a hot lunch item.

Taking a moment to breathe, I was able to really look around the dining room. It was well-filled for a school night in a local downtown. The wood-planked walls were highlighted with plaid curtains in traditional Italian-restaurant colors. The blend of Italian-American was shown really well, not only in the menu, but in the dining room itself. The prettiest touches were the stained glass windows with sea motifs.

Dinner arrived soon after, not too fast, which is always nice. Especially since the servings were huge. Charlotte chose a hamburger, and got a hand-crafted grilled patty, while Catie stretched her comfort zone with the smokey macaroni and cheese. I had shrimp in a pink sauce with artichokes and mushrooms, while my husband had a patron favorite Capellini D’Angelo – a light red sauce with shredded crabmeat.

One of my pet-peeves when going out is getting shrimp with tails on covered in sauce. There is just no easy – or clean – way of eating them. Sea Cove got it right by presenting the shrimp tail-up on the plate. It’s the little things that make a difference.

Catie wasn’t overly fond of the smokey flavor in the mac and cheese, so I would explain the flavor to your kids. I can say the dish was excellent, with corkscrew pasta and a really creamy cheese sauce. It was served in a crock that kept the cheese in its gooey form to enjoy to the bottom.

Like Charlotte’s hamburger, there are many other options on the menu like steak, ribs, pulled pork and pizza for anyone who isn’t up for traditional Italian fare. The children’s menu saves parents from embarrassment by noting that the tomato sauce could be replaced with butter – you know what I mean. There are also family-style choices so a group can try a few things easily.

By the time dessert was mentioned we had fully settled in. I meant it when I said it was a very homey atmosphere. The girls could be kids, and while we shushed them, the other patrons were wonderful. So as we began the process of choosing which sweet to pick we used the menus as a reading lesson. The girls took turns reading the choices to us. They, of course, choose ice cream. Both were very happy when Gina asked if they wanted chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Catie asked for cherries, and Charlotte requested to get two cherries. Their eyes popped with excitement when the sundaes came.

My husband and I had no idea what we wanted, so we asked Gina what was the favorite. Of course, that was the molten chocolate cake, which was the one item we, well I, had nixed. She suggested the Caramel Apple Granny pie, a suggestion that I jumped at. I would go back just to have pie. Seriously. This warm custard filled with tart apples and topped with caramel was like eating a caramel apple – but better.

Aside from the main dining room, Sea Cove features a banquet area and a newly renovated bar area, with a gorgeous tin ceiling. One of the other things I loved about the restaurant was the bar was completely separate from the dining room, one to the left, the other to the right when you walked in, so each had its own bubble to be in for watching the game or having a family dinner.

To top off everything Sea Cove does off-premise catering as well, for your parties at home.

I truly enjoyed my time at Sea Cove and encourage everyone to stop in and try it – for lunch, dinner or a quick beer, you won’t be disappointed.

Visit Sea Cove Italian American Bar and Grill online for more information and a full menu.

For daily specials and live music and holiday events visit Sea Cove on Facebook!

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