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Coles House in Glen Cove combines past and present well

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COLES HOUSE

149 Glen St., Glen Cove

516 676-4343

Much history is attached to landmarked Coles House, built in 1810, now transformed into a gracious restaurant and pub.

A descendent of Robert Coles - one of the founders of Glen Cove in 1668 - built Coles House, then a two-room farmhouse. Five years later, in 1815, it was expanded to six rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs. As the years went by, it was used as a newspaper office and as a law office. Then came years of neglect.

But Rocco Cirigliano of Glen Cove, with time (five years) and love, restored it and transformed it into a restaurant and pub, then turned the management over to his daughter, Linda with a strong background in business management.

There's an outdoor patio bursting with umbrella tables. But we wanted to be steeped in the early American home atmosphere. (How often do you get to dine on broad-beamed floors with one of several antique fireplaces nearby?)

Sitting in one of its six intimate dining rooms was for us. From the living room atmosphere entry, we were escorted downstairs past cozy dining room after cozy dining room, into the Yellow Room. Here we savored a unique simple mantel, intriguing wall sconces and doors left au natural. Chairs were sturdy wooden ones around tables clad with white cloths topped with white throws.

We basked in the warm and wonderful 19th century ambiance and the service which could be considered impeccable. (And it's been a long time since I could use that word).

The dinner menu held temptations like lobster cocktail (lobster poached in white wine and herbs, served chilled with remoulode sauce) and spicy Asian tuna tartare with citrus and mustard oil, marinated cucumbers and wonton crisps. Grilled breast of moscovy duck with roasted corn, oyster mushrooms, baby arugala and duck essence. Pan-roasted rack of New Zealand lamb with ragout of artichokes, wild mushrooms, baby spinach and rosemary lamb Pan-seared mahi mahi with curried rice, baby spinach and basil beurre blanc. Although tempted by the offerings of the executive chef, Joseph Badalato and sous chef Vincent Minelli, we were looking for dinner after a day at the beach. The pre fix menu ($25) served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 (yes 10) p.m. and Sunday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. was perfect in every way, especially the timing: our impeccable waiter announced upon arrival, "Today's soup is asparagus."

The puree of asparagus with a touch of cream was sublime. Salads followed. (both a seasonal soup and salad course was included in the $25 pre fix menu). My dining companion had an organic green salad, a simple salad with mixed mesculun greens in a basalmic vinegar and oil emulsion plus a scattering of walnuts. A classic Caesar salad with crisp Romaine lettuce, a classic Caesar dressing and toasted baguette crisp, The creamy dressing was delicious and a baguette, center top, in lieu of croutons was a delicious bit of creativity.

In summer when meals may be snacking and cold rather than hot, a soup and salad introduction made us feel nurtured. For her main plate, she chose the slow-roasted salmon (a method that has been given a lot of press) with a mushroom essence. It looked handsome with one end of the slice perched on the bed of Yukon gold mashed potatoes. The accompanying vegetables were a blend of yellow peppers and broccoli flowerettes. My grilled pork loin (which I dubbed a Park Avenue barbecue) was two, inch-thick slices with criss-cross grill marks, served with a mustard essence with a touch of cream.

And there was dessert. And there was coffee. Take your choice: Homemade ice cream or fruit sorbets. They were served with style and with flavor that couldn't be beat. Four petite scoops of were arranged in a square in a white, broad rimmed soup plate. The flavors: hazelnut, mango, coconut, passion fruit.

Their pub, Coppertop Pub & Eatery, is great for a simple supper (fabulous onion soup) and lunch. Brunch is a la carte, with creme brulee for dessert.

So whether you're into early American ambiance or contemporary American food - go.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Landmarked home, now restored as a restaurant and pub with patio. Early American ambiance with excellent contemporary American cuisine. Six intimate dining rooms. Impeccable service.

CHEF'S CHOICE

Spicy Asian Tuna Tatare (sushi grade tuna, wasabil citrus and mustard oil, marinated cucumbers & wonton crisps)...$10

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (pure Maryland crisp pan fried crab, with sherry chipolte mayonnaise & baby greens)...$12

Grilled Breast of Moscovy Duck (sweet roast corn, oyster mushrooms, baby arugala, natural duck essence)...$22

Pan Seared Mahi (curried rice, baby spinach & a basil beurre blanc sauce)...$16

Angel Hair Pasta (tossed with lobster meat, tomatoes, shaved fennel, extra virgin olive oil, basil & ricotta salata cheese)...$22

Cuisine: Contemporary American

Setting: Early American

Hours: L & D 6 days. Closed Monday.

Dress: Business casual

Credit cards: All major

Children: Own menu.

Private parties: To 60.

Smoking: None

Handicapped access: Separate entrance

Posted 7:15 pm, October 10, 2011
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