It’s a great name for a restaurant, the Petulant Wino.
“I think he named it after himself,” says Courtney Schaudel about her dad, star chef and restaurateur Tom Schaudel, with whom she co-owns the new North Fork eatery. She’s just ribbing him, of course; Tom isn’t at all petulant, and anyway, he’s been known to at times prefer beer. “At first I said, ‘What? You’re crazy,’ but he was like, ‘No, this is it’; it’s the perfect name for this restaurant.’ It’s just fun; there’s a sense of humor and a casual irony, which is our personalities anyway, so that works.”
The place lives up to its name. It’s quirky, hip and relaxed, and on a summer Friday evening buzzing with wine-region visitors and local food aficionados alike. Wine industry types were at the bar unwinding; any residual petulance from the workweek didn’t last long. “It’s an awesome crowd,” says Ms. Schaudel. “The response has been incredible.”
Diners choose from a menu that includes soups, salads, many small plates as well as full-size portions and desserts. Chef Lenny Campanelli has been enticed away from Cool Fish in Syosset, which Schaudel recently sold. “I think of it as ‘local-eclectic,’” says Ms. Schaudel. “We’re using a lot of local stuff, as much as we can, and there are a lot of funky little flavors.”
Such as a rustic brown bread elevated with yeast from Blue Point Brewery and Channing Daughters winery, which has a unique, definite flavor and a hearty texture. And grilled octopus with spicy chorizo and fried garbanzos, wide ribbons of pappardelle pasta with large chunks of lobster and tender fava beans, finely sliced local fluke crudo with pink peppercorn, sea salt, orange oil and grapefruit, and crispy pork belly with pickled rhubarb and rainbow chard with hard cider glaze.
The wine list is half Long Island wine and half elsewhere. “The goal is to keep it interesting, changing and affordable,” says Ms. Schaudel. “And they’re awesome food wines. I get very nerdy when it comes to wine. There’s such cool stuff out there, and I love being able to share that with people.”
The Main Road, Aquebogue, location was previously Comtesse Thérèse, a bistro by local wine producer Theresa Dilworth, who created the space from an historic house on site. Her style is evident in the thoughtful renovations and historical touches; Ms. Schaudel pared down the decor for a fresh vibe.
Read more about Tom Schaudel when Betsy Davidson went In the Kitchen With him.