After more than five years in business, in Sayville quietly closed its doors last month. And a mere six days later, a newly renovated dining establishment emerged, known as bistro 25.
Bistro 25 is the brainchild of Mike Turner, co-owner, and Brian Shuren, chef/co-owner. Not only did they overhaul the décor, but with the new menu they transformed bistro 25 into what could become Sayville’s dining hotspot, be it for lunch, dinner, date night, girls night out or weekend brunch.
Both Turner and Shuren have extensive backgrounds in the restaurant business. They have worked together for the past 20 years and Turner served as the former banquet manager for Lovin’ Oven Catering.
The restaurant officially opened on Jan. 7 but Turner and Schuren took over on Dec. 6. They remained operational as Oysterman’s through the month of December to accommodate all the pre-booked holiday parties. They were open for New Year’s Day and after the last table left, the renovations began. One thing that did remain in place was Oysterman’s wait staff, whom Turner described as “very loyal, hardworking people, among the best.”
The draw of bistro 25 is a combination of three things: great prices, wonderful boutique style wines and an amazing menu selection. The name bistro 25 comes from the fact that they serve 25 different types of wines, all priced at $25 (with a small reserve collection). To boot, all the menu items are priced under $20, making it affordable for more than just an occasional night out. “What we offer is perfectly sized portions priced accordingly,” Turner said. “The concept seems to be a real hit in this town so far.”
“The reaction so far to the new place has been incredible,” Turner added. “People are excited about the menu, the décor, everything. We didn’t want to be just a Saturday night wonder. We want people to come here on a Tuesday night and grab a burger, or come with a bunch of girlfriends and share some small plates and wine.”
Since bistro 25 opened, Turner said there has been a wait for tables every weekend. They plan on doing some advertising and an official grand opening sometime in February. “We’ve had a lot of local support because we have a good following in the restaurant business and we know a lot of people in the area,” Turner said.
The dinner menu offers an array of small plates as well as homemade soups for starters. Guests can sit down for a traditional dinner or just select a few small plates to sample instead. Some small plate offerings include rock shrimp tempura, truffled mac and cheese, smoked mozzarella ricotta fritters and braised pork belly. Dinner options vary from pastas – like pumpkin ravioli and linguini with cockles – to steak frite, paella, monkfish medallions and braised short ribs. Sandwiches and burgers are available during dinner as well and a raw bar is also offered for both lunch and dinner.
The menu changes seasonally. In addition, there is also a menu of daily selections which include more homestyle, comfort foods like fish and chips, chicken pot pie and fried buttermilk chicken.
Bistro 25 is open daily for lunch as well, and the menu includes standout items like the bistro burger, the three cheese grill and ham, and shrimp po boy. Soups, salads, and lunch-sized versions of many of the dinner menu options are also available.
Yet another draw for the new establishment is its Saturday and Sunday brunch offerings. “We wanted our brunch to be different, more of an urban, Manhattan style brunch. It’s basically like breakfast and lunch together so a couple could come in and one person would have an omelette and the other may have a burger and some items from the raw bar.” From cinnamon raisin French toast to smoked salmon to mushroom risotto, there are a slew of options for everyone. All brunch items are priced between $5 to $12.
And let’s not forget about dessert. Bistro 25 has its own in-house pastry chef, Lorraine Licursi. All dessert items are priced at $8 and include treats such as carrot cake bread pudding, homemade ice cream selections, dark chocolate tart, spiced pumpkin brulee parfait and more.
The restaurant also has its own catering room and menu, accommodating up to 75 people. During the summer, outdoor dining will be made available. Bistro 25 does happy hour Monday through Friday with half-priced wine, draft beer and a $5 bar menu. There’s live acoustical music featured every Saturday night.
For more information, visit www.bistro25li.com.