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Elbow East in Southold. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

There is something calm and enjoyable about having a hot belly-filling meal in a cozy restaurant near the beach during one of the coldest weeks of the year.

And Elbow East in Southold, a favorite for surf and turf loving locals located just one block from Kenney’s Beach, certainly provides that experience.

In this week’s edition of “What’s for Lunch” we recommend the marinated cheeseburger, eaten in the restaurant’s dining room in the middle of a chilly workday. The burger is served on sesame seed bun with a choice of steak or French fries, cole slaw and a pickle ($10.95).

Although under different ownership than Cliff’s Elbow Room in Jamesport and Cliff’s Elbow Too in Laurel, many of the menu items are similar including Elbow’s signature marinade. The salty, soy sauce heavy blend, which turns the meat black from caramelization, makes devouring all eight ounces of the burger surprisingly easy. In fact, as I type this a day later all I can think is how much I want to go back and order another one.

And if you really want to go nuts, order the bartender burger, made from ground filet mignon.

A marinated cheeseburger at Elbow East in Southold. (Credit: Vera Chinese)
A marinated cheeseburger at Elbow East in Southold. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Although this restaurant is so close to the beach, we would recommend eschewing seafood for the beef options (surf and turf being the obvious exception) and many local diners would agree. A quick Yelp and Trip Advisor search yields dozens of positive reviews, many claiming it’s the best steak they ever tasted.

The decor here is far from modern — think wood-paneled walls and carpeted floors —  but that’s what gives this steakhouse a lot of its charm.

Avoid the summer crowds and visit them now for a comfortable and down-home mid-day break. After, take a walk along snow covered Kenney’s Beach (if you can stand the wind.)

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


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Orient Country Store

Duffy’s Deli

The Village Cheese Shop

The Giving Room

CJ’s American Grill

Love Lane Kitchen