CJ’s American Grill, a new farm-to-table restaurant in Mattituck Plaza, celebrated a soft opening Wednesday.
Housed in the space formerly occupied by DoLittle’s Bar and Grill, which closed in early 2012, CJ’s American Grill features a diverse menu with locally sourced ingredients, Mr. Richards said. The 40- to 50-seat restaurant has a built-in “wine wall” offering more than 90 North Fork wines, all priced at $25 a bottle. Local beers, including selections from Riverhead’s Crooked Ladder Brewery, are also available on draft.
“It’s going to be a fun place,” said Mr. Richards, a Patchogue resident and owner of East End Catering. He co-owns CJ’s American Grill with his wife, Joanne, and business partner Sal Malguarnera. The restaurant is managed by Mr. Richards’ good friend Sandra Bilotti of Mattituck.
“It’s going to be a place where everybody can come get an awesome meal and get to taste all the local ingredients for under $28,” he said last week.
Entrées, whipped up by executive chef Brian Arbesfeld, former sous chef at A Lure in Southold, include dishes like pork-belly sandwiches and grilled local striped bass with dill-compound butter. Each entrée is served with a local salad and vegetables from Sang Lee Farms in Peconic and Satur Farms in Cutchogue, Mr. Richards said.
Mr. Arbesfeld, who lives in Southold and formerly owned Focaccia Grill in Wantagh, described his cooking style as “American with some Mediterranean and Asian influences.”
He said he’s “very open” when it comes to creating dishes. “I kind of really like taking a little spin on what’s been done and make it a little bit different, put my own signature on it,” the chef said.