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Brand-New Long Island Restaurant Offers Unique Flavors, Fun Atmosphere

Bacon-wrapped shrimp from Zest Bacon-wrapped shrimp from Zest
Bacon-wrapped shrimp from Zest Photo Credit: Michael Liebman
A dish from Zest A dish from Zest
A dish from Zest Photo Credit: Michael Liebman

The owner of a brand-new Long Island restaurant has shared his plan to serve up unique and delicious dishes in a welcoming, brightly-colored environment. 

Zest opened in Suffolk County on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 298 West Main St. in Bay Shore.

Chef Michael Liebman, the owner, said since the eatery opened not long before Thanksgiving, business was slow at first, but things have picked up. 

“Everybody seems to be leaving happy," he said.

Liebman said he would classify the restaurant's menu as new American food, similar to a gastropub without the emphasis on alcohol.

He said the goal is to take familiar dishes and twist them to give them a new flair. 

The menu includes craft pizzas, such as Thai coconut shrimp and eggplant romano. There are also craft sandwiches and a variety of appetizers.

Liebman said one of the popular items on the menu is the grilled zucchini rollatini, which is made with whipped ricotta, grilled cherry tomatoes, burrata, and blueberry-onion relish

“Almost everyone who's gotten it has said 'this is something I’d never order, but I can't believe how amazing it is and how well it pairs,'" he said. 

He said the smoked bacon-wrapped shrimp has also been a favorite among customers.

When it comes to the eatery's future, Liebman said he has "plans upon plans," including expanding the menu and adding rotating specials every few weeks.

He hopes the restaurant will be a fun atmosphere for guests when they sit down for a meal.

“I decorated the whole place with pop art and bright colors," he said. "Everything's painted in purple, pink, teal. So, it’s meant to be like a bright, happy atmosphere. On the wall, it says 'Live life with zest.'"

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