What’s the best pairing for local wines? Local food, of course! Late harvest time on the North Fork means loads of farm-to-table specials featuring seafood, squash, apples, root vegetables and more. Here’s a list of places to enjoy, savoring every bite along the way.
While at Ammirati’s of Love Lane (ammiratisoflovelane.com, 631-298-7812), the Mattituck deli, try The Chew, with two eggs, kielbasa and cheese. Other specialties include cinnamon raisin French toast; seared sesame ahi tuna wrap; and the chicken paradise with breaded chicken cutlet, melted American cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato with Thousand Island dressing on a roll.
At Buoy One (buoyone.com, 631-208-9737, Seafood & Steak), Chef David Girard delivers New England delicacies to the East End, including fine steaks and fresh fish from Buoy One’s in-house seafood market. Housed inside a converted car garage in Riverhead, this charming and casual café offers plenty of options for landlubbers. Also in Westhampton (631-998-3808).
On the Greenport waterfront, Claudio’s Restaurant (claudios.com, 631-477-0627, American) is the oldest, same-family-run restaurant in the United States. Also check out Claudio’s Clam Bar and its Crabby Jerry’s eatery—each offers a different dining ambience. Try the clam chowder!
Cliff’s Elbow Room (elbowroomli.com, 631-722-3292, Steak & Seafood) in Jamesport and Laurel (631-298-3262) serves the best aged and marinated steak, freshest seafood and local wines, in a casual, warm atmosphere.
The Cooperage Inn in Baiting Hollow (cooperageinn.com, 631-727-8994, American & Seafood) provides scenic wine country dining, with menus offering something for everyone. Sunday Brunch includes one complimentary mimosa or Bloody Mary per guest, while Girls Night Out every Wednesday offers $5 cosmos and $15 bottles of wine. Pub grub like burgers and wings are available in the tap room during happy hour every weekday. There is also a prix fixe menu available daily during the afternoon, in addition to traditional lunch and dinner menus.
Riverhead’s Dark Horse Restaurant (darkhorserestaurant.com, 631-208-0072, American) serves up a deliciously eclectic menu with local fare and flair, plus delicious gluten-free breads and desserts.
Unique and casual Greenport bistro First and South (firstandsouth.com, 631-333-2200, American) has a diverse and creative menu filled with comfort food selections and delicious treats.
Located in Jamesport, Grana Trattoria Antica (granajamesport.com, 631-779-2844, Italian) specializes in wood-fired pizza, fresh-made pastas and ravioli and wood-roasted meats and fish.
The ever-popular Jedediah Hawkins Inn (jedediahhawkinsinn.com, 631-722-2900, American) in Jamesport incorporates local foods, many of which are grown on the grounds, into innovative gourmet dishes. The Speakeasy Menu is available from 5 p.m. to close.
At a waterfront location in the heart of downtown Riverhead, Joe’s Garage & Grill (joesgarageandgrill.com, 631-591-3330, American) offers live music, mixed drinks and craft beers. Chef Brian Burner incorporates southern flavors and concepts into his homemade East End comfort food. Authentic memorabilia, hand-painted murals and a heated patio add to the inviting and fun atmosphere.
Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue (modernsnackbar.com, 631-722-3655, American & Seafood) has been a North Fork landmark for great home cooking since 1950. In addition to tasty burgers and sandwiches, its menu includes East End favorites such as roast duck, fresh flounder, and their famous lobster salad. Enjoy the meal with a glass of local wine or an ice cold draft beer. Don’t forget to take home a fresh baked pie!
Love barbeque? You can’t go wrong with Maple Tree BBQ (mapletreebbq.com, 631-727-2819, BBQ) in Riverhead. Known for its succulent ribs and pulled pork dishes cooked low and slow, they also offer an array of traditional sides including corn bread and collard greens.
New Moon Café in East Quogue (nmcafe.com, 631-653-4042, Tex-Mex & American) features specials and good ol’ Texas BBQ. Whether it’s traditional dishes like fajitas and tostadas, or barbequed chicken and shrimp, New Moon’s menu makes it one of the best Southwest restaurants in Long Island.
If you have a hankering for small plates, check out noah’s (chefnoahs.com, 631-477-6720, American) in Greenport for an array of seafood dishes and adventurous American entrées.
Recipient of the 2014 Long Island Food Critic Award for Excellence for Finest Chocolatier, North Fork Chocolate Company (northforkchocolate.com, 631-599-4944, Chocolatier) has a new storefront at 740 Main Road in Aquebogue, where they offer small batch, handcrafted artisanal chocolates.
Pace’s Dockside Restaurant (631-315-5252, Seafood) is located on the beautiful Mattituck Inlet at Strong’s Water Club & Marina. Enjoy happy hour at the bar on Thursday and Friday evenings, from 4–7 p.m., with half-price drinks and specially-priced appetizers. There’s a good chance you’ll catch live music on Friday nights.
Patchogue’s PeraBell Food Bar (perabellfoodbar.com, 631-740-9494, American & International) expansion to 65 East Main Street in Riverhead has done owners John Peragine and Scotti Campbell proud. They’ve duplicated the success of the original PeraBell, a neighborhood-style restaurant with globally inspired food that ranges from pizza and pasta to Tex-Mex empanadas and Thai chili shrimp.
The Petulant Wino (petulantwino.com, 631-779-3900, American) in Aquebogue has a relaxed vibe with a focus on local wines and beers, featuring Comtesse Therese wines. Famed Long Island restaurateur and chef Tom Schaudel serves up tapas and a raw bar of local shellfish in the 28-seat restaurant within a circa 1830 farmhouse.
One of the North Fork’s hidden treasures, Porto Bello (portobellonorthfork.com, 631-315-2899, Italian) offers local and imported wines at their waterfront location in Greenport.
At Red Maple at The Chequit (thechequit.com/redmaple, 631-749-0183), enjoy dishes such as smoked bluefish rillettes or spinach panzanella in the minimalist rustic atmosphere, all while taking in the breathtaking water views.
Smitty’s All American Grill (smittysallamericangrill.com, 631-998-3565, American & Italian) is located inside The All Star, Riverhead’s premier bowling entertainment venue. Smitty’s has 24 beers on draft and lots of flat screen TVs for sports viewing, or stop by their happy hour on weekdays from 4–7 p.m. From the dining menu, enjoy chicken parmesan, fish and chips or even Moroccan-style salmon.
Touch of Venice (touchofvenice.com, 631-298-5851, Italian) in Cutchogue has been serving the North Fork for more than 20 years, preparing local cuisine with Italian soul. Extensive wine list featuring local and Italian wines, full bar with happy hour specials. Private room available for all occasions. Special chef’s family-style menu available for small groups.
Tweed’s Restaurant & Buffalo Bar (tweedsrestaurantriverhead.com, 631-237-8120, American), in Riverhead’s historic J.J. Sullivan Hotel, serves the finest local food specialties and wines. Tweed’s is also home to a variety of delicious and healthy bison dishes.
The delightful Vine Street Café (vinestreetcafe.com,631-749-3210, American) on Shelter Island offers an eclectic menu influenced by many cultures from around the world.
Vino n Vittles (vinonvittles.com, 631-333-2700, American) in Greenport offers local wines and a full menu including seafood and burgers.