Sage Bistro
2620 Merrick Road
Bellmore, NY 11710

The Admirably Unpretentious French Restaurant

An excellent French bistro with an American accent is conveniently located on the south shore of Long Island.  Sage Bistro is comfortably situated at 2620 Merrick Road in the hamlet of Bellmore, just south of Sunrise Highway.

Owner, Onur Peter Oktas, has been in the restaurant industry for approximately fifteen years.  He began his career at the Kempinski Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey.  When he came to the United States, his first position was as an assistant food and beverage manager at the Times Square Marriott Marquis.  He then traveled out to Long Island to work at Bistro Cassis in Huntington.  It was at Bistro Cassis that he met up with Master Chef Julio Velasquez.  Peter and Julio decided to open the doors to Sage Bistro together about three years ago.  Julio, a native of Poloros, El Salvador, came to the United States in 1991 and has since trained with renowned chefs.  Julio is proud to serve only dishes created with the freshest produce and highest quality ingredients at Sage Bistro.  About a year ago the pair also opened Brasserie Persil in Oceanside. An additional new location in Rockville Center is also in the works and should be opening its doors during the summer of 2009.  Julio and Peter attribute their great success to determination and team work.

An elegant and intimate atmosphere has been masterfully created at Sage Bistro.  The entire bar is constructed from a dark cherry wood, which also matches the dining room tables and chairs.  The paintings on the beige wall between the hanging lanterns are all of Impressionist styles.  At each table is a placemat, which dutifully instructs patrons on how to make crepes.  Another nice touch is the view through a large glass window into the wine room at the back of the restaurant.

The entire staff at Sage Bistro was courteous and knowledgeable.  Alex has been a manager at Sage Bistro for the past two years.  Prior to joining the work force, he frequented the establishment with his fiancée for Sage Bistro’s steak tartare.  When the restaurant expanded into the adjoining room, Alex was invited by Peter to join the staff.  Alex had previously worked in the city at Chubo a French-Asian fusion restaurant, as well as Bistro Citron.

Staff offered each individual a pre-sliced French baguette from a wicker basket.  The bread had a nice crusty exterior and a fresh, soft interior.|

Sage Bistro makes an absolutely amazing French Onion Soup (below left).  We had never had French onion soup so thick and plentiful of cheese and onions.  The aroma of the soup was a clear indicator of how flavorful it would be.  The soup would be an excellent starter; we also learned that in France this common soup is used to prevent hangovers.

The Seafood Salad (above right) consisted of shrimp, scallops, calamari, and mussels in a citrus vinaigrette over mixed greens.  The plentiful amount of seafood covered the mixed greens and created an aromatic bliss.  We were excited to find out that the salad required no additional efforts on our account, as the shrimp was pre-cut and butterflied for our enjoyment.  The unique blend of ingredients was accentuated perfectly by the citrus vinaigrette.  We all agreed this would be a perfect salad to share because of how much was in the bowl.  It would even make a great meal if someone wanted a lighter dinner option.

Our first appetizer, Crab Croquettes (above left), was served with mango and cucumber slaw, in a ginger lime dijonnaise.  The croquette style presentation was a unique departure from the usual round crab cake.  The coleslaw added a pleasant sweet flavor, while the onions provided a hint of spice.  No particular flavor was too overwhelming, but more of a perfect culmination of flavors.  This was an excellent and delicate dish.

The next appetizer was an absolute delight for goat cheese lovers.  The Baked Goat Cheese Strudel (above right) was served with cranberry, pear chutney, and port wine reduction.  The sweetness of the cranberry and pear accentuated the goat cheese well, while the greens provided a nice bitter contrast.

One of the specials on the appetizer menu was the Salmon Tartare (above left).   It was an excellent arrangement of capers, citrus olive oil, basil, pesto, dill cucumber, scallions and tomatoes in a unique potato formed bowl.  The appetizer had a delicious scent to it.  The amazing dressing complemented the ingredients and brought the entire ensemble together.  It was another delicate appetizer that was extremely refreshing.

The fourth appetizer is a regular on the menu, the Traditional Steak Tartare (above right).  It was served with toast and frisée lettuce.  The steak tartare was well seasoned and very fresh.  Delicious and smooth would be the best descriptive words for this traditional French dish.

The most delicious bargain on the appetizer section of the menu was the Mussels Marinière (above) with garlic, parsley, and white wine broth.  The mussels were served to the table in a steaming copper pot with a great aroma.  There was a generous portion of mussels for only nine dollars and every shell had a mussel.  We definitely recommend requesting extra bread with this appetizer so you can take full advantage of the garlic accented broth.  Just be sure not to fill up before beginning your main course.

Our first entrée of the evening was the Hazelnut Crusted Salmon (above left) Filet with apple parsnip puree, sautéed spinach, and horseradish sauce.  The hazelnut crusting was delicious; it had a nice crunchiness to it.  The apple parsnip puree was a thicker version of applesauce.  This is one of the most popular entrees at Sage Bistro.

We then moved on to the Sole Meunière (above right).  A filet of sole sautéed in a lemon caper sauce served with julienne vegetables and boiled potatoes.  The vegetables were quite fresh.  The strong lemon flavor accented the sole well.  The crispy potato bowl, making its second appearance of the evening, held the boiled potato balls.  While the capers added just the right amount of salt.

The New Zealand Rack of Lamb (above) was pistachio nut crusted and served with a blue cheese, mushroom, and potato tart and a side of sautéed broccoli rabe.  It was a beautiful presentation of lamb; as you can see in the photo (above/below) with each chop gingerly intertwined with one another. The lamb was incredibly tender under the pistachio coating.  The lamb was seared, roasted and then brushed with Dijon mustard and dipped in crushed pistachios.  The potato tart was tasty and the broccoli rabe was fresh and tender. This was another classic French dish executed to perfection.

Roasted Filet Mignon au Poivre (below left) with haricot verts, potato gratin, and green peppercorn sauce was the fourth dish we sampled and truly enjoyed. The delicious potato gratin was a layered delight. The string beans were crisp while the Filet was tender and pink in the middle.

The Roasted Pork Chop (above middle) was stuffed with caramelized onions and gruyere cheese.  A sweet potato apple cake and Brussels sprouts served as the sides for this entrée.  There was just the right amount of stuffing in the pork chop.  The cheese and onions provided a nice flavor to the moist hearty portion of pork.  The saltiness of the pork chop was contrasted by the slightly sweet “cake.”  It was a unique preparation of sweet potatoes and apples as an entrée’s side.

Our last sampled entrée was the Duck Breast and Leg Confit (above right) prepared medium rare with wild rice, walnut bread pudding, braised cabbage, and cranberry pear chutney. Duck breast, leg and tenderloin all on one plate.  The skin enveloping the frenched duck leg was nice and crispy.  Each piece of duck was moist and delectable.  An outstanding portion of duck is served with this entrée.  The bread pudding had a crispy outside and a very moist inside, and served as a sweet complement to this game.  It was an absolutely superb meal for those that thoroughly enjoy duck.

While we waited for the dessert menus, we enjoyed cinnamon scented cappuccino and a large selection of Tazo teas.  We decided to taste four of the desserts.  Our first choice was the Crème Brulee (above left); a creamy vanilla custard with a caramelized sugar top, which made a perfect snap with the side of a spoon.  The cream was thick and fluffy.  The Warm Apple Tart (above right) was accompanied by caramel sauce and hazelnut ice cream.  It was a modest tart, but the ice cream was incredible; a sensational duo.  We considered the tart to be the lightest end of the evening option. Our third dessert was the Gateau Au Chocolat, (below left) which was hot chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream.  The last dessert is for those true dark chocolate lovers – Mousse Au Chocolat.  Dark chocolate mouse (below right) was topped with fresh whipped cream and berries.  The dark chocolate was 70 percent cocoa, which creates a strong bittersweet taste.

We recommend patrons allow ample time for parking as the lot behind the restaurant is small and . There is parking on the street and in the rear, and it may take a few extra minutes to get your vehicle parked, it is definitely worth the hassle or walk if you are forced to park a block away. 

The atmosphere at Sage Bistro is elegant yet relaxed – the perfect setting for any occasion from a business meeting to a first date.  The generous portions of food served with each dish was admirable.  Sage Bistro is one of the few places you can go and expect to receive quantity and quality at affordable prices.  If you are on the south shore of Long Island in Bellmore, we highly recommend enjoying a meal at Sage Bistro. Even if you’re not from the vicinity it’s well worth the trip. However we do recommend you allow ample time for parking as space may be limited.


Overall Rating: Superb

Cuisine: French Cuisine

Ambiance & Décor:  Charmingly Elegant

Prices: Lunch $10-$15, Dinner $14-$30

Sage Bistro

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