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May 13, 2021


A warm summer evening breeze flows through Huntington Harbor where boat owners are led to the aroma of Americana cuisine and smiles of people enjoying cocktails on an outside deck. It’s a prime location for a restaurant bearing that name.

Prime (117 New York Ave 631-385-1515) is one of four Long Island restaurants owned by entrepreneur John Bohlsen. Reminiscent of a boathouse, Prime has various dining options as you enter a foyer, through 18th-century Spanish doors leading to the patio viewing chandeliers made from French oak wine barrels.

An “all-white” formal dining room looks out on Huntington Harbor through a wall of glass blocks. To one side is the Vine Room where you can see an 8,000-bottle wine cellar.

The 32-foot concrete Wave Bar, is across from the foyer and facing an open kitchen. You can’t miss the giant periscope above it, which allows you an extended view of the harbor. Then there’s the Lodge with its fireplace and leather couches as well as a sushi bar.

I dined at neither of these venues as outside dining is offered at a canvas covered The Porch which overlooks The Fantail, an outdoor “cocktail” deck with lounge furniture and a gas fire pit.

When it gets down to brass tacks, views and atmospheres mean little if the food isn’t good. Chef Greg Lauletta sports a menu that banks on the taste of the fresh food without the cover up of sauces and heavy spices, but sauces served on the side…your choice of the left or right.

I was there with friends to celebrate my birthday and share the tasty fare. We began with a 2 lb. lobster cocktail followed by a sushi combo platter. Our wonderful waiter, Jamie Ryder, suggested two particular Maki rolls: Red Roof – shrimp, avocado topped with spicy tuna, spicy mayo and eel sauce; and Star - salmon, mango, crunchy tempura, avocado, and spicy mayo.

We each chose one of their 21-day dry-aged steaks as an entree. I had the Tellers Rib-Eye. It would have been enough to share with all three of us (Does the term, “doggy bag” come to mind?) Then there was a side of asparagus and another of wild mushrooms. Our tummies had just a little space for dessert, so we went for the Vin Santo Zabaglione, with mixed wild berries and housemade biscotti.

Bohlsen’s other restaurants? Tellers Chophouse in Islip, H20 Seafood Grill in Smithtown and Beachtree Restaurant in East Islip, just on the way to Fire Island. Listen to my interview with Bob Bohlsen on Whirl With Merle at www.blogtalkradio.com

Cirque du Soleil meets The Lion King. That is how I would describe Neil Goldberg’s latest Broadway show entitled “Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy. After viewing that last “Cirque”, Wintuk, I wasn’t sure that I’d be all interested, let alone impressed. Wintuk, by the way was not one of Goldberg’s productions.

The thing about Cirque du Soleil shows or takeoffs is the venues. The more permanent are larger that they are, the more “showy” they get. Broadway stages don’t offer much in the way of what comes down from the rafters and the space on stage to create the breath holding moves.

In spite of this, I did enjoy Cirque Dreams on its own accord. How much can you bend/twist your body; how many ways can you jump rope; what does it take to balance yourself; and can you do it all dressed as an animal?

The show has replaces the space occupied by The Color Purple. Kids and first time “Cirquers” will get a kick out of this. Music is pretty good, though I’m not sure if it would stand on its own as a CD. Hey, it’s a lighting-costume-musical fantasy and if you feel it to be too high priced for circus, go for the less expensive seats, as “up close” isn’t necessary to catch the acts.

July 03, 2008 - Queens Times


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