Fire Island Cookbook's Lobster Roll

One time at our friend Julie’s house on Cape Cod, we loaded a couple of boxes up with lobsters and settled in for a fun weekend of cooking. We pulled the lobster out and were admonished by Julie for "ruining" the lobster meat by soaking it overnight in butter. It seems that a proper New Englander would only make her sandwich with lobster meat and mayonnaise — nothing more. Not ones to waste perfectly good food, we pulled the lobster out of the now hardened butter and tossed it with celery, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. We toasted the buns in a little bit of fried butter and made the BEST lobster rolls any of us had EVER had. Our friends on Fire Island think so, too.


  • 4 live lobsters, 2 pounds each
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 Cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Cup diced celery
  • 1 Teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 8 hot dog buns

Fire Island Cookbook's Lobster Roll - Recipes


Long Island Cookbook Collection

Collection Number
SC 335

OCLC Number


A collection created by Special Collections from donations received between the 1970s and 1990s.

Extent, Scope, and Content Note
The collection comprises 2 cubic ft. of community cookbooks published between 1893 and 1990, and produced by individuals residing on Long Island and by organizations located on Long Island including churches, non-profits, and libraries. This type of cookbook was typically published to raise funds for charitable purposes.

Arrangement and Processing Note
The collection is arranged in alphabetical order.
Finding aid updated and revised by Kristen J. Nyitray in April 2020.


Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Rights and Permissions
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.

[Box], [Item], Long Island Cookbook Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Community cookbooks -- Specimens.
Community cookbooks -- New York (State) -- Long Island.
Cooking, American.
Cooking -- New York (State) -- Long Island.
Manners and customs.
Fund raising -- New York (State) -- Long Island.
Long Island (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs.
Long Island (N.Y.) -- Miscellanea.

Title: 60th Anniversary Cook Book
Author: Ladies' Home Improvement Society (East Hampton)
Date: 1955?

Title: 5,000 Years in the Kitchen: Favorite Recipes of the Sisterhood of the
Suburban Temple of Wantagh, N.Y.
Author: Sisterhood of the Suburban Temple
Date: 1968

Title: About Center Moriches, v. II
Author: Center Moriches Free Library
Date: 1982

Title: About Center Moriches, v. III
Author: Center Moriches Free Library
Date: 1983

Title: Anniversary Cookbook: 1656 - 1956 Bridgehampton
Author: A Special Committee on the Occasion of the Tercentenary
Date: 1956

Title: Apple Tree Wicke: Bicentennial Cookbook
Author: Sagtikos Manor Historical Society (Bay Shore)
Date: 1975

Title: Blend Love and Joy in Your Kitchen
Author: Muriel Ruth Sandbo (Published in Setauket)
Date: 1977

Title: A Book of Favorite Recipes
Author: The Amos Circle of the Setauket Presbyterian Church
Date: 1974

Title: A Book of Favorite Recipes
Author: The Cookbook Committee: Three Village Home Extension
Date: 1974

Title: Church of the Ascension Souvenir Cook Book
Author: Ladies of the Church of the Ascension (Rockville Centre)
Date: 1893

Title: Colonial Favorites: A Collection of Early American Recipes
Author: Veronica Lecat (Tested by the Ladies of the Huntington Militia)
Date: 1987

Title: Community Cookbook of Home Proved Dependable Dishes
Author: Mabel W. Merritt (Farmingdale)
Date: 1925

Title: Cook Book
Author: Christ Church (Bellport)
Date: n.d.

Title: Cook Book
Author: The First Presbyterian Church
Date: n.d.

Title: Cookbook
Author: Setauket United Methodist Church
Date: n.d.

Title: Cooperative Cooking
Author: Sisterhood of the Forest Park Jewish Center
Date: 1969

Title: Family Favorites
Author: The Garden City Church
Date: n.d.

Title: Favorite Recipes
Author: Port Washington Chapter No. 710 Order of the Eastern Star
Date: n.d.

Title: Fire Island Cook Book
Author: Georgina M. Hull
Date: 1971

Title: From the White House and Our House to Your House
Author: Setauket/Stony Brook Republican Club
Date: 1990

Title: The Glorious World of International Cookery
Author: Brookhaven Employees' Recreation Society at Brookhaven National Laboratory
Date: 1965

Title: Heavenly Recipes
Author: Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
Date: 1978

Title: Holiday Recipes
Author: American Heart Association (Bohemia)
Date: n.d.

Title: Home Sweet Home Cookbook
Author: Ladies' Village Improvement Society (East Hampton)
Date: 1939

Title: Huntington Cookery
Author: The Huntington Historical Society
Date: 1983

Title: International Cooks of Stony Brook
Author: Department of Pediatrics at University Hospital
Date: 1980

Title: Kitchen Secrets
Author: St. James Episcopal Church (St. James)
Date: n.d.

Title: Mercy League of Garden City Goes on a Cooks Tour
Author: Mercy League of Garden City
Date: n.d.

Title: The Miller's Meal: Corn, Wheat, and Rye Recipes
Author: Barton McGuire (and The Ladies' Auxiliary of Water Mill)
Date: 1978 - 1979

Title: Minnesauke Morsels
Author: Minnesauke School (Setauket)
Date: 1986

Title: Mother's Club of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church
Author: Mother's Club of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church (Elmont)
Date: 1955

Title: Nassau Cooks
Author: Nassau Girl Scouts (Garden City)
Date: 1976

Title: Northport Cookbook
Author: Trinity Church (Northport)
Date: 1948

Title: The Nurses' Cook Book
Author: Southside Hospital (Bay Shore)
Date: 1954

Title: Out of Our Kitchens: St. Ann's Edition
Author: The Episcopal Churchwomen of St. Ann's (Sayville)
Date: 1988

Title: Personal Recipes
Author: Women's Guild, First Presbyterian Church of Freeport
Date: 1955

Title: Pioneer Cookbook
Author: Long Island Empire Chapter, New York Telephone Company
Date: n.d.

Title: Pots, Pans and Picture Cook Book
Author: Ruth Dougherty and Viola Guerrera for Sayville Historical Society
Date: 1970

Title: Stacks of Recipes
Author: Stony Brook Library Staff Association (Stony Brook University)
Date: 1987

Title: A Taste of Allstate
Author: Allstate Insurance Company (Farmingville)
Date: 1978

Title: A Taste of Long Island
Author: The American Cancer Society, Long Island Division
Date: 1982

Title: Tasters Luncheon Recipes
Author: The Junior High Fellowship, Seatuket Presbyterian Church
Date: 1985

Title: The Three Village Cookbook
Author: Women's Guild of the Stony Brook Community Church
Date: 1957

Title: Town of Brookhaven Senior Citizens Cook Book: A Collection of Prize Winning Recipes
Author: Recreation and Parks Department, The Town of Brookhaven
Date: 1973

Title: Town of Islip 1683 - 1983: Tricentennial Cookbook
Author: Town of Islip
Date: 1983

Title: Town of Islip Cook Book circa 1895
Author: William K. Vanderbilt Historical Society of Dowling College
Date: n.d.

Title: What's Cookin'
Author: The Women's Club of the Congregational Church of Manhasset
Date: 1962

Title: What's Cookin' in Amityville, Long Island, New York
Author: The Ladies' Auxiliary Amityville Fire Department
Date: 1977

Title: What's Cookin' in St. Boniface Parish
Author: The St. Boniface Ladies' Guild (Sea Cliff)
Date: 1978

Title: What is Cookin' in the Pines: A Book of Favorite Recipes
Author: Parent-Teacher Association of Pines Elementary School (Smithtown)
Date: 1976

Title: Willets House Hearthside Recipes
Author: Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society (Port Washington)
Date: 1978

Title: Willets House Holiday Recipes
Author: Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society (Port Washington)
Date: 1979

Title: Women's Guild 50th Anniversary Cook Book, 1927 - 1977
Author: Trinity Lutheran Church (Islip)
Date: 1977

(Click on PHOTO to enlarge then hit the back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone,

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is my

“Photo Tribute”

to say good bye to my Summer 2016 on Long Island as I prepare for Fall this week.

Captree Bridge- Long Island, NY

Stuffed blue claw crabs

Broiled Bay scallops with capellini

Jones Beach – Long Island, NY

Clam Bake- corn, potatoes, shrimp, clams and mussels

Seagulls at Robert Moses State Park, NY

Lobster Roll with Old Bay fries

Fire Island Ferry – Long Island, NY

Mussels and Clams

Homemade Watermelon Italian ice

Fried Soft shell crabs

Claudio’s Clam Bar- Greenport, Long Island

Summer fruit

Linguine with clams

Lavender By the Bay- East Marion, NY

Annual fried seafood platter

Soft serve ice cream

Clams on the half shell- a Long Island staple

Captree State Park fishing fleet

Farm-stand Produce

And now I am ready for

apple cider donuts

and everything PUMPKIN…

Until my next post, make every day a celebration !


By and large most Fire Island cookbooks are community ventures produced by local fire department auxiliaries or homeowner associations with various residents contributing a recipe or two and then spiral-bound at the local copy shop. As charming as these homespun efforts may be the outcome is often too predictable: clam chowder, baked chicken, macaroni salad, and what Fire Island cookbook is complete without a reference to blueberry pie? Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen have finally broken this mold with The Fire Island Cookbook. (Atria / Emily Bestler, $30.00 list price.)

“We wanted to digress from being too regional or ‘New Englandy,’ ” explained DeSimone when discussing some of the bold decisions he and his partner made in determining the direction of this collaboration.

The seminal work includes lush photographs, printed on quality paper, even a foreword contributed by the television personality Al Roker. Indeed Mr. Roker sums up the book most adamantly when he states “I don’t plan on spending half the day looking for a truffles zester or whatever arcane piece of kitchen gadgetry…” the recipes in The Fire Island Cookbook are sophisticated, but not at the sacrifice of common sense. The called ingredients are surprisingly ordinary and instructions not fussy – so much so that even the novice chef will feel empowered.

One unique feature of The Fire Island Cookbook is how it has been organized. Rather than the typical soup, salad, main course, and desert chapters, DeSimone and Jenssen opt for menus instead: Enough fully planned menus to take you through the Memorial through Labor Day season of weekends on Fire Island or a two-week beach stint. Most of the recipes call for morning prep so a day can be spent at the beach with minimal kitchen time to serve, while a few are more elaborate for those rainy beach days we all know are somewhere in the summer forecast.

The authors, also known as “the wine guys” happen to be the Entertaining and Lifestyle contributing editors of Wine Enthusiast Magazine. This gives the book an unexpected bonus of knowledgeable wine advice to compliment the planned menus. Jeff and Mike presently summer at the community of Fire Island Pines, but their work takes them to exotic locations like Spain, France and the Mediterranean countries. Their travels are directly reflected in the cuisine described in their book, and this is appropriate for the palette of Fire Island menus have become steadily more cosmopolitan over the years.

Yet many of the tantalizing dishes described in these pages are very much down to earth: Mike’s Caribbean spiced ribs blue cheese, bacon and fried onion sliders and the mouth-watering strawberry-blueberry shortcake. Only released last April sales are strong making it to two of Amazon’s best seller lists in the home and Entertaining categories.

“We want people to have fun with this book and hope it will become a summer house classic in Fire Island kitchens,” said Jeff Jenssen near the conclusion of the interview. “For what you might spend on a bottle of wine it makes a great host or hostess gift.”

Indeed the time has come for Fire Island cookbooks to be reinvented. These two gentlemen have set the new standard for many years to come.

The Fire Island Cookbook can be purchased on Amazon for just $18.75, it makes a great gift!

Fire Island Cookbook's Lobster Roll - Recipes

What: Birthday Lunch Buffet for 50 Guests
Where: Saltaire, Fire Island

Handmade Sugar Shells and Brown Sugar Sand. Brilliant. This Search takes me back to Fire Island, where I was catering a 50 person lunch buffet. I was very excited to work with my new client, a really sweet and unbelievably talented woman named Elisa Strauss. Elisa owns a bakery in NYC called Confetti Cakes. Her cakes are absolutely ridiculously amazing.

When she was younger, Elisa was interested in textiles and oil paints. She soon turned to designing and sculpting cakes. While working as a Fashion Designer for Ralph Lauren, Elisa was asked to design a cake in the shape of Mr. Lauren's favorite sports car (Bugatti). One thing led to another and Confetti Cakes was born.

Elisa has been written up in a million magazines and has appeared on the Food Network several times. She designs grand, glorious wedding cakes and cakes with themes. Check out the Wine Bottle Cake on the website. She has two really great cookbooks (AMAZON LINK: Confetti Cakes Cookbook, AMAZON LINK: Confetti Cakes Cookbook for Kids) In fact, after the party, she sent me the "Confetti Cakes for Kids" book, which features her recipe for buttercream. Elisa made cupcakes for the party I catered, and the buttercream was the most delightfully fluffy and perfectly buttery buttercream I had ever had. Thanks Elisa!

My food was tasty and the party was a success. You can see the menu and some pictures of the buffet spread at the end of this post. But really, this is not about the lunch I catered. The real highlight of this party was Elisa's cake. This woman is a true artist. The cake was about 2 feet high, a beach pail with a lobster coming out of it. Everything was crafted from sugar, from the tiny shells adorning the base of the pail, to the sand dollars on top of the cupcakes, to the beady black eyes of the lobster. It all looked so REAL. It was flawlessly constructed and airbrushed, a perfect representation. At the base of the pail, dozens of cupcakes sat on top of brown sugar sand littered with beautiful sugar shells. Sugar sand dollars and starfish garnished some of the cupcakes (there were three cupcake flavors: vanilla, chocolate and coconut). The cupcakes in the center spelled out "Happy Birthday Karen" in sugar Scrabble letters, cause Karen loves Scrabble. Can you believe this?

Elisa Strauss' Glorious Lobster Cake Masterpiece. Woah.

Before the party, Elisa stood over the cake, scrutinzing every detail to make sure the cake was absolutely perfect. She was upset because it was hot outside and the sun was melting the sugar. Honestly, it all looked pretty awesome to me, but Elisa carefully, lovingly, moved the lobster's antennae a centimeter to the left, brushed a grain of brown sugar sand from the lobster's sugary back, made sure the sugar starfish was centered just so atop the coconut cupcake.

During the party people kept coming into the kitchen and staring at this masterpiece in total awe. Elisa politely accepted their gushing praise, saying modestly "it's what I do!" Maybe it is what she does and it's not such a big deal to her. But for those of us, and by us, I mean myself (and as I write this, I hang my head in shame) who cannot even cut a cake into straight, even layers, or successfully crack an egg without getting a bit of shell in the bowl (yes, yes, it's true! I admit it!), this was really a mind blowing achievement. I was so thrilled to be able to do this party for such an amazing artist. Check out Elisa's own Blog post about the Lobster Cake.

Seems funny to show you pictures of my little heirloom tomato salad after showing you Elisa's creation, but here you go, some catering photos to finish off the post:

  • Skirt steak with caramelized shallots and Creamed Spinach
  • Shrimp Cocktail with Homemade Cocktail Sauce--CHECK OUT THE RECIPE
  • Mini Traditional Lobster Rolls
  • Heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella Cheese, basil, Arugula extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar
  • Grilled corn with cilantro lime butter
  • Israeli couscous salad with spinach, artichokes, kalamata olives, Sun Dried tomatoes and Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Potato Salad

Close Up of Some Yummy Little Lobster Rolls Heirloom Tomato Salad, Always a Winner

Lunch Buffet Spread.

Unique Long Island Lobster Rolls

Bostwick’s Chowder House

Even if the whole summer passes, it doesn’t count if you didn’t eat a lobster roll at Bostwick’s Chowder House. They offer you warm lobster coated in butter, serve a cold lobster salad on a toasted hot dog bun, and even have a low-carb lobster roll with no bread. Whichever way you prefer it, there is no judgment at this restaurant, only good food, good vibes, good memories.

277 Pantigo Rd, East Hampton, L.I., NY 11937

For more information, visit bostwickschowderhouse.com or call 631-324-1111.

Catch Oyster Bar

If you are one of those indecisive people who spend half an hour deciding whether you want your lobster roll with mayo or butter, Catch Oyster Bar has come up with a simple solution for you – have it both ways!

Served on LI Blue Duck Bakery rolls and buns, Catch Signature Lobster Roll features lobster meat warmed in butter and lemon mayo. Treat yourself to this lovely sandwich where the best parts of two worlds meet you deserve it.

63 N Ocean Ave, Patchogue, L.I., NY 11772

Learn more by visiting catchoysterbar.com or calling 631-627-6860.

Claws Seafood Market

Sometimes I feel like the fact that there are only two ways to cook lobster rolls is unfair to lobster sandwiches’ potential. And I guess Claws Seafood Market agrees with me because they offer not two but five types of lobster rolls.

There is The Original West Sayville Roll with plenty of meat, light mayo, lettuce leaf, and toasted buttery bun. If you want more lobster than the bun can hold, then you should order The Double Roll. The Ruddy Roll exists for those of you who wish there was bacon in every lobster sandwich you eat. The Naked Roll is just bread, meat, and drawn butter. And if you are a spicy food lover, The FireHouse Roll with jalapenos and sriracha was created for you.

So head over to Claws when you want another lobster roll but are getting bored with the limited choice. These sandwich variations won’t disappoint.

20 Main Street, West Sayville, L.I., NY 11796

Get more info by visiting http://clawsseafoodmarket.com/ or calling 631-256-5900.

Source: harbormarket.com

Harbor Market & Kitchen

The lobster roll created by Harbor Market & Kitchen will blow your mind (and your taste buds). The story begins the way we all know it: lobster meets mayonnaise, and then both of them get along really well with a toasted split-top bun. But here is the catch – drumroll please – the meat is poached in butter first, and the whole sandwich is served warm. So no, it’s not your usual Maine or Connecticut lobster roll it’s a perfect combo of both.

184 Division St, Sag Harbor, L.I., NY 11963

For more information, visit harbormarket.com or call 631-725-4433.

Lazy Lobster

Interestingly, a place with the word lazy in its name worked pretty hard and came up with several unique lobster rolls. You can have the traditional one with mayo or opt for a warm Connecticut-style sandwich served with tarragon citrus butter. There is Angry Lobster Roll, which is cold, spicy, and comes with an attitude, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. And there is Rock Lobster Roll for lovers of the smoked bacon and diced tomatoes combo.

You know, you can call Lazy Lobster a lot of things – the first few that come to mind are food paradise, fantastic, precious – but lazy is definitely not one of them.

10 Front St, East Rockaway, L.I., NY 11518

Find out more by visiting lazylobsterny.com or calling 516-837-8484.

Maldon & Mignonette

One of the nominees for the best lobster roll on Long Island, Maldon & Mignonette is an expert in seasonal cuisine. That explains the nomination and why so many people go crazy over their lobster rolls. After all, who can bring out the best in such a seasonal treat as a lobster if not the chef who understands what ingredients make each season precious?

Served with vinegar-salt fries, the M&M lobster roll offers you a heavenly combination of meat, garlic, lemon vinaigrette, lime zest, frisée, and toasted to perfection brioche bun.

243 Glen Cove Ave, Sea Cliff, L.I., NY 11579

To find out more, visit maldonmignonette.com or call 516-801-3250.

Source: saltandbarrel.com

Salt & Barrel

It doesn’t matter how many Long Island lobster rolls you’ve tried nothing can prepare you for Salt & Barrel’s Warm Lobster Roll. It’s a combo of butter-poached lobster, tomato aioli, and pickled celery, all served on a magical bun that doesn’t get soggy. The sandwich comes with housemade malt vinegar chips. This mix of flavors might seem a bit weird to traditionalists, and you might wonder if it works. Well, one way to find out (hint: it does).

61 W Main St, Bay Shore, L.I., NY 11706

To find out more, visit saltandbarrel.com or call 631-647-8818.

Schout Bay Tavern

Schout Bay Tavern’s menu changes frequently, but their Long Island lobster rolls recipe is the same every summer. However, it’s not for the faint of heart.

The restaurant decided that BLT and long island lobster rolls should get married and have a baby. The result is simply delicious – the lobster meat covered in avocado mayo lays right next to heirloom tomatoes and thick-cut bacon, and all of that is securely hugged by a toasted bun. It’s something you never knew you needed.

118 Plandome Rd, Manhasset, L.I., NY 11030

Learn more by visiting schoutbaytavern.com or calling 516-627-2190.

'Wine Enthusiast' Editors Create the Perfect Cookbook for Summer

A new cookbook by Wine Enthusiast Entertaining & Lifestyle editors Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, also known as the World Wine Guys, really gets the way we all cook at home, especially the way we want to cook in the hot summer months. The Fire Island Cookbook, with a foreword by Al Roker, will entertain you with its stories, help you entertain your friends and family, and give you great wine pairings with each recipe. What it won't do is make you sweat it out in the kitchen.

(Photo courtesy Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen)

"Our recipes are designed to be prepped in the morning while you're having your coffee," said Jeff Jenssen. "Then you can leave everything and go to the beach all day. "

". And when you walk back in the door," continued Mike DeSimone, "you just turn on the burner, light the grill, grab your shower. Then come out with your hair still wet, serve your guests some wine, and you'll have dinner on the table in 45 minutes."

Interviewing Mike and Jeff over a dinner they cooked me from The Fire Island Cookbook was great fun. Hugely entertaining and liberal with the wine, this couple constantly finishes each other's sentences and seamlessly splits kitchen and hosting duties. And the food they made from the cookbook, complete with dessert, was simply delicious, and deliciously simple.

Mike DeSimone (left) and Jeff Jenssen (right) goofing around at home

(Photo courtesy Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen)

Mike explained, "Though we've both worked in professional kitchens, our recipes come from the point of view of home cooks, and they're made for home cooks. "

Jeff interjected with, "But home cooks with style!" Mike laughed and added, "As editors at Wine Enthusiast we get professional chefs' recipes all the time to work with, and we just stare at them, thinking. Um, nobody's going to cook this at home!"

That's what I love about The Fire Island Cookbook -- you can make every recipe in there. Organized with weekend menus from Memorial Day through Labor Day, inclusive of desserts and affordable wine pairings, the recipes are casual and quick enough to make on a weeknight too. Plus, as Jeff said, "There's no crazy equipment you need. " to which Mike added, ". Or ingredients you can't find at any good market like Whole Foods."

Salted Chocolate Caramel Brownies from America the Bountiful menu

(Photo courtesy Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen)

While their cookbook references Fire Island off the coast of New York City, because it's where they've been doing summer weekends for more than 10 years, it's not limited geographically. "It could easily have been called The Summer Share Cookbook or The Beach House Cookbook," said Jeff. "It really has to do with getting together with family and friends, and it evokes the mood that wherever you are, you're on vacation."

It's a very international vacation book, with dishes that they fell in love with on their world travels. The menus include a Spanish dinner (they have a house in Spain), a French Menu, a Villa in Tuscany, Portside in Puerto Vallarta, as well as Mikonos by Torchlight and a Labor Day Caribbean Barbeque, all paired with wine and spirits that are native to the locations of the menus.

Paella with Shellfish & Chorizo from Paella Beach Party menu

(Photo courtesy Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen)

To me, two of their most interesting pairings are with the Mykonos, Greece menu and the Caribbean menu.

In America, we don't often look to Greece when we think of wine, but, the lovely white Gerovassiliou Malagousia and the red Biblia Chora are perfect not just for their cookbook's menu, but for any dish of similar flavors and body.

"We really believe that if it grows together, it goes together," said Mike. "So all of the dishes in the book are paired with wines from that country. The Greek wines are exactly what the Greek menu needed. We've gone to Greece both as tourists and as journalists, touring the vineyards and writing about the wine. They've been making wine in Greece for thousands of years, and they're really quite good at it!"

Rosemary-Rubbed Boneless Leg of Lamb with Tomato-Eggplant Caponata from Mykonos by Torchlight menu

(Photo courtesy Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen)

With the Caribbean menu, the boys paired the food with cocktails and sipping rum. They prefer Mount Gay Silver for mixing cocktails, and Mount Gay 1703 for sipping rum with dessert or after dinner.

Mike's Caribbean Spiced Ribs from Labor Day Caribbean Barbeque menu

(Photo courtesy Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen)

Jeff explained, "In respecting the terroir in the Caribbean, you can't just use some wine from anywhere, they don't grow wine in the Caribbean. But Mount Gay, who invented rum, uses local Caribbean sugar cane, and it goes perfectly with that spicy Caribbean cuisine. We think a rum of the quality of Mount Gay 1703 can be sipped like a fine Cognac or whiskey, straight out of a snifter. "

Then Mike butted in with, "But you can chill it or add an ice cube because it's hot down in the Caribbean in summer!"

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen sipping Mount Gay Rum in Barbados (Regina Varolli)

Having been writing and traveling together for so long, I asked Mike and Jeff what it was that made them want to write The Fire Island Cookbook. Mike told me the idea to write a book wasn't something new to them, but that this specific idea actually came from a friend on Fire Island, where Mike and Jeff's dinners are quite famous.

Mike told me, "We were taking a long stroll on the beach with a friend who said to us, 'When you guys cook dinner, everybody loves to come to the house'. "

Then Jeff interrupted. "Actually, he said 'When you cook dinner, people are fighting for a place at the table!'" They laughed. "That's true," said Mike, "and then he told us, 'You guys should write the Fire Island cookbook!'"

Again Jeff interjected, "Steven's the guy who told us this!"

The idea got planted, and then the boys got to work. All of the recipes were developed in home kitchens, either in their apartment in Manhattan, their house in Spain, their vacation rentals around Europe, and, of course, their summer share house on Fire Island.

Baked Crème Brûlée from Rainy Day French Menu

(Photo courtesy Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen)

This summer, with being so busy launching this successful cookbook, preparing to launch their second book, Wines of the Southern Hemisphere: The Complete Guide, all while still maintaining their work as Entertaining & Lifestyle Editors at Wine Enthusiast, I asked them just how much time they'd have to make it out to Fire Island.

"Well we're not doing a full season time share this year," explained Mike. "But we'll still go. We have a lot of friends out there, and really, if we called you and said we we're going to show up this weekend and bring food and wine, would you turn us down?"

Simple answer: No, I wouldn't. And if you're cooking and pouring wines from this beautiful and easy cookbook, nobody will turn you down either!

Fire Island Cookbook's Lobster Roll - Recipes

Last night two members of my party ordered short ribs over mashed potatoes. What they received were 3 long, flat cuts of beef, that were 4 inches long, by 1 inch wide, and about a quarter of an inch thick. The meat was extremely tough, requiring a steak knife and considerable effort to saw through the candidate substance, being called short ribs. When we questioned the wait staff, she was too naive to know, and she questioned the chef, who affirmed that was indeed short ribs,and that they had been cut on its side to produce the version we were now eating.
Anyone that knows short ribs, understands the allure of this dish is tender and flavorful recipe made by slow and low cooking of this type of meat. Which gives you a very tender dish that you can completely eat with a fork. This restaurant has chosen to foist their skirt steak as short ribs. And either doesn't know the difference (which is horribly stupid) or is maddeningly dishonest (which is worse). Others in our party had satisfying pasta scallops, shrimp and muscles, however one fillet of fish had a thicken texture, which lead us to believe it had been refrozen, or mishandled past the point of freshness.

10 - 14 of 28 reviews

So we stay a week or two every summer out in Ocean Bay Park. Almost everyone of the nights we are there we head down to Schooners for drinks and wings. My wife is a big wing lover and she says that Schooners are some of the best wings she has eaten. I don't order anything fancy to drink so my drinks are usually fine. My wife likes to try different drinks when she is away on vacation. Normally she doesn't drink at all when not on vacation. So it is a little disappointing to be expecting some delicious cocktail that you have been thinking about and it is sub par. But the fine of the Bingo to win a bike and the sunsets off the back deck make up for it. And when our little guys come with us they usually hang down on their little beach and meet some new friends that are down there playing as well.

That had to have been the most disgusting food I have ever had. My husband and I actually feel nauseous. Got baked clams that looked like canned cat food. Food tasted watered down like it had been sitting in the bottom of a wet pot or in a freezer for months. The only saving grace was our ginger ale. Chef Ramsey needs to visit thus Kitchen Nightmare! YUCK.

FREE ZOOM LOBSTER MasterClass Live from Fire Island

Join Michael-Ann Rowe and lobster scientist, Dr. Bob Bayer for a FREE ZOOM LOBSTER MasterClass Tuesday June 30th 6:30 pm EST. All in support of our cross-border lobster industry. We want the lobster fisherman to keep feeding us

In the MasterClass we will share the many fascinating facts about lobster… How lobsters grow, their lifecycle, lobster sex, new and hard-shell, lobster seasons, how-to buy and store lobster, and recipe ideas! Michael-Ann will demonstrate the Luke's Lobster roll recipe.

This FREE Zoom class is for FOODIES, SEAFOOD LOVERS, CHEF’S, RESTAURANT OWNERS, NUTRITIONISTS, RETAIL SEAFOOD DEPARTMENT WORKERS, or anyone interested in marine and food science, journalists, restaurant staff and of course LOBSTER LOVER’S

Click below for full details and to register for this free Zoom class

FREE LOBSTER MasterClass, June 30 at 6:30PM (Eastern):

Fire Island Pasta

Living on this Long Island very close to Fire Island gave me the name for this one.


  • 1 pound Rotini Pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 pound Sweet Or Spicy Italian Sausage
  • 1 package (10 Oz. Package) Frozen Broccoli Florets
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • ½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 can (14.5 Oz) Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente drain, drizzle with some olive oil to prevent sticking and reserve.

In a large skillet, heat oil and sausage cook through until no longer pink. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add broccoli, onion and garlic to the skillet. Sprinkle basil and crushed pepper in, add the broth and tomatoes.

Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to slightly reduce and until tomatoes pop open.

Add pasta to the skillet and mix together. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Watch the video: Fire Island Cookbook Recipes (January 2022).