North Fork Restaurant Review: Jamesport Manor Inn

Mushroom toast with whipped goat cheese at the Jamesport Manor Inn
Mushroom toast with whipped goat cheese at the Jamesport Manor Inn, Photo: G. Horsburgh

The Jamesport Manor Inn is nestled on a quiet corner of the North Fork of Long Island, and the striking Victorian-style building is a thing to behold. The historic site has a curious past, having been rebuilt twice because of fires. The cuisine at the Inn is comforting—a blend of New American dishes with a decidedly Mediterranean twist.

We started our meal with some tempting appetizers—being a lover of edible fungus, the mushroom toast caught my eye. A medley of wild mushrooms sat atop a pillow of tangy whipped goat cheese, all heaped on a crusty piece of bread. The dish was drizzled with aromatic chive vinaigrette, which also added some eye appeal with its lively green color. The mushrooms were perfectly seasoned and sautéed until tender. Their deep, woodsy flavor paired excellently with the bite from the smooth, whipped goat cheese. The chive vinaigrette enhanced the flavors, adding a subtle, pleasing onion flavor in the background.

The roasted beet salad is a winner in my book. A mound of perfectly roasted red beets and oranges is piled high, tossed in a tart dressing along with goat cheese, and sprinkled with delightful morsels of bacon and roasted pistachios. The mellow flavor of the beets is enhanced by the sweetness and tanginess of the oranges and the dressing. The pistachios complete the balance of flavors by adding roasted nutty goodness, triggering the feeling of foodie bliss.

We decided to try the Inn’s three cheese ravioli, because the sauce sounded ridiculously delicious. It consisted of tender roasted fennel and tomatoes, accompanied by baby artichokes and topped with Parmesan and crispy fried fennel fronds. All those wonderfully fresh flavors paired well together, and I loved the subtle flavor of the roasted fennel. The tomatoes were sweet and fresh, and the fried fronds on top added wonderful texture.

The first of our entrérs to come out was the pan roasted Crescent duck breast, served with black peppercorn fettuccine in a cassis lingonberry sauce. I was intrigued by this pasta, the flavor of the peppercorns coming through, but not in an unpleasantly spicy way. It was almost like the flavor of the peppercorns had been drawn out and just the essence remained. Cassis, black currant liqueur, gave the accompanying sauce a sweet punch and helped to cut through the aggressive flavor of the fettuccine. It also had chunks of the succulent dark duck meat running trough it—very complex and matched well with the equally flavorful and full-bodied essence of the duck.

We also couldn’t help but try the braised Australian lamb shank, because I love braised meat, and I don’t get to have lamb often. I was not disappointed. The lamb shank was enormous, set on top of a pile of creamy mashed potatoes and adorable, tender baby carrots. A decadent red wine au jus glistened invitingly on the side. The meat all but fell off the bone at the slightest prodding of my fork. Sprinkled around the entire plate were delightful slivers of frizzled onions. For the perfect bite: lamb, mashed potato, carrot, onion and dip in au jus. Yum. Kudos to the chef!

No meal could ever be complete without dessert! After ordering a cappuccino and coffee, we poured over the dessert menu, finally deciding on a favorite—the Valrhona chocolate terrine—and a yummy, warm apple tart with almonds, topped with creamy vanilla gelato. The chocolate terrine with slivers of chocolate were sprinkled with roasted pistachio was sinfully good; like the inside of the best truffle I’ve ever had. This is a chocolate dessert for the record books.

The Jamesport Manor Inn is located at 370 Manor Lane in Jamesport., 631-722-0500.

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