The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene
Gordon Ramsay hits W. Babylon
Expect emotions to run high in Friday night’s (8 p.m., Fox 5) episode of “Kitchen Nightmares,” when mouthy mega-chef Gordon Ramsay deconstructs and reconstructs Classic American, an eatery in West Babylon.
Co-owners (and former waitresses) Colleen Gaertner and Naomi Cotter were struggling to stay afloat when they got an inquiry from Ramsay’s team at FOX Broadcasting. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Cotter, who went on to describe Ramsay as “taller in person and way better looking” than the cameras let on.
The chef and his crew were at the restaurant from Nov. 4-9. The result of their travails is evident in the place’s All-American contemporary look and revitalized menu.
I had occasion to sample a couple of items last month, when I stopped in for lunch. The waitress recommended the turkey burger, which turned out to be sensational. Light and herbal, it came on a multigrain roll topped with Muenster cheese, cranberry mustard and arugula for $8. I savored every bite of the unconventional but superior Cuban sandwich: ham, pulled pork, Swiss, Dijon mustard and dill pickle on a baguette for $11.
What Ramsay should have done (but didn’t have the budget to) was put in a new floor. The old one looks worn and pitted. Maybe the owners can remedy that if the place really takes off.
Classic American is at 691 Rte. 109, Babylon, 631-226-3663