Up-Island: A date night in Patchogue

A craft beer flight at Hoptron Brewtique in downtown Patchogue. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

A craft beer flight at Hoptron Brewtique in downtown Patchogue. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Downtown Patchogue ain’t what it used to be.

Having not been to the village for dinner in more than a year, I was surprised when on a recent Wednesday night I had trouble locating a parking spot and found myself on a 20-minute wait list at the recently opened dining hotspot “That Meetball Place.”

Hundreds of new residential units, a walkable downtown, a craft beer scene and a variety of restaurants have revived the once fading downtown.

A friend who lives in Bellport recently joked that we will soon be living in a Patchogue suburb.

We started the night with a taste at Hoptron Brewtique, a tasting room, bar and growler fill station on Main Street. Featuring rotating kegs of two dozen craft brews from New York and beyond, the bar was filled with beer enthusiasts sampling IPAs, porters and more.

Hoptron Brewtique. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Hoptron Brewtique. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

I chose a flight ($9) and sampled a Long Ireland Beer Co. Breakfast Stout, a Port Jeff Brewing Co. Red Sky Delight, an Other Half Brewing Co. Koksjide 12 and a Harpoon Brewery Black Forest Porter.

The bartender told us that the taps are switched every time a keg runs empty. The big screen tasting menu displays how much beer is left in the keg. And colorful mural of Long Island features the locations of local craft breweries.

By the time we finished our flight, our table at That Meetball Place was ready.

The restaurant was packed and noisy, which was perfect for me as I had my 8-month-old son in tow. The menu is simple, inexpensive and yummy. I went with four lamb meatballs with a side a tzatziki sauce and Mediterrean risotto. Although it was tasty, I had to brush my teeth twice to get rid of the after dinner garlic taste.

My husband had regular meatballs with a spicy marinara sauce over pasta with a bottle of Angry Orchard cider.

We both left full and the bill only came to about $38.

There are a number of options for a night cap including The Tap Room, Pera Bell Food Bar and BrickHouse Brewery.

For people living on the East End or in western Suffolk towns, northforker recommends a night out in this South Shore village. It’s worth the trip.

Mediterranean risotto and lamb meatballs from That Meetball place. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Mediterranean risotto and lamb meatballs from That Meetball place. (Credit: Vera Chinese)