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The Seaport: Seaport radiates supper club class

THE SEAPORT

415 Main St.

Port Washington

516-883-3030

A dance and supper club may be a new concept for you but there are those who remember the Blue Angel and even the Cotton Club, a Harlem hot spot with Rolls Royces parked out front. Dining with dancing was in and if they threw in entertainment, all the better. That was the recent scenario for a terrific Saturday night at the Seaport, a dance and supper club on Manhasset Bay in Port Washington.

As the menu explains, Seaport was originally known as Jimmy's Backyard. Now it's become a restaurant with three dining rooms. The southern dining area boasts a great skylight as you enter. The one seaside has a mammoth stone fireplace flanked by two love seats and a sofa, a cozy spot for an after-dinner drink by the fire. The central dining room where we docked is raised and has a dance floor overlooking the marble-topped, mirror bar emblazoned with "Bon Appetit."

On Friday and Saturday nights there is dancing to a combo with two personable vocalists. Best of all, we were entertained by diners who have become habitues and take the mike and sing "[I'll Do it] My Way," etc.

It's all warm and wonderful. And as of Feb. 10, it became an every-night affair, some nights DJ and some nights combo and some with live entertainment. It's really a supper club, opening at 9 and going until 4 a.m., a first out this way.

Seaport's food was as good as it gets. Hear this: We split lobster stuffed ravioli for a first course. Lots of lobster with a pink lobster sauce. So good, you really hate sharing.

The setting: five successful women reunite more than two decades after leaving boarding school. They share a few drinks, grilled portobello and fried calamari. Can't be bad, n'est-ce pas? My dancing partner concluded (wishful thinking, I'm sure) that linguine with fruit of the sea (clams, mussels, calamari, scallops and shrimp) to be exact, sauteed with olive oil, garlic and white wine, plum tomatoes and basil, was "mostly seafood."

Actually it was and it was delicioso. There were two specials, a wonderful-sounding chicken dish and an even more wonderful-sounding veal dish. Veal Sorrento was beautifully done with the sauteed, batter-dipped veal on top of a bed of velvety spinach, fresh, well-cooked and very well-seasoned. Bechamel sauce topped it off.

A side dish held sauteed cubed potatoes, shredded carrot and zucchini and two or three broccoli flowerettes. Very nice and compliments to the chef, Paul Ram. Dancing and watching others dance, including a tango and the horah, just made everything more enjoyable. Now, I'd certainly settle for dancing and a fine first course and super entree spiced with service featuring a dash of humor, but along comes a winning dessert.

Take bananas Foster, add some pineapple cubes, spoon around a square of warm banana cake topped with just-about-to-melt vanilla ice cream. I liked my forkful of my companion's raspberry cheesecake, but have you ever found a cheesecake you didn't like? Espresso was in order for me but I heartily approved of coffee served in an individual silver pot.

Reading from the menu we learned that the owner, Vito Perulli, was born and raised in Bari, Italy and came to New York with his family in 1955. His father began his own gourmet catering business in 1970, which Vito and his brother took over and moved to Bayside in 1976. Then Vito, in '86, purchased the Gateway in Lenox, Mass., which won the Mobile four-star award 10 consecutive years. And let me add, Vito takes the mic and sings at Seaport.

New items will be added to the menu. A sofa and high-backed chairs are planned for the south room. New lighting, the latest technology that changes with the music, lit up the stainless steel ceiling at the Feb. 10 "opening" of the dancing and supper club.

Just stay as nice as you are. And keep the Cellarmaster's selection of the week, which is clipped (and so can be can be updated). This week's selections were Domaine St. George chardonnay ($19), Campobello Rosso, Tuscany ($21) and Santa Carolina cabernet ($5.50). Put on your dancing shoes. Come summer you can tie your sailboat or yacht to Seaport's dock. Dress casually or (isn't it nice?) wear finery.

THE BOTTOM LINE: A dance and supper club. Excellent Italian cuisine. Warm, friendly atmosphere. DJ or combo every night, entertainment. Good service. Fireplace. On the waterfront. Private dock for yachts or sailboats. As of Feb. 14, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

CHEF'S CHOICE

Shrimp cocktail...$10

Grilled portobello...$8

Linguine with fruit of the sea...$18

Rigatoni a la Vodka (light pink vodka cream sauce)...$14

Veal Sorrentino...$18

Chicken Piccata (light lemon butter sauce)...$16

Shrimp Scampi...$21

Tiramisu...$5.50

Italian Cheesecake...$5.50

Food: Italian

Setting: On the waterfront, fire place, dance floor

Service: Friendly

Hours: Tues. to Sun. 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Reservations: Yes.

Parking: Lot. Valet.

Location: Waterfront with private dock

Dress: Casual. Also dress to impress.

Credit Cards: All major

Private parties: 10 to 200

Takeout: Yes

Off-premise catering: Yes

Smoking: Certain areas

Music: DJ or combo every night

Handicap accessible: Yes

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