By the Beach: Connolly’s Reopens and Rockaway Gets a Raw Bar

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Photo: Daniel Maurer

It’s the freakin’ weekend, folks. The new Luna Park won’t be open till tomorrow, but a little to the south, Rockaway’s surfer, lifeguard, and rocker bar, Connolly’s, has reopened for the season, and given that Rockaway Taco is also reopening nearby, we have a feeling we’ll end up there with a Styrofoam cup in hand this weekend. If you, too, are headed to the peninsula, know that today a new surf-and-turf establishment, Dalton’s Seaside Grill, replaced the 39-year-old ship-themed steakhouse Gallagher’s Snug Harbor. The owner, Sean Dalton, worked at the previous establishment as a kid. “I’m one of twelve kids, and the majority of us worked for Frank Gallagher,” he tells us. In fact, his brothers Greg and Michael had summer gigs in the kitchen there, went on to become working chefs, and are now returning to mold the menu.

Photo: Daniel Maurer

Fans of Snug Harbor’s roast-beef sandwich need not fret — it’s sticking around along with many other favorites, but the offerings have also expanded to include, for instance, filet mignon mini-burgers as well as other hamburgers (there will soon be a build-your-own option). Appetizers include baked clams, polenta-crusted fish sticks, clams casino, mussels, and crab cakes. There are soups (a Jack Daniels onion soup, for example) and salads (a Stilton wedge and more). And of course, there are steaks as well as seafood entrées (seared sea scallops, Scottish salmon, jumbo-shrimp scampi, and a stuffed fillet of sole). In the very near future, there’ll be a raw bar, a lobster night, and daily specials.

And now, if you don’t mind, we’re stripping down to our trunks and getting in the water. We’ll see you Tuesday.

Dalton's Seaside Grill, 108-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd., nr. Beach 108th St., Rockaway Park, Queens; 718-634-4384