For years, Danny O'Donnell and his wife would come to Babylon Village to dinner at Mario's Hi-Hook near the Great South Bay. And for years, they dreamed of what the clam bar could be.
"We wanted to make it the crown jewel of Babylon," O'Donnell said, with a smile. "We would always discuss what we would do if we had the site. Then suddenly one day, The Hook was gone. We took it as an omen."
And just as suddenly as Mario's was gone, Tres Palms took its place at 16 East Court. With its regal view and tropical feel, the restaurant is like a mini-vacation just five minutes from home.
"The view here is great," noted O'Donnell. "We've tried to focus on both our location here on the water and keeping things local. We want to make it feel like your far from home – fine dining and flip-flops."
O'Donnell, who grew up in Wantagh and now lives in West Islip, has always been around restaurants since he was a child. His family owned a small pub in Bellmore for many years called Aspin's. O'Donnell himself went into working at the New York Stock Exchange before retiring from that line of work.
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"We're trying to go back to basics here," he said. "We're focusing on family fun – Sunday football specials, drink specials for the parents and ice cream specials for the kids." The restaurant, with its warm interior and inviting view, also hosts book clubs on Tuesdays.
The bar area of Tres Palms is a work of art in itself – a 20 foot long surfboard acts as a bar counter and small mini-boards are window shelves throughout the area. O'Donnell's friend, Thomas Brophy, did all the work in the beautiful area.
Tres Palms also has a bit of Babylon's known restaurant district manning it – Mark Farrell, formerly the chef at Lucy's on Deer Park Avenue, has been helping whip up the delicious dishes at the restaurant.
For O'Donnell, having Tres Palms in Babylon was a no-brainer.
"I live in West Islip, but Babylon is my town," he said. "We come here to do everything! It's just a great place, great unity and everyone knows each other. It's the go to destination."