The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene
Open in Port Washington: Organico
Organico Restaurant and Bar has opened in the Main Street storefront that used to house Kazan (and, before that, Innuendo and Big Apple BBQ).
Danny Gagnon, the consulting chef, wrote the menu and developed the recipes. Gagnon, a former "Top Chef" contestant who ran the kitchen at the now-defunct DoraNonnie in Glen Head, is currently the chef at the Union League Club in Manhattan. He said he is in Organico’s kitchen on Saturdays; otherwise, the kitchen is run by head chef Victor Hernandez.
Gagnon said he strives to buy as much organic produce, groceries and meat as possible. “Flour, sugar, milk, chicken, beef, pork — all organic. We shoot for 100 percent,” he said. “We’re at about 90 percent.”
He has his work cut out for him: Organico’s menu is particularly ingredient-heavy, with most dishes boasting multiple garnishes. Among starters: Sicilian-style crispy tofu with roasted garlic, cherry peppers and basil-marinara dipping sauce ($12); milk-soaked wild calamari with scallions, garlic and chickpeas and papaya marinara ($15); and a salad of escarole, radicchio and red leaf lettuce with kiwi, candied walnuts, flaxseeds, endive fans and Thai basil-lemon dressing ($11).
Pasta dishes, about $14, can be ordered with whole-wheat biodynamic noodles, gluten-free quinoa noodles or Arborio rice, and diners have their choice of eight sauces, including Tuscan Bolognese and primavera. Entrees include grilled pork chop with “loaded yam baked potato,” grilled apricots and scallions, sauteed yellow beans, slivered almond and red wine apple reduction ($28), and roast chicken with pancetta macaroni and cheese, brown-butter Brussels sprouts and roasted tomatoes ($24).
Neither the restaurant's bar nor its dining room (with its distinctive wooden 3-D latticework suspended from the ceiling) seems to have been significantly changed.
Organico is open for lunch and dinner every day but Monday at 75 Main St., Port Washington, 516-883-1401, organicoristorante.com