On The Rock: Life is sweet at SALT Waterfront Bar & Grill

Hoo Doo Loungers playing at SALT

Summertime and the livin’s easy at SALT Waterfront Bar and Grill. Now in its second year, owners Keith Bavaro and Ali Bevilacqua are looking forward to another season of serving up fresh food and cold drinks in a casual environment.

Last year, they took over the restaurant space at The Island Boatyard and transformed it into a stylish, comfortable atmosphere with great views of the water.

But the façade isn’t the only thing that makes SALT a perfect location to relax. That, along with good food and good company, has allowed the restaurant to capture the essence of summer on the East End — laid back, fun and friendly. “We want people to be happy. It means everything to Ali and myself,” Mr. Bavaro said. To him, being out on the East End and at SALT is all about “enjoying life.”

The past year has been an exciting time for the business. At last year’s Maritime Festival in Greenport, SALT won “Best in Show” in the chowder contest, and this year they hosted the Shelter Island 10K post-race party. “It was a great success. We had the Port Jeff Brewing Company truck come and serve craft beers on tap, there was dancing … everyone had a lot of fun,” Mr. Bavaro said.

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“Fun” is an important part of dining at SALT, evident from the atmosphere itself to the handcrafted menu of food, speciality drinks and Long Island wines. “We pride ourselves on the specials we offer, always using fresh and local ingredients, and showing culinary talent,” Mr. Bavaro said, referring to Chef Darren Boyle.

The menu offers Long Island Crescent duck wings, fish tacos using seasonal fish and a raw bar of Shelter Island littleneck clams, Naked Cowboy Oysters and Montauk Pearly Oysters. While their menu also has “the usuals” —fried calamari and burgers — there are intriguing dishes such as steamed artichoke with lemon aioli and meatloaf cupcakes, “things you don’t always find,” according to Mr. Bavaro. He continued, “These meals are meant to be shared in good company, overlooking the water.”

Walk a little farther down the dock and find SALT’s Shipwreck Bar. Once a vessel circa 1928, it has been converted into a bar serving local brews, wines and cocktails.

Adding to the fun, the restaurant will have live music every Thursday through Sunday from July 4 to Labor Day. On June 29, Chris Barron, lead singer of The Spin Doctors, will perform a set. Starting July 4, it will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

The restaurant is located at a fully equipped marina and is accessible by land or sea. SALT sits at 63 South Menantic Road and can be reached by calling 631-749-5535.

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Photo of Hoo Doo Loungers jamming at SALT by JoAnn Kirkland (Top)

Photo of waterview from boardwalk at SALT by Tara Smith (Middle)

Photo of signs at SALT by Tara Smith (Bottom)