At Flight in Patchogue, they’re taking the concept of a flight — a series of paired drinks — beyond wine and beer and extending it to craft spirits, cocktails, and even food.
That would be difficult to find anywhere else.
“I’m sure people are doing it, but I’ve never seen it,” said James Bonanno, who along with business partner and longtime friend, David Johnson, opened Flight — a village restaurant with a big city vibe — at 38 West Main Street on Tuesday. (More photos appear below.)
Bonanno and Johnson also own The Tap Room locations in Patchogue and Massapequa.
Flight opened fully to the public this week, after a few nights of soft openings.
“We just wanted to bring a different experience to Main Street,” said Bonnano. “The name Flight originated from that small plate concept of sharing and indulging in different flavors. And then we wanted to extend the idea of the flight beyond wine and beer, to spirits and cocktails.”
To do so, the owners recruited not only a Las Vegas chef in Jason Tepper — who has worked closely with known names like Vic “Vegas” Moea and Beni Velazquez — but veteran mixologist Mark Seaman, who will serve as Flight’s beverage director and chief drink concoctor.
“The whole goal is to highlight the seasonal, local ingredients as much as possible,” said Seaman, a Ridge native. “We’re definitely focusing on small batch, craft-made products, includes the spirits. We’re finding these great companies that people have never heard of that are making fantastic products, and typically it’s just two people.”
So instead of Tanqueray or Beefeater, they’re serving Two James and Barr Hill as part of a gin and tonic flight that features three different gins (the other is Gin Mare).
The concept of a flight — most commonly experienced at a winery, where five or six different wine pours will be paired together in a series — extends to the food menu as well.
Just take Tepper’s Hiz & Herz. It’s a surf and turf flight that features three different meats and three different fishes.
It’s named after the Hiz & Herz Hair Salon in Patchogue, which Tepper’s late mother, Lillian, started. (It’s still in operation at 26 East Main Street.)
“That was my mom’s favorite thing to eat, surf and turf,” Tepper said. “The Hiz and Herz is my ultimate favorite dish, and will probably be our number one seller as well.”
The Flight Plates section of the menu also includes a Mac & Cheese flight and Sliders. Small plate selections include Forbidden Scallops, Duck Confit and Butternut Ravioli, among nine others. There are also six different artisanal pizza options on the dinner menu.
“These are great flavors, bold flavors, served on plates that are appealing to the eye,” Tepper said. “We’re mixing sweet and savory, hot and cold. And with the flight connection with the food, you won’t find this concept anywhere across the island but it will definitely be picked up.
“James and Dave are just really lucky to be the first.”