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Bahama Breeze opens at Smith Haven Mall

In February 2014, it's cold outside, but the

In February 2014, it's cold outside, but the new Bahama Breeze in Lake Grove offers a taste of the tropics. (Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

What could be more welcome this frigid winter than a restaurant named Bahama Breeze? The first New York branch of an Orlando-based chain, under the umbrella of Darden Restaurants, just opened in a sprawling new building at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, fronting Middle Country Road.

I took a quick peek inside, making note of the island-style decor featuring potted palms and live tropical plants and thatched umbrellas that turned out to be lighting fixtures. Naturally, the outdoor veranda was deserted. Come the warmer weather, it should be the scene of live music.

Drinks have names like Bahamarita and Yaka Hula Hickey Dula. On the reasonably priced menu: mojo marinated pulled pork ($6.99), coconut shrimp ($10.29), Jamaican jerk chicken wings ($7.99 for four; $14.79 for eight), Bahamian seafood chowder ($3.49 cup; $5.29 bowl), a grilled burger ($9.49), a rice bowl with West Indies chicken curry ($12.49), baby back ribs ($19.99) and seafood paella ($17.79), mojo marinated pulled pork ($6.99), coconut shrimp ($10.29). For dessert: dulce de leche cheesecake ($6.79) and piƱa colada bread pudding ($6.29).

Bahama Breeze is at  612 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, 631-366-6212, bahamabreeze.com.

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