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Bejing duck wrap at Dark horse Restaurant. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Bejing duck wrap at Dark Horse Restaurant. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The view of the historic buildings in downtown Riverhead would make patrons feel like they traveled back in time while visiting Dark Horse Restaurant, were it not for the modernity of its interior.

The exposed ceiling ducts and all black booths and table cloths give the eatery a chic vibe that would befit any major city. Built in 1929, the building retains a 1930s feel, with a kind of glamorous edge.

Whether you are looking for a power lunch or a rest stop while visiting the vineyards, in this week’s edition of “What’s for Lunch?” we recommend one of downtown Riverhead’s most stylish and best looking eateries, Dark Horse Restaurant.

On a recent visit we ordered the Bejing Duck Wrap. According to the menu, confit duck and Napa greens are served with hoisin and wasabi dressing in a wrap and served with fries and cole slaw ($14). Ours was also served with what appeared to be crispy onions.

The duck is from Crescent Duck Farm, which is always tasty and is appropriate considering the restaurant’s farm-to-table ethos.

A bonus: the restaurant offers many gluten-free options (even breads and wraps) and a meatless Mondays menu for vegetarians or those just looking to cut back on their meat intake. Overall, Dark Horse is great for a drink or lunch during a day of wine tasting and shopping.

It also offers another option that downtown Riverhead is sorely lacking — brunch on weekends.

There still isn’t much of a scene in downtown Riverhead after dark, but here’s hoping the opening of Mazi, Pera Bell and Sonoma Grill can change that. And amid a bustling nightlife, what a perfect spot Dark Horse would be for a night cap.

Dark Horse Restaurant is located at 1 East Main Street in Riverhead. Call (631) 208-0072 for more information.

What’s for lunch is a weekly column highlighting delicious mid-day meals on the North Fork. Suggestions can be sent to [email protected].


Red Rooster Bistro

Elbow East

Greek Bites 

Orient Country Store

Duffy’s Deli

The Village Cheese Shop

The Giving Room

CJ’s American Grill