Bayberry replaces Maxwell’s in Islip, opens this June


Just in time for summer, Lessing’s Hospitality Group is preparing to unveil it shiny new replacement for Maxwell’s in Islip.

Bayberry, Lessing’s newest restaurant, will open in early June, showcasing a brand-new concept and a redesigned 5,000-square-foot space, the group announced today. Other highlights include a a lighter color palette reminiscent of its nautical location near Great South Bay, a 40-seat bar, 160 total seats throughout the restaurant, and an outdoor patio.

“We wanted to create a new space with elevated dining and a focus on seasonal fare with bistro classics and creative cocktails,” said Mark Lessing, executive vice president of restaurants of Lessing’s Hospitality Group.

Bayberry takes the place of Maxwell’s, which closed at 501 Main St. last August. Lessing explained that Islip is the hometown for his family and that many of his relatives were born and raised in the community, making it even more important for the group “to create a special experience for locals and visitors … and adding to the fabric of our historic town.”

The menu — which carries an emphasis on local catch and items off a dedicated raw bar — is a collaboration between Lessing’s Hospitality Group Chef Emeritus Guy Reuge, who is a La Toque d’Argent awardee, and Executive Chef William Muzio.

Here’s a sampling of some of the signature dishes:

• Local Fluke “en croute” with parsnip puree, spinach, edamame, and citrus gastrique.
• Lobster roll with lemon, dill, Amagansett sea salt on a butter toasted New England Roll.
• “OG” Cacio e Pepe with bucatini, pecorino Romano, and fresh cracked black pepper.
• Bayberry chicken with lemon butter, pomme frites, and dressed greens.

“Chef Reuge and I wanted to design Bayberry’s menu to be seasonal and approachable and welcoming to all,” said Muzio, who doubles as the executive chef of VIEW in Oakdale, which is also operated by Lessing’s. “Bayberry is the place where our guests can come, enjoy, and feel comfortable ordering something different every time.”

Brunch on the Weekend

Weekend brunch, featuring handcrafted cocktails and champagne, will also be available on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Here are some of the menu choices:

• Bayberry Benedict with poached cage-free eggs, avocado, applewood smoked bacon, confit tomato, hollandaise, toasted sourdough, everything bagel spice with home fries.
• Lemon-Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake with whipped butter and Vermont maple syrup.
• Smoked Salmon Board with herbed cream cheese, capers, red onions and everything bagel spice pita chips.

Handcrafted Cocktails

Happy hour specials will also be available from Monday to Friday, 4-7 p.m. Handcrafted cocktails will be available whenever Bayberry is open.

Among the expected favorites are The Bayberry, with Ford’s London dry gin, fresh blueberries, lemon juice, simply syrup and egg white and For Shucks Sake with Gekkeiken sake, St. Germaine, and lime juice. Also available at the bar will be the Mint Vimlet Cooler with Tito’s vodka, crop cucumber vodka, fresh mint and cucumber, lime juice and simple syrup.

Top photo: Local Fluke (Photo Credit: Lessing’s Hospitality Group)