Anthony Brew’s goal in opening his new restaurant in Bellmore was to give patrons anything but a run-of-the-mill dining experience. “I don’t think food should be something that’s common,” he said. “I think people need to have an experience every time they come.”
As the head chef and owner of Anthony’s Kitchen & Cocktails, which opened on Aug. 18, Brew sought to build a small, Italian-American menu created with the simplest ingredients, perfected with the best techniques and inspired by generations of influences.
Brew, 34, started working as a dishwasher at a large, family-owned restaurant group when he was 14 — he’s been in the business ever since. He’s worked in kitchens across the North and South Shores, and after losing his restaurant, Anthony’s of Atlantic Beach, to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, he consulted other restaurateurs all over Long Island.
Earlier this year, the location of what would eventually become Anthony’s Kitchen & Cocktails “fell into my lap,” Brew said, so he signed the lease for the spot in March. “A week later, the world ended.”
During the Covid-19 shutdown, Brew and his crew completed a full interior renovation of the former restaurant, installing brand-new kitchen equipment and designing the space to mirror a cozy, casual setting.
The menu reflects Brew’s dedication to create simple yet delicious dishes with the freshest ingredients available. Anthony’s homemade pastas are prepared on premises daily, and the sizeable portions come with affordable price tags.
The house pasta — money bags stuffed with a pear and ricotta filling and tossed in a light champagne sauce — is “the talk of the town,” according to Brew. The Sunday Pot, which consists of award-winning meatballs stewed in a three-hour sauce, is a crowd favorite, and the Chicken Stack, which features layers of pan-fried cutlets, sliced mozzarella and tomato, has gained considerable fame on Instagram for its sky-high form.
Behind the bar, Brew’s craft cocktails offer a twist on the traditional. Anthony’s Mule is shaken up with an Italian fig vodka, Prosecco and ginger beer, and the Bellmore Iced Tea, the restaurant’s flagship beverage, features a peach-mango iced tea mixed with vodka and fresh herbs. Brew also touted the bar’s boutique wine list, which features a handful of bottles that stretch from the norm.
To comply with Covid-19 guidelines, Brew built an outdoor patio for patrons to enjoy dinner al fresco. Inside the restaurant, tables are separated by Plexiglas dividers.
Although Anthony’s has only been open for less than two months, Brew said he has already established a loyal customer base who have churned out “overwhelming reviews.” “With the circumstances we’re in, I’m very happy,” he added. “All my reviews on Google are five-star, and we’ve gotten a very big Facebook response from all the moms pages.”
Brew is planning to offer on- and off-premise catering in the future, and looks forward to hosting live entertainment to bring “a little more nightlife” to the scene once the pandemic slows.
Anthony’s is dedicated in memory of Brew’s late father, John, whose portrait hangs center stage above the bar. “The best times we had were in the restaurant, so I dedicated this place to him,” he said. “The response everyone's given for what I'm doing here . . . it means a lot to the family.”
Anthony’s Kitchen & Cocktails is at 2601 Merrick Road in Bellmore. To make a reservation, call (516) 408-5311 or visit anthonysofbellmore.com.