JT's on the Bay

1 Curtis Rd. Blue Point, NY 631-363-2205

Customers sit in the bar area at JT's

(Credit: Newsday photo / Ana P. Gutierrez)

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Type: Eclectic, Seafood Special features: Offbeat/Quirky, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Water views Price range: $$ (Moderate) Description:

The clouds had just begun to darken when we set out for Blue Point, on Great South Bay just west of Patchogue. By the time we pulled into the parking lot of the month-old JT's on the Bay, the sky was unleashing torrents.

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Hours: Lunch, daily, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; dinner, 4:30 to 10 p.m. Reservations: Not Accepted Credit cards: Accepted
Customers sit in the bar area at JT's

Customers sit in the bar area at JT's on the Bay in Blue Point. (Credit: Newsday photo / Ana P. Gutierrez)

 The clouds had just begun to darken when we set out for Blue Point, on Great South Bay just west of Patchogue. By the time we pulled into the parking lot of the month-old JT's on the Bay, the sky was unleashing torrents.

"Where would you like to sit?" our host asked us. I glanced around at the pleasantly offbeat interior, with its beach shack ambience. Although a canopy shielded those diners out on the deck, an inside window table still afforded a view of the Great South Bay, situated a distance across the road from the restaurant.

"Indoors," we told our host.

Good decision, for in a few minutes, windswept rain was slanting onto the deck, causing the staff to scurry about in order to move diners, food, tables and chairs inside. Watching, I gained a new-found respect for cheap plastic patio furniture that can be easily picked up with one hand.

I can't say I have as much regard for plastic utensils or plates, pretty much the rule here. For the most part, though, the inconvenience was worth enduring for the sake of dining on the generally well-executed eclectic-American menu of Michael Wilson. When summer ends, Wilson will return as dinner chef of JT's Corner Cafe in Nesconset, temporarily serving only breakfast and lunch. Married owners Justin and Krista Tempelman act as co-managers at their new location.

Although we had to wait half an hour for our appetizers to arrive, we were rewarded with a cool, fresh salad of lump crab dressed with a green chile vinaigrette and plated with pineapple mango salsa. Steamed clams in butter sauce were fairly ordinary, but a roasted garlic potato soup was both very good and very rich. The friend who ordered it could eat no more than a few spoonfuls. Speaking of things creamy, Wilson's lobster mac and cheese (which didn't contain much lobster) improved greatly after a few shakes of salt.

Where he really showed his talent was in a main course of lovely pan-seared sea scallops with summer corn pudding and grilled asparagus, a paean to the season. His blackened swordfish with a summer fruit salsa and mashed sweet potatoes featured fish that was perfectly burnished and moist inside. Mahi mahi, on the other hand, had spent a bit too long in the pan. A surprise winner was a fat, juicy, cider-glazed pork chop with potato pancakes and house-made applesauce.

After the storm outside had calmed somewhat, we moved outside to the deck for coffee and dessert, two decent bakery cakes, peanut butter crunch and key lime. Listening to the faint patter of rain overhead, we chatted, gazing at the serene boat-filled canal.

If you want to dock and dine, there are five slips and no dockage fee in Corey Creek, Blue Point Marina across from the Town of Brookhaven boat ramp.

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Where

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JT's on the Bay 1 Curtis Rd., Blue Point

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