Island Inspired

18 Jun

Long Island’s beaches are awesome. It’s impossible for me to dislike the Atlantic I grew up swimming in. However, even though the word island is in the name, you can’t ignore that its definitely not of the tropical variety that people fantasize about vacationing at.

Luckily, there’s a new restaurant that brings  that tropical state of mind to Long Island: Rumba Rum Bar and Restaurant, located in Hampton Bays. The decor is not of the blatant tropical kitsch variety; but instead is comprised of dark woods, slow rotating ceiling fans, vibrant colors and water views. Sure the servers wear Hawaiian shirts, but it’s a subdued print. Live reggae music is played on certain nights, and there are specialty drink nights as well.

Primarily a rum bar, Rumba’s list of rums available is extensive. I ordered a Dark & Stormy: Gosling’s dark rum, ginger beer and a bit of lime. My only disappointment was that it wasn’t served in one of the mason jars they use to serve their house sangria. We couldn’t sample everything on the menu but my dinner date and I started off with two appetizers, the Oysters Hampton and the Duck Empanadas. The Oysters Hampton are golden fried oysters served with a creamy reggiano dip, hot sauce and and a garlic aoli.

I can’t speak for how they tasted since I will not eat oysters, but I loved the clean presentation of the dish. I ordered the Duck Empanadas under the advice of our server, who shares my opinion that normally duck is disgusting but you don’t even think that with these empanadas. He was right. The empanadas (though I think they really resemble samosas more) are a pastry filled with duck meat, peppers and spicy queso. Even though I loathe duck, it was nice to see it used in a new way since it is a locally raised meat. Even though the cuisine is island inspired at Rumba, it pays homage to the local resources of Long Island.

For an entree, I had the Jumbo Crab Cakes with a stone ground mustard, garlic mashed potatoes and vegetable of the day. The crab cakes and the vegetables were the stars of the dish, the potatoes merely were alright. I think I should have ordered one of the more inspired dishes on the menu, but I can’t ignore a crab cake craving. The other entree ordered at my table was the Jerk Chicken Platter served over coconut risotto and with a mango papaya honey salsa. Apparently, this was absolutely delicious. I should have taken a picture of the empty plate.

Dessert is being saved for another night, probably when I go back to try their trio of tacos available for lunch, and hopefully one when balmy breezes float off the water and really transport me.

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One Response to “Island Inspired”

  1. caitlin June 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    seriously, you hate duck?
    oh katie, you disappoint me.

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