The North Fork has plenty of well-known restaurants that everyone drives past on their way into town. But it also has plenty of tucked away standouts — eateries you might miss if you weren’t given a heads up. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Here are five North Fork “hidden gems” you should check out, compiled by Times Review Media Group executive editor Grant Parpan.
131 Creek Road, Wading River
La Plage is one of the most admired restaurants on the East End. It’s also one of the most overlooked. Located across from the Riverhead Town beach in Wading River, it’s tucked away from the hamlet’s downtown (which is off the beaten path itself). It’s fine dining with great drinks and is a can’t-miss spot for special occasions. We’ll recommend the boneless beef short ribs with sweet and Yukon potato gratin and broccoli rabe. Make a reservation for just before or after dusk, so you can walk the beach at one of the area’s best locations to catch a sunset.
835 1st St., New Suffolk
The best thing about New Suffolk is that it’s entirely off the beaten bath. Take the drive south toward the bay and you’ll end up in this beautiful oasis. At the center of it all is Legends, which opened in 1993 and doubles as a great neighborhood bar and dinner spot. Our pick from their eclectic international menu is the seafood vol-au-vent: lobster meat, shrimp, scallops, crawfish and tuna in a sherried lobster sauce, served with pastry puff triangles and asparagus.
Jamesport Manor Inn
370 Manor Lane, Jamesport
Outside and in — especially from the front of the building — the Jamesport Manor Inn is one of the North Fork’s most eye-pleasing restaurants. You would miss it, however, if you didn’t take a trip up Manor Lane. It’s a great place to visit following a tasting at nearby Diliberto Winery. We recommend the pan-roasted Crescent Farms duck breast with black peppercorn fettuccini and cassis-lingonberry sauce.
2255 Wickham Ave., Mattituck
When we first heard the folks behind the reputable Pace’s Steak House were opening a restaurant at Strong’s Water Club in Mattituck, we couldn’t contain our excitement. And the new location on Long Creek hasn’t disappointed.We recommend their aged steaks and suggest you cough up the extra coin for the double-cut shell steak or find a partner and get the porterhouse for two.
Red Rooster Bistro
4805 Depot Lane, Cutchogue
This hidden Cutchogue gem is what off-the-beaten path is all about. Even on the North Fork, where quaint establishments have become commonplace, this restaurant stands out. It offers an eclectic entrée menu, attractively priced brunch options and a full-service bar. Count all the rooster-themed antiques on the wall — we gave up at 238 — and have Gregory fix you a drink. We’ll recommend the Rulo Stefani: Bulgarian-style meat loaf made with pork and beef (with a hard boiled egg in the center) and served in a rich brown sauce.
This story was originally featured in northforker’s 2015 Vacation magazine
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