Local Dining Favorites: Jim Dreeben on the North Fork

The Noah's food truck.
The Noah's on the Road food truck. Photo credit: Brendan J. O'Reilly

Jim Dreeben of Peconic Paddler has a hearty appetite and has been in business for more than 50 years in Riverhead. Who better to tell us about foodie finds on the North Fork? Here are some of his recommendations.

He notes that the tastiness of lobster, shrimp and crab comes to him on good authority from friends, as he is allergic to them (the seafood, not the friends). And he assures us that he has tasted all of the other foods, wine and beer.

Eating on the North Fork is a double treat. The food is excellent in many restaurants, and the ride out east is beautiful, driving either on the south side (Peconic Bay Boulevard or New Suffolk Boulevard) or the north side (Sound Avenue, Routes 48 and 25). You catch many glimpses of water—Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay.

Briermere Farms on Sound Avenue in Riverhead makes pies, cakes and cookies to die for. My favorite is Blueberry Cream Pie. Specs: 5.5” high, about 10 pounds. I slice it into four wedges and eat one a day, like vitamins. I have it for breakfast or as dessert after dinner and I never share it. Well, maybe one forkful. 4414 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-722-3931, briermere.com

Cliff’s Elbow Room on Main Road in Jamesport makes the best steaks on Long Island. My favorite meal: marinated porterhouse steak (medium rare), baked potato, baked clams appetizer, blue cheese on the salad and a Beefeater martini with three olives (never four). They make great lobster tails and shrimp scampi. 631-722-3292, elbowroomli.com

Jamesport Manor Inn on Manor Lane in Jamesport is in a beautiful, reconstructed old farmhouse. I love their beet salad, mushroom ravioli and Crescent Duck Farms duck breast. They have Crooked Ladder beer on tap and local wines from Martha Clara Vineyards, Macari Vineyards, Paumanok Vineyards, Lenz Winery, Laurel Lake Vineyards and Raphael Estate. 631-722-0500, jamesportmanorinn.com

The Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane in Mattituck sells some delicious stinky cheese (and some not so stinky). My favorites: Limburger, Pont-l’Évêque, Brie de Meaux and Camembert de Normandie. They offer free cheese tasting and they sell a variety of olive oils, vinegar and other unique, quality foods. 631-298-8556, thevillagecheeseshop.com

noah’s on Greenport’s Front Street is like a trendy New York restaurant. noah’s has an amazing raw bar with tuna tartare shrimp, lobster, clams and oysters, fresh from the sea. Mouth watering entrées: lobster roll, duck confit and Kobe beef burgers are my favorites. noah’s has an extensive wine list and great beer on tap. 631-477-6720, chefnoahs.com

Hellenic Snack Bar on Main Road in East Marion—I love their chicken souvlaki entrée and skordalia and saganaki appetizers, and, to wash it down, Hellenic is famous for their foamy, frothy lemonade. More good dishes: pork souvlaki, eggplant salad, and baklava or caramel custard for dessert. 631-477-0138, thehellenic.com

Orient by the Sea on Main Road in Orient is at the eastern tip of the North Fork. I love their Orient Clam Chowder and Ferry Hopper’s Salad. They have a lobster special on Fridays and Greenport Harbor Beer on tap. 631-323-2424, orientbythesea.com

Touch of Venice on Main Road in Cutchogue makes delicious calamari and mussels appetizers. For entrées, I love the chittari and tagliatelle. Thursday night special: salad and entrée for only 20 bucks. 631-298-5851, touchofvenice.com

aMano on Main Road in Mattituck has Tuscany-style wood-fired pizza, and two of my favorites: charred octopus and tuna tartare. I like aMano’s whole roasted branzino and housemade ricotta gnocchi with mushrooms. aMano has over 100 wines from Italy and from the North Fork. You will love aMano. 631-298-4800, amanorestaurant.com

Check out Dreeben’s tips for Riverhead and Hampton Bays dining.

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