by Gina Cronin
No beach town is complete without healthy food options that are just as much delicious as they are energizing. That’s where Pure Shore Kitchen comes in. Kevin Donnelly noticed a lack of pure, natural restaurants in the beloved beach town of Long Beach, and sought to change that. He has partnered with the talented chef Chad Pagano to bring high-quality fare to diners visiting from near and far. Chef Pagano has worked in some of NYC’s top restaurants and has spent 15 years teaching at the prestigious Institute of Culinary Education.
“I have been in Long Beach for more than 20 years, and it has been an amazing experience raising my kids here and watching the community thrive, so I wanted to bring something new,” says Donnelly. “There really wasn’t a laidback, healthy taco joint in the area—we already have a ton of health-conscious, beach-going and yoga-practicing fans who are loving our fresh offerings!”
The restaurant is founded on three core principles:
1. Real food. From house-made salsas to an entire avocado bar with a variety of toppings (tequila honey drizzle anyone?), clean, whole food is at the heart of this restaurant. Diners can choose from a selection of tacos, like mahi-mahi, brisket, Hawaiian Kalua pulled pork, and adobo chicken. There are also gluten-free offerings, with most of the restaurant’s tacos being completely free of gluten thanks to corn tortillas, as well as a vegan menu, with offerings such as avocado toast, veggie tacos, Mexican street corn, and a California quinoa bowl. They top off their plates with a garnish of nutrient-dense microgreens, grown right in the restaurant, and can pair with their top-selling drink: the Pure Margarita, made with organic tequila, agave and fresh-squeezed lime.
2. Eco-friendly practices. Without a clean Earth, there can be no clean food. The locale is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment by having no single-use plastic (save for a tiny side to-go cup). All water bottles are glass, everything is recyclable, there are paper straws, plates and bowls made from leaves, forks and knives made from wood—this is an essential component of Pure Shore Kitchen’s vision. “We are trying to be a leader in sustainability in the community, and set an example to be followed,” says Donnelly.
3. Coastal inspired. The menu is bursting with fish and fresh seafood options. Completing the ocean vibe are offerings of shrimp, lobster, seared ahi tuna, and mahi-mahi tacos. Surf and turf, ahi tuna poke, lobster salad, and seared tuna sliders are other popular picks.
The space itself has a bright, clean and beachy feel, fashioned by a talented NYC designer. This presents the perfect venue for the popular Pure Shore After Dark on Friday evenings, where live singers and songwriters perform while visitors enjoy their food.
Pure Shore Kitchen is located at 655 E. Park Ave., in Long Beach. For more information, call 516-442-5807 or visit PureShoreKitchen.com.
Gina Cronin is a writer for Natural Awakenings magazines. To connect, visit GinaImagines.com.