BABYLON CARRIAGE HOUSE
21 Fire Island Avenue, Babylon, NY 11702
Last night, I went to my favorite restaurant of this past year. The Babylon Carriage House has struggled to stay open following all the New York State guidelines through the entire pandemic. I would have surely missed this beautiful and elegant establishment if it had closed. It is located in an 1865 carriage house in the lovely town of Babylon. Throughout the entire COVID crisis, this would be the only restaurant we would actually go to and sit down to eat. To a foodie like myself, that was huge. We even purchased takeout food from them when they were not allowed to open for dine-in guests. Even after being forced into creating with their “new” take out service, their food was consistently good and we were never disappointed. SO, I was very happy to see last night that the restaurant was just beginning to fill tables with lot of boisterous people again, like ourselves..
When we arrived at the Carriage House, it was empty at 5:00PM, but by the time we left a crowd had started gathering. They have a small dance floor and on a Saturday night this was the place to be. I hope everyone who lives near me or comes to visit us can have a chance to try some of the marvelous dishes prepared by the chef here at the Babylon Carriage House.
We started dinner with a bottle of Pinot Grigio delle Venezie from Gabriella winery. The wine selection is excellent and they have fabulous mixed drinks too. Alyssa had the Bourbon Peach Palmer. It was bourbon, peach, 1/2 iced tea and ½ lemonade. (hence the Arnold Palmer reference). She enjoyed it so much I believe she may have had two.
Scott paired our first white wine with the baked clams and mussels. The baked clams here are large with just the right amount of herbs, and are served with a scampi sauce that makes me want shrimp scampi as I write this. The mussels too were in the garlic butter scampi sauce and served with two garlic toast points. I could have eaten the whole bowl of mussels if I did not know more food was on the way.
Soup and Caesar salad were next. First came the Caesar salad. This is Alison’s absolute favorite restaurant for this salad. I wonder if she has ever had mine. Hmm, I will have to make that one day for her. The soup would come next.
To pair with the soup, Scott had brought with him a Brian Arden West Kade Chardonnay from Nappa Valley 2014. I normally do not like Chardonnay unless it is paired with (wait for it) Lobster Bisque! Let me tell you, the Babylon Carriage House does not always have this item on the menu so you have to be lucky or like Scott, and have a waiter call you when they are serving it. Yesterday was just a happy coincidence. My wife now refers to this soup as Lobster BLISQUE. If nothing else on a cool fall day, I would come here for a glass of Chardonnay and this soup! This is a soup I will always remember with fondness too. It’s just like how I remember the French Onion Soup at the Tides in Freepost back in the nineteen eighties (dorky huh). I took my wife there on our very first date for that soup alone. I digress, there was more food coming and we were already getting full after the blisque!
Scott had ordered the Burrata next for all of us because he loves this stuff. The way they present the Burrata dish is superb. The magnificent cheese (which I will have to ask if they make there) comes on top of perfectly grilled squash (yellow and green), roasted red pepper (yum), balsamic glaze, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All that for $15. Not that they should charge more! It’s perfection on a plate and at just the right price. The cheese however did not go with the Chardonnay. Oops, maybe we should have moved it up the batting order to line up with the Pinot. Next time we will, or maybe I should not have drank my Pinot so fast!
Scott also brought with him a red wine. Oh My GOSH! One more course. How many is that? Is anyone counting? I am getting dizzy, full, and sleepy but there was the red wine that needed to be drank. It was opened at the beginning of the meal and was just sitting there now mocking me. “You can’t fit me in! HA-HA!”
Scott ordered the Steak Bleu to go with the red wine which was an estate bottled Chardonnay from Schweinger Vineyards. The Steak Bleu is a 16oz NY strip steak with melted Maytag Blue Cheese and small roasted potatoes. He would split that with Ally. Jennifer loves the Slow Braised Short Ribs. They come on top of mushroom risotto with carrots and celery, with pan gravy poured over top. When you make short ribs like that, how can anything be wrong? Jennifer and I split the short ribs. Alyssa had the Caesar salad now for her entree.
The red wine paired perfectly with the ribs and was delicious, but I couldn’t manage to eat any more then a bite or two. I think I managed to finish one glass of red wine in the end. Shameful, I know.
There was no room for dessert and we were already taking food home. It was a good night, with good company and excellent food. The service at the Carriage House is outstanding, and the timing of the food perfect. I never feel rushed or hurried out the door. We came, we saw, we ate.