After more than a year of renovations and planning, the highly anticipated opening of Oyster Bay’s newest restaurant finally happened last week. The coastal American restaurant 2 spring held its grand opening on Wednesday, Jan. 10, an affair that drew residents, town officials and the media as the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce welcomed the new business into the hamlet. The building, built in 1925, is owned by Claudia and Michael Taglich of Oyster Bay, while the operations are run by Chef Jesse Schenker and his wife, Lindsay.
“We are so happy to open up this restaurant,” said Schenker, an Iron Chef winner. “It’s been Michael and Claudia’s dream and Lindsay and I are so happy. The four of us are ready to feed this town and become a staple on this corner and beyond.”
The space at the corner of Spring Street and Audrey Avenue, formerly Cafe Al Dente, sat vacant for several years and has been transformed into an elegant, two-story restaurant serving a selection of fine wines, premium cocktails, and a contemporary menu of large and small plates.
Schenker ran two restaurants in Manhattan, recette and The Gander, which were both well-regarded and earned him accolades. In December 2011, Forbes named Schenker one of “30 Under 30” in the food and wine industry, he was nominated twice as a James Beard award semifinalist, “America’s Best Young Chefs” in Details magazine and recette was named one of New York City’s 10 most exciting restaurants by Manhattan Magazine. Schenker competed on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America in 2010, winning his battle.
“We want to welcome you to Oyster Bay,” said Alex Gallego, president of the OBEN Chamber of Commerce. “When we look at what is happening in the community, you are precisely what we want and what we need, because what you are telling everyone here is we can grow, we can be better than what we are and we can aspire to be what you have done here at 2 spring.”