If you’re struggling to find a place to eat lunch on any given Wednesday on the North Fork, a new café named Wednesday’s Table might sound like a pretty good option.
But unlike most local breakfast-and-lunch spots — which are closed Monday or Tuesday, if at all — you won’t find Wednesday’s Table open on the day of the week it’s named for.
For the Trieu family, however, including Wednesday’s Table owner Lena Tanzi and her sister, executive chef Linh Trieu, there’s a perfectly good explanation for the restaurant being closed that day.
“The name Wednesday’s Table is a tribute to our dad,” Ms. Tanzi explained. “His days off were Wednesdays and he loved being in the kitchen. From the time we woke up in the morning, there were always smells coming from the kitchen.
“We think of Wednesdays as family time.”
Ms. Tanzi and Ms. Trieu were born in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, and have four other sisters. They moved with their parents, Phil and Jane Trieu, to Elmhurst, Queens in 1979. Their father got a job working the counter of a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. He died of liver cancer in 1988.
Housed on Route 25 in the location of the former Piping Plover Café, Wednesday’s Table sells breakfast and lunch and features an Asian and Mediterranean-infused menu with offerings as diverse as egg, chorizo and cheese sandwiches, Vietnamese Bahn mi and grilled cheese with truffles. The eatery also sells a variety of grab-and-go deli sandwiches and soups and salads, all of which are made fresh daily.
“I wanted to make the café almost a mishmash of cuisines — things I could find on New York City corners that I’m so used to getting,” said Ms. Trieu, who lives in Peconic and is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education.
“We thought of all the things we enjoy eating and that my kids enjoy eating and then put them on the menu,” added Ms. Tanzi, who lives in Brooklyn and has a second home in Peconic.
Bureaucratic red tape prevented Wednesday’s Table from meeting its projected summer launch, Ms. Tanzi said, but the Southold restaurant is now open for business.
“We’re a little sad we missed the summer season but our intent was never to be a seasonal business, so we’re excited to get to know the locals,” Ms. Tanzi said.
“We’re taking this as an opportunity to meet a lot of locals and have a conversation with them,” she added. “We may not have been able to do that if there was a summer rush.” Ms. Tanzi said the cafe’s opening was delayed when it went from being under the regulation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Suffolk County Department of Health. “The process went very smoothly, but because we were dealing with a new regulator it took a while to get to know each other,” she said.
Ms. Tanzi said she and Ms. Trieu haven’t yet determined whether Wednesday’s Table will have a grand opening celebration.
“I think because we opened in the slow season we’re going to look into it and get to know the community and have them get to know us,” she said. “As the [summer] season rolls around, we’ll see where things are.”