No Whining but Great Dining at Schaudel’s Coofish

Playing With Fire: Whining and Dining on the Gold Coast

As I Googled “Tom Schaudel” to spruce up this blog post, I came across his book: Playing With Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast.

I didn’t know the Gold Coast could be so entertaining…

From Playing With Fire: Whining & Dining on the Gold Coast is a voyeur’s peek into the crazy world of the restaurant culture. Filled with vignettes of difficult customers, stressed-out cooks, harried wait staff, and the truly disturbed, this book takes an affectionate romp through Tom Schaudel’s restaurants to introduce you to the most memorable cast of characters he’s experienced in his forty years in the business. You’ll meet a ninety-year old-woman who happens to be a serial “bird-flipper,” a woman trying to drag a twenty-foot Christmas tree out the front door undetected, an elderly gentleman walking out with an 8.5″ x 15″ metal clipboard menu holder stuffed down his pants, and a woman who got drunk, passed out, got revived, and aced an intervention, all in under twenty minutes. An absolute must read for “foodies,” these stories and the many others will provide pure entertainment and lots of laughs for a long, long time to come.

Located in a large industrial area, Tom Schaudel’s Coolfish is off the beaten path so you better look out for Michael Drive on route 25 or you may drive in circles for a bit. It has a great open bar area for the after work crowd and it is delicately decorated with fine art and festive seasonal adornments for those who come for the dining experience. That would be my husband Michael and I celebrating our 8th year anniversary. Bonus, this was a week before Long Island Restaurant Week, but they still offered a fantastic menu that was priced as a Stimulus Package Deal which included a house glass of Merlot!

First course, soup!

The waiter let us know the soups of the day were clam chowder and tomato soup. Needless to say I had to ask if the chowder was Manhattan or New England. “Neither” was the response, as Tom created the Long Island Clam Chowder which the waiter clarified to be “white”. Michael went ahead and ordered a bowl of LI chowder, I went with the tomato soup. Both were hearty and delicious!

Extra dish…

Michael went ahead and ordered the PEI mussels as well. We better start training for a marathon with the way he has been ordering, but I really can’t complain. The mussels were outstanding. Perfectly cooked in a blast of flavor that included thai red curry, basil, lime and coconut milk.

Next the entrees…

I have had Chilean sea bass so many times in restaurants and also have cooked it at home. It’s known to be a great easy fish to prepare. This blew me away as it was served with a with lobster fricassee. The flavor of the lobster was in every single bite. Moist and sweet, the fish was easy to eat with just the fork. Michael ordered the grilled sliced steak that was topped with these crunchy onion crisps. He thought it was a good dish with lots of texture as the steak was placed on top of potato mash and asparagus.

Chilean Sea Bass with Lobster Fricassee

Grilled Sliced Steak with Onion Crisps

For dessert, two exquisite dishes…

I ordered the warm pear cobbler with pumpkin gelato and fresh whipped cream (it melted pretty quickly which made for a bit of a messy photo) This was incredible. The warm cobbler was juicy and flavorful and the gelato was a perfect match with the whipped cream topping. Michael ordered one of his favorite desserts, the cheesecake which had a pistachio and macadamia crust. He loved this. It was beautiful presentation as well.

Pear Cobbler with Pumpkin Gelato and Whipped Cream

Cheesecake with a Pistachio-Macadamia Crust

My only comment to the restaurant is a bit insignificant, the small pepper mills and the tiny salt shaker on each table looked a bit out of place. I wonder if that comment will make it to his follow up book?

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