Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Argyle Grill & Tavern in Babylon, NY

Last weekend, I had dinner at The Argyle Grill & Tavern in the Village of Babylon on Long Island. This isn’t an area I went to much while growing up, the it’s a cute town and seems have a number of great places to shop, explore and eat.

The restaurant was created as a tribute to the once-famous Grand Argyle Hotel in Babylon, a 350 room hotel that stood at Blythebourne Lake in Babylon. One of many hotels built in the late 1882 by August Belmont, its construction coincided with the extension of the Long Island rail road to accommodate wealthy summer visitors from New York City. The grounds included a large millpond, which was later renamed Argyle Lake, for one of the hotel’s largest investors and town aristocrat, the heir to the Dukedom of Argyll.

The renaming gave the hotel & and nearby park a more genteel English flavor, yet the hotel proved a bad venture. It was built near the end of the era of such projects and was much too large to keep filled. After about a decade of disuse, it was finally demolished in 1904.

Like the hotel, the Argyle Grill hopes to draw people out east to relax and experience it’s contemporary American cuisine – but I hope it’s much more successful than it’s namesake. Judging from our meal- it’s a mixed bag. The food and service were excellent- but the wait was long and the place was very loud.

I was there with my mom, my childhood friend Rachel and her boyfriend Alan. The noisy bar and dining room weren’t the ideal place for a catch-up dinner, but it was lively, stylish and comfortable. Plus, the food was great. The kung pow calamari appetizer was delicious! Spicy, savory and sweet all at once, it was large enough to share between the 4 of us. All of our dinners were plentiful, beautiful and tasty. I wish they took reservations, bit still, I’d recommend giving this place a shot on a weeknight or before 7:30 on a weekend. It’s not a ‘destination’ but definitely worth a try.

The Argyle Grill & Tavern
Address: 90 Deer Park Ave, Babylon, NY 11702
Phone: (631) 321-4900
Hours: Mon-Thu. 11:30AM-11PM, Fri.-Sat. 11:30AM-midnight, Sun. 11:30AM-10PM


Chuchundra said...

That's a great picture of the Argyle Hotel. Where did you get it? Do you mind if I steal it for my blog,

Ali Ehrlich said...

Of course not, steal away. I got the pic from a NY Times Archive slideshow.