Salt & Barrel

Salt & Barrel

61 W. Main St.

Bay Shore, NY 11706


Website: • Reservations:

At the west end of downtown Bay Shore’s revitalized dining and nightlife district, Salt & Barrel Oyster and Craft Cocktail bar is anything but understated. Opened in 2016 on the ground floor of an upscale residential development, the spot exudes class and comfort even from the street.

Operated by members of the Flynn family of Ocean Bay Park fame, Salt & Barrel is a marked departure from the classic beach vibes of the family’s decades-old establishment there. The focus here is on oysters – the “salt” referenced in the name – and bourbon, of which over 40 varieties are available. Co-owner Ryan Flynn is excited to offer more than just bourbon, however. In addition to dozens of varieties of rum, rye, whiskey, scotch, and tequila, she is currently featuring 100% natural wine from friend Summer Wolff, who operates an organic vineyard in Monferrato, Italy.

Salt & Barrel’s space is divided into a formal streetside dining area and a bar seating area complete with swank contemporary lighting. On a recent visit, a friend and I enjoyed a first course consisting of an iced platter with three signature oysters: the Great Gun and the Lucky 13, both from local waters; and the Wellfleet from Massachusetts. Over a dozen oyster varieties are offered at any given time and are listed on a separate menu. The Great Guns were among the freshest and most flavorful we had ever tasted. We veered off course slightly to try oyster shooters – shots paired with a single oyster, meant to be enjoyed together. The concept is novel, and we couldn’t stop at just one.

The first cocktail served was a seasonal one created by bartender Eric, who has been on the team here since the place opened. A Blue Dream featured vodka, blueberry, passion fruit, and an assortment of diverse seasonings. On a hot day, Eric’s creation was light, refreshing, and not overpowering.

Octopus with braised chickpeas, harissa yogurt, and a fennel and herb salad was served as our appetizer course. The octopus was crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and the chickpeas and yogurt complemented it perfectly. Another signature cocktail, the Hundredth Year, was suggested as another original staff creation. Featuring Plantation 5-year rum and apricot liqueur, the beautifully presented drink’s name was inspired by writer Garcia Marquez’s 1967 novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

A sampling of 2021 Gio Gio vino grosso from Wolff’s aforementioned organic Italian winery was presented next. The cranberry and black cherry infused wine has a distinctly light taste, full of flavor but easy to sip.

Our main course featured large, tender scallops with carrot puree, black beluga lentils, and roasted Caulilini almonds. The gluten-free dish was browned to perfection and almost melts in your mouth. Shrimp pad thai, caserecce pasta with sausage, and picanha wagyu sirloin are among other entrée offerings we hope to try on another visit. An enormous homemade chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwich was served as our last course.

Salt & Barrel offers the best of multiple worlds: elegant dining, fresh oysters, a vast selection of bourbon and other liquors, and nightlife around an upscale bar. Looking for a spot that has everything? Try Bay Shore’s west end this weekend.

Salt & Barrel offers an Oyster Happy Hour daily, from 3-6 p.m.; and lunch Wednesday-Friday, noon-3 p.m. Dinner: Monday, 3-8 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 3-8:30 p.m.; Friday, 3-10 p.m.; Saturday, noon-10 p.m.; and Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Weekend brunch is offered on Saturday, noon-3 p.m. and Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. They are closed on Tuesday.