& Other Gifts
Near The Sea
La Mottas Waterside
10 Matinecock Ave., Port Washington
American with global influences"
11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Brunch buffet Sunday
11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Credit Cards: All Major
Parking: Private Lot
There is something relaxing and comforting
about the water that just makes you hungry . . . and its called LaMottas.
I stopped in on one of the many recent
rainy nights, and even the rain couldnt dampen the charm and comfort of this
beautiful restaurant filled with nautical themes, history and delicious food.
The establishment describes their food as
"modern American with global influences," and I could find no better way to put
it. Youll find stone oven pizza and quesadillas on the lunch menu, lobster and
Drunken Fire Pot Shrimp on the dinner menu as they cover all of the standards in American
cuisine while adding a touch of the world influence. It is a theme that goes well with the
Worlds Fair "red and white umbrella" which is the center piece of the
restaurants frame (more on that after the food).
From their dinner selections, I now compare
all other clam chowders to LaMottas Clam Chowder Boule ($5.95). A New England
chowder heavy with tender clams, the soup is served in a bowl of bread that is almost as
delectable as the chowder itself.
The Rigatoni Al Fresco ($14.95) was tossed
with generous portions of roasted peppers, onions, zucchini, eggplant, tossed with
pomodoro, topped with ciligene mozarella . . . wonderful.
And the Drunken Fire Pot Shrimp
(couldnt resist the name, $19.95) is spicy hot "seared then Polynesian
simmered, sticky rice." It reminded me of some of the Thai dishes I enjoy most and
the presentation was simple and delicious (the shrimp come nestled in an edible basket).
The Frutti Di Mare (linguini, shrimp,
mussels, clams, seafood tomato sauce, $17.95) will be more than you can finish, though
youll enjoy every bite, and I tried the Chai Flan (vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon,
custard flan, $7) which was beautifully presented and a wonderful twist on the custard
The restaurant is complete with a friendly
and amply sized bar, indoor seating when the rain persists and dockside seating to enjoy
the fresh air over Manhasset Bay.
As for their their "red and white
umbrella," it was built by Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation as part of the
Sinclair Oil companys exhibition at the 1964/65 New York Worlds Fair. Their
history on the back of each menu explains "Sinclair was awarded the contract to
supply fuel to the fairs 825-boat state-of-the-art marina in Flushing Bay, and they
placed the umbrella over the floating fuel dock at the front of the marina. The umbrella
became the main attraction of the Worlds Fair Marina and the focus of thousands of
The dock was abandoned after the fair, and
in 1968 Mario S. LaMotta joined with Sinclair Oil to renovate the dock and tow it to
Manhasset Bay where it sat at the head of the Bay Marina and was used once again for
refueling. When the Marina began construction of LaMottas waterside restaurant in
1993, the historic "umbrella" was built in to the restaurants construction
and now serves as an easy landmark from the coast on the water as you near the restaurant
as well as the protection for a different kind of world-class fare.
If youre curious about the history
and would like a look at the umbrella-like dome, youll be able to check it all out
on the web within the coming weeks at www.lamottas.com. If youre curious about the
food dont cheat yourself stop by in person and dont settle for
the menu on the web. For that matter, stop by to see the dome yourself . . . youll
be delighted you did.