255 Blue Point Ave. Blue Point, NY 631-363-2666
The Cavanaugh's philosophy, from 1986 to now, fine foods, good friends and impeccable service.
Neighborhood establishment that generally serves locals. With over 20 TVs, it's easy to see why sports fans arrive at this friendly Blue Point pub. Normally a busy bar all year—but come Patrick’s Day it sees a swarming crowd, where parade watchers and walkers alike make it a traditional stop for the holiday.Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Daily. Credit cards: Accepted
It took several attempts for me to get an accurate count of all the TV monitors in the front room of Cavanaugh's in Blue Point. There are 17. Add to that the four screens in the rear dining room, and it's easy to see why sports fans line up to eat -- and drink -- at this friendly Blue Point pub.
The reason I went, though, was not to catch the latest plays but, rather, to see what Joe Felicetta, the new chef, was cooking. Felicetta -- formerly of the now-departed Fusion Grill in East Setauket, Bayport House in Bayport and Allegra in Bay Shore -- gets a chance to shine with a daily-changing list of blackboard specials. Dishes are rustic and unfussy, suiting the venue.
On my first visit, we shared a simple but exemplary spinach salad with bacon, wilted onions, mushrooms, and a warm bacon vinaigrette. A smoky grilled marinated Porterhouse steak, a mere $12.99 for 20 ounces, may have been a bit fatty and chewy, but for that price, it was as good as one could have expected. Our waitress clued us into a special that wasn't on the board -- Moroccan lamb stew over Israeli couscous. The stew, I later found out, had been seasoned with ras-al-hanout, a blend of aromatic Moroccan spices that produced a hearty and quintessentially autumnal dish.
A few weeks later, from the regular menu, I ordered an appetizer that has been a menu standby for years: Cajun stuffed mushrooms. "What are they stuffed with?" I asked the waitress. "Crabmeat," I was told. What she didn't say was that they were baked with a pungent, oily orange sauce -- the stuff that usually coats Buffalo chicken wings. Disastrous. Redemption came in the form of an appetizer special of eggplant rollatine that tasted as though it had been made by a skilled Italian grandma.
That same nonna was surely the inspiration for my penne Siciliana, mellow pieces of eggplant with fresh mozzarella, plum tomatoes and basil over al dente pasta. An Italian seafood special -- clams, shrimp, scallops and mussels in a plum tomato sauce over linguine -- was good, too, even if the shrimp were a bit overcooked. Felicetta's signature rare sesame-seared tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes and a knockout cellophane noodle salad proved almost faultless. My gripe was with combining wasabi with mashed potatoes. I just don't see it. Others at my table, though, were of a different mind.
If such culinary quibbling runs contrary to your idea of what a sports pub should be, you could opt to revel in a cheeseburger. Cavanaugh's is a winner, charred on the outside, juicy within.
Felicetta speaks of specials I haven't tried -- lamb shanks and chicken potpie in a flaky pastry crust. One never knows what's going to turn up on that blackboard. The only certainty -- especially on a weekend -- is a wait for your table. Belly up to the bar, order a tall one, and check out the game. On a good night, you may have as many as nine to choose from.
Reviewed by Joan Reminick, 10/28/05.
Cavanaugh's - Great Food, Great People, Always Friendly
Cavanaugh's was established in 1986. We opened on St. Patrick's Day to an overwhelming crowd. The Cavanaugh's philosophy is based on a tradition of fine foods, good friends, and impeccable service. You are invited to join us and experience the warmth and excellence. Part of the Cavanaugh's appeal is the authentic decor that combines a cozy atmosphere with an eclectic mix of old and new. It's the perfect setting for a good meal and a relaxing retreat from the world outside. It feels like St. Patrick's Day as soon as you step inside. A landmark and more, Cavanaugh's is the place to be any day of the week. With a wide variety of specials, there's always something happening to ensure a unique visit each and every time.