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August 1, 2012
Review: The Patio
By Karen Jones
Comfortably nestled on Freeport creek, The Patio manages what many seaside eateries cannot - a million dollar view and good food. This is reflected in the pricing of course, but the fun, funky and well executed Patio stands above most of what you will find in the Freeport area.
Away from the frenzy of the Nautical Mile, the 3,000 square foot Patio is located at the recently remodeled Freeport Motor Inn & Marina. With a tranquil view, trendy scene, and décor heavily borrowed from "Mad Men" it is styled for leisure. That said, you can lounge by the fire pit, waterfall or 30-seat bar while drinking in plenty of thalassotherapy. The staff is welcoming to all (no Hamptons-style pecking order here) and very well trained.
The menu is not extensive - another welcome change from shore dining - and features few misfires. For a superb beginning, pair any cocktail with the Pine Island Citrus Oyster Shooters ($15) marinated ceviche style and served straight up in a shot glass. For starters, ($15 to $17) skip the South Main Street Sliders trio in favor of the oregano-and-garlic infused Baked Clams which pack just the right amount of crunch or the Carolina Crab Cakes featuring plenty of blue claw crab meat. Salads ($12 to $14) include the usual suspects: Caesar, wedge and market plus there is a selection of wood oven baked pizzas ($14-18).
Though Entrees ($25 to $37) include landlubber fare such as glazed chicken, BBQ ribs and skirt steak, Chef Colin McKaharay has a knowing way with fish. Choices include everything from Simple Fish, the day's selection cooked to order, to a delicate Citrus Soy Tuna and luscious Chilean Sea Bass marinated in coconut and lime and served over purple potato salad. His take on a Long Island Lobster Roll, paired with sliced watermelon and kettle chips, is a perfectly respectable while the signature Uptown Mac N' Cheese comes out of the kitchen steaming and loaded with shrimp, lobster and scallops.
Dessert choices are few ($10 to $12), but artful in taste and presentation. You can easily split the moist and delicious Junior's Giant Chocolate Cake.
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Karen Jones is a lifestyles journalist with clients that include The New York Times and The New York Daily News. A dedicated foodie, she writes from the heart and for the appetit. Her website is www.karenjones.biz. Follow her on twitter at @kjoneswriter.
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