Hamptons Epicure: Achieving 'Good Food Period' in Mattituck
Luchi Masliah and Chef Allison Katz (aka “Ali Katz”) opened Goodfood. just off of Mattituck’s famous Love Lane last June. The lunchtime lines for their made-from-scratch empanadas, soups, salads, quiche and sandwiches were soon 20 people deep! Masliah says that “the people waiting in line were all nice about it.” She continues, “I love the community—it’s great. We use mainly local produce and we have some people who eat here every single day.” So it’s a good thing that the culinary partners change things up every week. There are always a lot of vegetarian options. As Masliah says, “It’s a collaboration—it [the menu] changes a lot.”
While Katz bakes early every morning—producing fresh scones and babka that typically sell out by noon, as well as cookies, brownies, muffins and pies—Masliah bakes her famous Gula Gula Empanadas all day long, so that they are always hot-from-the-oven. The two work out each week’s soup and stew recipes together.
I went with Dan’s Papers’ View from the Garden columnist (and a vegetarian) Jeanelle Myers to check out the offerings. Our fellow East End farmers market fans will not only rejoice that Masliah, whose empanadas have fed many a shopper and farmer, has found a permanent storefront, but also be glad that she’s brought many of her friends along. You can find products from area farmers market vendors including Backyard Brine pickles, Browder’s Birds’ honey and eggs, Charissa spice blend, Joe & Liza’s Ice Cream, North Fork Potato Chips and Talk Treats to Me dog snacks. Goodfood. also sells Justin’s Peanut Butter and select coffees and hot sauces. “They’re not [all] local but they’re good products,” notes Masliah.
The space the partners created is airy with high ceilings and a large open kitchen behind the counter. Turquois accents inform the vintage/modern vibe. The eatery’s metal shelving and high metal chairs that surround a central, communal table under rustic pendant lights complete the scene.
Masliah’s map of Uruguay reminds customers of where she and her empanadas come from—though Masliah’s empanadas are a healthy take on the traditional pastry. Jeanelle sampled the fresh spinach and feta, and the black bean and corn empanadas. My vegetarian dining partner heartily approved of these and of Masliah’s equally renowned housemade chimichurri sauce of fresh mint, parsley and cilantro.
And then there’s the bread pudding. I had heard tell of Katz’s masterstroke. I had the same reaction that everyone does: “Wow! Oh-my-God, it’s killa vanilla!” At least I assume that this is what everyone says on his or her first taste of this over-the-top confection. Masliah commented, “Yeah, it’s pretty yum. We sell it frozen too—why deprive yourself?” Why indeed? But do take my advice and split a serving of this lusciousness if you have anything to do for the rest of the day. Yes it is made with croissants and yes sometimes they are chocolate croissants! Katz’s walnut torte is also worth noting—a textural delight—and it’s gluten- and dairy-free.
We also tried some soups and stews, including a butternut squash soup that offered flavorful layers of savory and sweet, a Thai curry stew with tender carrots, rice, eggplant and fresh ginger, and vegetarian chili served with sour cream and cheese.
We each ordered a Veggie Sampler of three side salads. They included a salad of farrow with crimini mushrooms and greens in a light vinaigrette, and a rustic and gorgeous coleslaw. My favorite was the kale salad with butternut squash and pleasantly crunchy almonds—its Parmesan sends it into umami overdrive. Jeanelle’s favorite was the Israeli couscous salad with feta, olives, cucumbers and red pepper.
As she pointed out, “This one is delicious too.”
Expansion is in the air for this coming summer. Goodfood. will extend their outdoor dining by adding an awning and they will be doing more event catering and take-out dinners. Just like last year, Goodfood. will have plenty of ginger soup, gazpacho and paella all season long.
On the South Fork, Goodfood.’s good foods can be found at the Amagansett Food Institute (AFI)Amagansett Farmers Market (empanadas) and at Sagtown Coffee in Sag Harbor (empanadas, gluten-free cookies, quiche).
If you’re passing through Mattituck be sure to stop in, even if you just grab and go. As Masliah says, “It’s all a quick bite. Where else can you get a good lunch for under $10?”
Goodfood. 535A Pike Street, Mattituck, 631-298-7599.