For my birthday my roommates brought me to Roots Bistro Gourmand, a West Islip/Babylon newcomer with a modern "French"menu. I mean, I picked the place so I guess they brought me but I brought them. I'm sure they at least suspected that since it was my birthday, I'd be going with the lobster.
Butter poached lobster, that is, served over beet tagliatelle, chorizo, kale and shitake in a house ricotta and mozzarella sauce. Boom. This dish struck the perfect notes of delicate, savory and succulent. Sometimes I get this weird sensation where I feel like a stick of butter is melting in my mouth and dripping down my throat -- usually when I eat a lot of butter. The lobster here was very buttery but it was just so tender and light. Really nice. The kale was fantastic. Everything was, really. However, I missed the beet in the tagliatelle. The ribbons weren't beet red, and I really didn't pick up any of the earthy flavor I expected.
Other plates we had were the yelp-famous risotto lollipops, the lardon salad, duck l'orange and braised short-ribs. The pork belly in the lardon salad was crisp but meaty and really worked when paired with the pickled shallots. The poached egg on top, however, was a bit underdone. The whites certainly would have benefitted from another few seconds in the pot.
I think that the lollipops have really just become so popular because of their whimsical name and presentation. Really, they were run-of-the-mill rice balls. Nice, but nothing amazing here. I didn't really like the tomato puree they were served over. It seemed like nothing more than a tomato paste.
Anyway, I really enjoyed Roots. It's a nice surprise to see such an interesting and experimental menu on Long Island, and the ambiance and service were good. They get busy here but don't worry, the bar out front has a diverse cocktail menu for the wait, and live music a few times a week.
Roots Bistro Gourmand: 399 Montauk Highway, West Islip, 11795. (631) 587-2844