It’s great to see so much new business along Riverhead’s historic Main Street—especially all of the restaurants and drinkeries. Somehow all of this activity makes “the old standbys” even more special. You know the classics—Star Confectionary, the Riverhead Diner & Grill, Spicy’s Barbeque and—always—Tweed’s Restaurant & Buffalo Bar.
Housed in the old J.J. Sullivan Hotel, Tweed’s offers outstanding atmosphere, as well as fine food and drink in abundance. Tweed’s has been doing farm-to-table and vine-to-bar from day one. So it’s kind of the granddaddy of happening restaurants on Riverhead’s Main Street. As their website says, “Tweed’s combines true local flavor with sophisticated cuisine in an atmosphere of comfort, warmth, courtesy and welcoming familiarity. The restaurant is now restored to its original charm, featuring Victorian chandeliers, stained glass, the original stamped tin ceiling and a beautifully mantled oak fireplace. And what Buffalo Bar could be complete without a trophy head of the last bison hunted by Teddy Roosevelt in the Dakota Badlands?”
Whether you’re seated under the head of the last bison shot by TR or in a cozy leather booth, you’ll feel right at home in this clubby setting. The last time my husband and I were there we ran into one of my “foodie friends,” Jenny. I only see her at food events, farmers markets and restaurants. The fact that she has good taste is virtually all that I know about her, so we quite enjoy catching up on that front. She and her friend were happily tucking into Tweed’s duck—which they recommended with gusto. It smelled divine but neither my husband nor I was in a duck mood just then.
Our trusty server, the ever-vigilant and convivial Tom was at the ready.
Husband enjoyed his customary gin martini, which was just as cold and dry as he likes it. For his appetizer he decided to have a go at what makes Tweed’s unique, ordering the grilled bison kebab. Flavorful chunks of bison with a nice char to them, coated with the house barbecue sauce—he shuffled that buffalo down the hatch with a quickness. For his entrée he went with the fish of the day, a perfect piece of striped bass with just enough—not too much—melted butter on top to make it super-succulent. The potatoes and vegetables were a fine accompaniment to this splendid piece of fish.
I was tempted to sample some of the local wines but wanted to stay completely alert—we were off to a show at the Suffolk Theater after dinner. I couldn’t resist the shrimp with housemade guacamole. I can rarely resist shrimp or guacamole, so this was a win-win. I quite enjoyed the roasted Portobello mushrooms layered with housemade ricotta. Luscious. We closed the evening with a shared slice of creamy New York cheesecake.
Tweed’s, 17 East Main Street, Riverhead, 631-208-3151, tweedsrestaurant.com.