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Bob Hartz outside the Iron Skillet in Mattituck. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file photo)

Iron Skillet co-owner Bob Hartz can handle making three full racks of braised baby back ribs in one night. But more than that?

“I had a call from a fourth person who wanted ribs, but I couldn’t execute it,” Hartz recently told The New York Times.

The quirky Love Lane eatery was featured in the Times’ New York section on Sunday in a story that highlighted the under-the-radar restaurant’s charm and convivial atmosphere.

Hartz and his co-owner and partner Mary Ann Price described the way they run their off-the-beaten-path eatery — only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays — which opened in 2005.

“We started with a menu with four items on it, and no one knew we were here,” Hartz, who by design rarely fills the 14-seat Mattituck restaurant, told the Times. “This Valentine’s Day was the biggest day we’ve ever had. It felt like I’d been hit by a plank. We served 16 dinners that night. The average restaurateur would laugh at that.”

The couple playfully bickered when Hart said he did about 75 percent of the work, a claim protested by Price.

“O.K., give him two-thirds, but don’t give him 75 percent,” she said. “That would mean I’m just boiling water and filing my nails in the kitchen.”

Diners interviewed for the story said they noticed the love and attention to detail the couple puts into their establishment, including homemade strawberry shortcake made from Price’s grandmother’s recipe.

“It feels like being at grandma’s house,” said diner Joe Edison, who makes the 160-mile round-trip from his home in Valley Stream to eat at the restaurant twice a month.

If you chose to visit the restaurant after reading the write-up remember two things: reservations are recommended and it is bring your own beverage.


Iron Skillet is located at 740 Love Lane in Mattituck