Artsy, tapas-style restaurant Zest opens in Bay Shore


Chef Michael Liebman’s motto is to live life with zest — and that’s exactly the energy he wants to give off with the food and art inside his new eatery. 

On Nov. 16, at 4 p.m. his tapas-style restaurant, Zest, debuts to the public at 298 West Main St. in Bay Shore, in the building where he previously served as head chef of Slice of Bay Shore. 

During the restaurant’s soft opening over the weekend, family and friends tried out his menu and got a sneak peek of the completely transformed space.

“Hopefully, the friendliness of the staff and the décor keeps everybody eager to come back,” he said. “It’s a great community and we never really tapped into the market of how young Bay Shore really is.” 

Story continues after photo.

With splashes of vibrant colors and pop-art photography throughout the space, Liebman hopes to establish a positive atmosphere through which to unite people under one common denominator: food. 

The menu includes upscale sandwiches, tapas-style appetizers and a bevy of small plates instead of entrées. 

Customers can choose from a selection of beer, organic wines and a suite of sangrias, which Zest will also offer up as flight options.

Portraits of an array of musicians and cultural icons — from Aretha Franklin to Marilyn Monroe to the Notorious B.I.G. — line the dining room walls. Outside, there’s a mural that reads “Live Life with Zest” — an ideal backdrop for Insta-worthy photos. 

Liebman wants Zest to be that family-friendly neighborhood spot, and attract a younger crowd.

For example, kids who visit can unleash their inner artist with coloring and drawing sheets that Liebman plans to post on social media. 

“I just wanted something completely not the norm,” he said of Zest.

Click here to see the full story on how Zest came to be here.

Scroll through the photos below to check out the inside of the newly decorated restaurant.

Continue to follow for updates on Zest and follow the new Bay Shore joint on Instagram (@zestlongisland).

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Top: Marilyn Monroe street art-style painting inside of Zest in Bay Shore. Photo by Ana Borruto.