By Corin Hirsch
With four young children and a busy bar-restaurant, (American Beauty Bistro in Massapequa), Maria Pallotta and Michael Cassano kinda sorta have their hands full. Improbably, they've added another business to the mix: Effin Beauty in Bellmore, a gastropub that takes over the space, and much of the ethos, of former resident Effin Gruven.
Like that pioneering spot, which operated for two decades, Effin Beauty carries over the dynamic craft beer focus. A rotating tap list is displayed on a board (as well as Untappd); beers from both near (Destination Unknown Beer Co., Barrier Brewing Co.) and far (Hill Farmstead Brewery, Topping Goliath Brewing Co.) share space on the 24 taps, and are augmented by cans and bottles.
The Americana vibe of American Beauty Bistro is also found in Effin Beauty, which has roses painted across the walls and a classic, dark-wood bar feel. Notable: A lack of televisions and children, who are not allowed in the bar. Cocktails are rooted in classic territory (negroni, old fashioned, bijou), with accents such as a watermelon Pimm's cup and mezcal mai tai, as well as a healthy rota of Japanese whiskeys. To complement the drinks, chef Francisco Canales' menu trucks in comfort and gastropub small plates, such as wings, steak tartare, fried green tomatoes, mac and cheese and a hat trick of burgers. (A few dishes, such as avocado fries and shrimp and grits, are the same as those on the American Beauty Bistro menu). Small plates range from $6 to $18, cocktails fall between $11 and $14.
To amp up the good times, Pallotta said drag queen bingo will debut soon. Effin Beauty opens daily at 5 p.m., staying open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and late kitchen hours for industry folks, said Cassano; his and Palotta's partner in the project is Skip Curth, who is also a co-owner of Chelsea's Bathtub Gin.