Michael Meehan served at executive chef at H2O Seafood Grill in Smithtown for five years, although he recently moved to a private establishment.
No stranger to favorable reviews, he has been dubbed “one of the region’s super chefs” by the New York Times’ Joanne Starkey, “a seafood star” and “stellar chef” by Newsday’s Peter Gianotti and “one of the Island’s leading kitchen commanders” by Long Island Pulse’s Richard Jay Scholem.
In his first chef positions on Long Island from the 1990s to 2001, Meehan earned three three-star, or excellent, reviews from Newsday as chef and co-owner for his New American cuisine atMill River Inn in Oyster Bay, his New World cuisine at Tupelo Honey in Sea Cliff and his regional American seafood at Clearwater in Massapequa.
At H2O Seafood Grill, Meehan’s classical New American cooking style comes to life with wine-friendly dishes, straightforward flavors and the freshest ingredients. Although he is no longer with the restaurant, his ‘fresh approach’ preferences still mirror the restaurant’s philosophy.
The seasonal menu of finfish, shellfish and land fare reflects his signature touch and passion for working with local bounty.
The restaurant still offers wine dinners pairing world-class dishes of local ingredients with award-winning international and local wines. The latter includes one of America’s first wine-on-tap programs with by-the-glass selections with from as far away as Piedmont and Monterrey and near as the North Fork.
Of these evenings where new-to-the-menu seasonal dishes surprise and delight each week, the Long-Islander Newspaper’s Luann Dallojacono remarks, “Arriving at H2O Seafood Grill early on a Wednesday night, one might not think to find a crowd in this restaurant that stands somewhat isolated from a downtown hub. But on a recent visit, the crowd was fluid, bustling and filled with cheer as friends gathered to have a drink, grab some premium sushi or sit down for a spectacular dinner.”
Zagat readers have referred to Meehan’s “‘classic’ and ‘imaginative’ dishes – from ‘stellar sushi’ to ‘must-have’ seafood crêpes – at this ‘charming, beachy”’ Smithtowner specializing in ‘carefully prepared’ fish.” “A metropolitan sensibility (no fried fisherman’s platter here) informs the imaginative, mouthwatering dishes, surprisingly good sushi bar and upscale beach house ambiance as well as the excellent martinis.”
Meehan has been voted a Best Chef finalist by Long Island Press readers (2010-2012); on the advisory board of a new culinary center at Suffolk Community College (2007); acknowledged East End Chef of the Year by LI Wine and Food Awards (2003), Best New Chef on the North Fork by Dan’s Paper (2002) and a rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation (1995). He has also been invited to cook at the James Beard House on three occasions related to the Rising Stars Series, Taste of Long Island and the Long Island Strawberry Celebration.
Established in 2001 by Bohlsen Restaurant Group, H2O brings to life their vision for a modern Long Island fish house with an earnest commitment to excellence in a relaxed setting. Other establishments owned by the group are Prime: An American Kitchen and Bar, and Harbor Club at Prime in Huntington; newly acclaimed as #1 on Long Island, the four-star Monsoon: Asian Kitchen and Lounge in Babylon Village; top-rated Tellers: An American Chophouse and the chic and casual Verace: True Italian in Islip; and neighborhood favorite Long Island’s Beachtree in East Islip.