Stacy says, “When my colleague Lee Meyer suggested that we check out Petulant Wino in Aquebogue, I called them immediately for a reservation. I’d been hearing so many good things about Petulant that my curiosity was piqued. Certain parties go on and on about the grilled cheese sandwich and now I know why!
Chef ’s Petulant Wino takes a manly and succulent approach to every detail. The interior of the old house [formerly Comtesse Therese Bistro] has been transformed with deep colors and precisely placed mirrors. The menu is simple and simply delish. I started with a rather manly cocktail, the potent and pungent NoFo Mofo of LIV vodka and pepperoncini “jus,” with a bleu cheese-stuffed pepper garnish. It was so manly that I could not finish it—but it was good. If I hadn’t been stuffing my face with so many other delights it would have gone down the hatch.
I tried a Vegetarian Small Plate ‘soup and sandwich’ of mini truffled pecorino grilled cheese and a smooth, rich, roasted garlic bisque. Wow! Followed by a ‘Big Plate’ of tender Tuna ‘Pizza,’ composed of a light scallion pancake covered with tuna tartare, avocado and micro greens dribbled with wasabi aioli and soy sauce. It was indeed ‘big,’ yet it was a struggle to save two slices to take home for my husband to enjoy.
The ‘Wino Sundae’ banana split for two tempted but I instead opted for the black forbidden rice pudding with coconut gelato. The warm rice had that perfect chewy-tender bite and it wasn’t over-sweet. It was just exactly right and it melded delightfully with the gelato’s mellow flavor.
At some point in the evening I noted to our waitress, ‘This is SO NAUGHTY!’ and she replied,
‘Yes, yes it is.’”
From one of the most extensive local wine selections around, including some of Schaudel’s own labels, plus beer from Patchogue’s Blue Point and Riverhead’s Long Ireland, we chose to finish with super sweet dessert wines—Palmer’s Gewürz for Lee and Pellegrini’s Finale ice wine for moi.”
Lee says, “I was excited to try the cleverly named Petulant Wino, as I’d passed it many times on my various trips along the North Fork wine trail. The best way to describe the restaurant—and I noted this to Stacy as we ate—is North Fork ambience paired with urban-style American cuisine. The spacious restaurant is made quaint with lovely lighting and furniture that feels like a bed and breakfast, while the menu is made up of lovingly crafted small plates. What really stands out at the Petulant Wino is the attention to making everything look lovely. The small plates came in different shapes and sizes, and the food was arranged on the plate so nicely I didn’t want to ruin it.
Duck has always been a favorite of mine, as it’s a bit of a novelty for the everyday eater and is usually prepared in a clever, unique way. So I ordered the Chipotle Braised Duck Taco, to which the waitress responded, ‘Good choice!’ And what a good choice it was. The savory, flavorful taco [which used local Crescent Farms duck] had a mild but noticeable chipotle kick and was complemented by grilled lime slices around the plate. I’m not typically a fan of cilantro, but it really worked with the taco.
For my second course, I tried the Braised Beef Short Ribs, with baby carrots and pickled onion. The succulent, soft-as-butter slices of meat were unbelievably good. The pickled onion, neatly stacked on one side of the plate, was sharp and crunchy, with a tangy taste that went really well with the sweeter carrots.
As a self-proclaimed sweets addict, I can safely say that dessert was just as fabulous as the rest of the meal. I ordered the Jack Daniels Pecan Pie, which was chewy, gooey and complemented by fudge and Tahitian vanilla gelato. And Palmer’s Gewürztraminer proved a nice end cap to a great meal.”
Petulant Wino, Bistro & Wine Bar, 739 Main Road, Aquebogue, 631-779-3900, petulantwino.com.