PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Expect straight-from-the-docks to your table seafood when Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House opens in late August/early September.
The new venture, by Rye resident Leslie “Les” Barnes, the owner of London Lennie's , a well-regarded fish restaurant in Flushing, takes the place of the former Willett House steakhouse.
The interior is being totally redone with a sweeping three-sided cocktail bar and a nautically inspired dining room. Barnes said the marble raw bar, with 22 stools, has been designed to be an "eating bar" where patrons can watch expert shuckers and dine on an array of oysters -- as well as other items -- all selected from daily trips to the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx.
The menu will change daily depending on what's fresh but Executive Chef Bobby Will said his emphasis is on "cleaner flavors" and seasonal ingredients. "My focus is on light preparations that enhance the freshness," he said.
Will, originally from the shores of New England and now a Port Chester resident, will also be using custom spices and housemade sauces.
"We're not reinventing the wheel," he said, "But we are hoping to make it more interesting."
Added Barnes, who is a second generation seafood buyer and aquaculture buff: "We want this to be a fun experience that is a little more unique that what you can normally find in this area."
That means some fish you may not have tried before like Mako shark or Cobia.
Sample menu items include red snapper ceviche with charred lime, sorrel verde, cashew-yuca puree, grilled Short Line swordfish with spicy cherry glaze and a New England Lobster Bake with fingerling potatoes, corn, and chorizo-fennel salad along with a variety of coastal classics like calamari, soft shell crab, and mussels.
Aside from the large bar, there is a separate dining room with original brick walls, high, vaulted ceilings, and subtle nautical details.
Opening hours will be Monday to Thursday, 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday to 1 p.m.; and Sunday to 9 p.m. Go to www.saltaireoysterbar.com/ for more information.