Beyond the food court at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove is an oasis called Le Vin, where you will find fine wine, exceptional food and imported cheeses in an atmosphere that will transport you across the Atlantic to a Parisian bistro.
Le Vin is a collaboration between Christophe Lhopitault, owner of Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique in Stony Brook Village and Chef Guy Reuge, four-time James Beard nominee and owner of Mirabelle Restaurant in Stony Brook.
“When Guy and I created Le Vin, our mission was simple,” Christophe says. “We wanted a place with European flair where you can enjoy wine, small plates and coffee in a warm, relaxed atmosphere.”
Located next to Bobby’s Burger Palace on the south side of the mall, Le Vin is in a pocket-sized space, which for most restaurateurs would present a conundrum. Careful planning maximized every square inch of space and additionally the kitchen does not have an exhaust system, so food is cooked without a traditional oven.
The challenge for the French duo was to create a menu that could be prepared in a non-traditional way.
“We were very careful about the menu,” Christophe explains. The results of their collaboration are mouthwatering fare that changes seasonally.
“The only thing we don’t have on our
menu is steak,” Christophe says.
On the blackboard menu you’ll find Boneless BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Long Island Fluke Ceviche and Burrata Cheese, Tomato Jam and Melba Toast, all priced between $7 and $14. Artisan cheese and charcuterie boards are beautifully prepared and range from $18 to $20.
A must-have when visiting Le Vin is “Pata Negra,” a rare Spanish Iberian Ham Prosciutto of the highest quality that comes from free-range pigs that roam oak forests along the border between Spain and Portugal, eating only acorns. The pig is cured for 36 months.
Wine by the glass starts at an almost unheard of price of $5, so it’s always “happy hour” at Le Vin. For connoisseurs, the wine and champagne menu ranges up to $28 a glass.
The lack of kitchen exhaust has opened up a whole new restaurant model that Christophe and Guy are planning to replicate in the near future.
“With this concept we can open a Le Vin anywhere. I can be in any building, anytime and adapt to any situation,” Christophe says.
Starbucks serves Lattes, Le Vin serves Chardonnay.
And like Starbucks, Le Vin is a place you can go to everyday: enjoy wine and cheese, lunch or dinner, and coffee and dessert. The kitchen is open until 10 pm, so Le Vin is a destination that’s not to be missed.
“Le Vin is casual, an everyday place to go and sit down. It’s a wine bar/eatery where you can relax after shopping or after work or anytime,” Christophe says. “We don’t want big, we want cozy,” he says.
For more information about private parties, wine tastings and upcoming events, email email@example.com
Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, NY 11775