41 S. Park Ave., Rockville Centre
Long-time friends Mike Johnson and Patrick Corvetti took ownership of Hudson’s Corner in June. After basic renovations, they opened in July. But it’s a work in progress. Plans for the New Year include further surprises and a name change to Lenox & Park, keeping the wonderful staff and always enhancing the menu and venue.
The experience is very much there. General Manager/Chef Mike Johnson has cooked his way from Maine to Florida. He owns Napa Style Catering, which he has now merged with his restaurant. Bar manager, Patrick Corvetti, formerly of Coyote Grille in Island Park, is also a teacher in the Elmont School District and the head soccer coach at SUNY Westbury.
The concept of this restaurant is unique, based on being able to try as many food items as possible. Small Plates (somewhat like large appetizers at small prices) dominate the menu, along with handheld meals and salads. But fear not, if you prefer a hearty entrée; those appear on the Blackboard Specials. And many items come in several varieties, such as Rolls (think egg rolls) in Buffalo Chicken, Philly Cheese Steak, and TexMex, in which case there’s a Tasting option — $2 more gives you all three flavors.
Chef Mike loves to mingle with the customers and would happily keep feeding them everything. Hence, he created Tasting Tuesday, where a fixed $39 gives you all you want. Thursday is Ladies Night (sorry, guys) and lets the gals enjoy three (sized-down) Small Plates for $10.
You’ll start with homemade potato chips, which are continuously being made. Of the L & P Tacos, we enjoyed lobster in a crunchy shell, and two soft tortillas, with Argentine skirt steak and short ribs with onion crisps. Pulled pork, chicken and Ahi tuna were other fillings. Eggplant balls (think meatballs) came in tomato, pesto and garlic sauces. Ahi Tuna Poke had a delicious kick — diced raw tuna with slices of avocado and cucumbers, drizzled with soy glaze and sesame seeds. Tempura Shrimp smothered in sweet chili sauce was amazing, served with pineapple chutney. You cannot go wrong with the L & P Salad — a platter of Burrata (a mound of fresh mozzarella with cream inside), crisp crostini, and roasted peppers and squash sprinkled with Balsamic. Thick slices of L & P Nuskie Bacon come in steakhouse style or candied. Basket of Fries is massive, served with two dipping sauces, or for $1.50 more, all seven.
We shared Warm Apple Crumb cobbler ala mode. Other desserts are Banana Foster Rolls, Warm Brownie Sundae, or Family Style make-your-own S’mores.
Small Plates range from $6 to $18. Sandwiches, burgers and salads are $13 to $16. Entrees are Blackboard Specials, so prices vary. Desserts $7 to $13. For children, a Small Plate includes a beverage and dessert. All food is freshly made; no microwaves or freezers. Beef and dairy products are all organic. There’s wide variety of coffees, beer, wine, spirits and Signature Libations.
Lunch and dinner are served Wednesday through Sunday (11:30 a.m. to midnight), and dinner only on Monday and Tuesday (4 p.m. to midnight). In-house parties for up to 70 (sitting down) or 120 (cocktail party) can be accommodated. Off-site catering is an option too. Take-out and delivery is available. In the warmer months, there is outside seating for up to 30, and heat lamps and a produce garden will be added. Reservations are suggested.
■ L & P Tacos
■ Tempura Shrimp
■ L & P Bacon
■ Ahi Tuna Poke
■ Basket of Fries
■ The L & P Salad
■ Warm Apple Crumb