Haviland Kitchen & Bar now serves American food and cocktails in East Rockaway

Restaurant opened in December in the former location of Nikki’s Bakery.

In December, Victor LaPlaca realized his vision of opening his own restaurant after losing his job during the pandemic. With a partner, LaPlaca took over the location of the former Nikki Bakery in East Rockaway and opened Haviland kitchen and bar, an intimate restaurant serving American cuisine in an upscale casual atmosphere.

According to a story in the Long Island Press, LaPlaca will do much of the cooking in the new location.

“I want to uplift and educate people about food, like our lamb ribs, which are big sellers on the menu,” he told local media.

According to their website, the name was inspired by Joseph Haviland who built a gristmill in the area in 1688. They say it was New York State’s first public oven.

“The old de Haviland gristmill and public bakery have been community gathering places for two centuries,” the website says. “Inspired by the noble efforts of Joseph Haviland, the Haviland Kitchen & Bar was created for our neighbors. A place where our community can gather and share food and drink made from the best seasonal regional ingredients.

The menu includes entrees like crispy squid, with cherry pepper, roasted tomato, basil and garlic aioli ($16) or the roasted “Rockaway oysters” with browned butter spinach and jalapeno-maple bacon ($18). They have sandwiches like the Haviland burger, with tomato-mustard, pickle, shredded lettuce and beefsteak tomato on a sesame seed bun and includes fries ($20) or the old-fashioned, grilled tri-tip steak treats , grilled garlic bread, mozzarella and bbq sauce served with fries ($21). Larger plates include Roasted Atlantic Salmon, Leek Croquette and Horseradish and Chive Vinaigrette ($29) and Roasted Pork Shank, Pumpkin Polenta, Truffle Cabbage and a apple cider frosting ($28).

Photo: Haviland Instagram page.

The cocktail menu features new twists on old favorites — as well as old-school mixes like Pop’s Old-Fashioned, Bullet Bourbon OG style, and what they say is a touch of love ($16), the Haviland Mule, vanilla stoli, mint, ginger beer and fresh lime ($14), and the Dirty Bleu Tito and Gorgonzola Stuffed Olive Glazed Martini ($16). For the beer drinker, try the Haviland Pilsner, a smooth, easy-drinking classic pilsner made especially for Haviland by South Shore Craft Brewery in Oceanside ($8).

At Yelp, Jay E of Manhattan gave it five stars.

“Amazingly elevated ambiance and equally delicious menu items ranging from delicious Buffalo wings to tender grilled Spanish octopus,” he wrote.

Jay said it was the perfect place for a date night.

“And they say the menu will change frequently based on seasonal ingredients, just hope our favorites don’t go away,” he wrote.

Kristin E from Freeport also gave Haviland Kitchen & Bar five stars.

“Let me start with the beauty of the entrance,” she said. “It’s not a huge space, maybe 10 tables plus bar seats, very intimate. It’s meant to be high end American styling and it certainly is.

She also commented on the cocktails.

“We sat at the corner of the bar and I ordered an Old Fashioned, my date ordered a Haviland Mule from the friendly and pleasant bartender, Patty,” she said. “Both were delicious.”

Location: 43 Main Street East Rockaway, (516) 612-4545.

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