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Danfords

SCPD crime scene vans outside Danford's Hotel and Marina in the village. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Suffolk County Police Homicide detectives are investigating a body that washed up near Danfords Hotel and Marina in Port Jefferson at approximately 3 p.m. on Jan. 28.

Detectives said a man in his 40s was discovered in the water. Sources say it was called in when spotted by Port Jefferson Ferry workers.

A police officer at the scene said it appears non-criminal at this time.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

 

Rigatoni with shrimp at Pasta Pasta in Port Jefferson. Photo by Kimberly Brown

By Kimberly Brown

Long Island Restaurant Week has created a new spin on its yearly week-long dining event — but this year takeout will be the focus due to the precautions of COVID-19.

The event is running from Jan. 24 through 31 and select restaurants will feature a $25, $35 or $42 three-course prix fixe available for takeout. Customers are still allowed to dine in if they choose to do so.  

Steve Haweeli, president of LIRW, emphasized the importance of the changes made for the event this year.

“This campaign stresses takeout,” he said. “It’s safer from a COVID-19 standpoint, and allows restaurants to save tables for those who dine in.”

A tasty calamari appetizer at Pasta Pasta. Photo by Kimberly Brown

One of the four participating restaurants in Port Jefferson is Pasta Pasta, a popular Italian trattoria that is offering the three-course prix fixe for $35. Owner, Debra Bowling, said one of the good things to come out of the pandemic was the loyalty from her customers, and knowing the support she has from them.

“The customers would come up to order takeout and say, ‘Are we helping? Are you OK?’” she said.

Bowling added that at the beginning of the pandemic, customers would visit the restaurant and give money to the workers in the kitchen because they knew their hours were cut.

“It’s so overwhelming,” she said. “Sometimes I get choked up. It’s a very warm feeling.”

Some of her customer’s favorites include the tortelloni stuffed with six cheeses, filet mignon, wasabi calamari and the bacon-wrapped shrimp.

“We have customers that come in for the same thing every week,” Bowling added. “It’s so funny — it never changes.” 

Wave Seafood & Steak and The Club a Public Steakhouse, are also participating in LIRW. While both are operated by Crest Hospitality, the restaurants have their own ambience.

Wave Seafood overlooks the marina, and The Club a Public Steakhouse is located on a cliff over-looking the Long Island Sound. Both spots will be offering the $35 three-course prix fixe for take-out or dine in as well. 

Outdoor insulated igloos are good balance between indoor and outside dining at Danfords. Photo by Kimberly Brown

Michael Lang, vice president of food and beverage with Crest Hospitality, explained the attributes that he considers make his restaurants stand out.

“Three simple reasons — the food, the service and the views.” he said, “We provide a great experience for people who come, and for $35 this is a great opportunity if you haven’t been to our restaurants before.”

Learning to roll with the punches of the pandemic, both restaurants also provide enclosed, heated, outdoor seating. Wave Seafood offers insulated igloos to rent, which are located on the deck. 

“Every day you learn something new,” Lang said. “You learn to manage day-to-day and go with the flow to make it work as best as you can, and we have had a lot of good successes come out of that.” 

Ruvo East is the fourth Port Jefferson restaurant joining The Club, Wave and Pasta Pasta with a $35 prix-fixe menu.

To see menus or find other restaurants across Long Island participating, visit www.longislandrestaurantweek.com.

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Enrico Scarda, owner of Danfords, with Jami Cohen at the fundraiser for her sister. Photo by Julianne Mosher

By Julianne Mosher

The Brookhaven Ballroom at Danfords was filled with hundreds of people to celebrate and support one of their own this week through the family’s bout with cancer.

Dara Cohen. photo from Dara’s GoFundMe health fund

Dara Cohen, originally of Dix Hills, has been living under the weight of cancer for years, battling Stage 4 breast, brain and lung cancer, and now friends said it has metastasized in her lower spinal cord. The actress and professional dancer works as a ballet teacher when she feels up to it, but the disease has had a lasting effect.

It was just a few months ago when Dara Cohen’s sister, Jami, who bartends at the hotel in PJ, came to work and asked her managers if they could help her create a fundraiser. 

The goal was to raise $100,000 for the 46-year-old dancer, singer and actress. 

“They immediately said yes,” Jami Cohen, of Port Jefferson, said. “I couldn’t ask for better people to work with.”

On Monday, Nov. 11, Danfords donated its space upstairs and an extensive menu at its buffet to the Cohen family. 

“Obviously it’s an unbelievable cause,” Enrico Scarda, owner of Danfords, said, “And we do whatever we can to support our employees.”

Lamar Peters with Gail King and Shelly Cohen. Photo by Julianne Mosher

A DJ blasted music while people mingled. Lamar Peters, a tribute artist known for his Elvis, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly impersonations, came out to play, and over 100 gifts were donated to the raffle table. 

“All of us are here to unite and break course for Dara,” Dara’s father Shelly Cohen said. “We’re looking to make a difference and these people are coming out to help our daughter.”

Tickets were $40 for the three-hour event and the outcome was a huge success. Although Dara couldn’t be in attendance, she video-called in and was grateful for the response given in her honor. 

Known for her popular social media posts chronicling her journey, Dara’s goal has been to help other people struggling as well. 

“She’s an amazing person,” Dara’s mother Karen Deangelis, said. “Dara has made an impact on other people and has a tremendous amount of support … Hopefully we can help other people, too.”