Every country has an empanada or a version of it, according to Luchi Masliah, co-owner of Mattituck’s newest foodie destination.
“Anywhere in the world you’ll find turnovers, pastries, you name it,” she said.
Pastries and empanadas. It sounds like a match made in food heaven, but it has become a reality for two food specialists who pooled their resources to open Good Food in Mattituck.
Luchi Masliah, owner of Gula Gula Empanadas in East Hampton, said she had been looking for a partner to open a space on the North Fork. Enter Allison Katz, a French Culinary Institute graduate who sells her baked goods at farmer’s markets under the moniker “Ali Katz” and was also looking for a space.
Both asked mutual friend Holly Browder of Browder’s Birds if she knew of anyone interested in partnering to create a restaurant. Browder ended up playing matchmaker, introducing the women to each other.
“We called each other, we met several times — this would have been impossible to do on our own,” Katz said.
Located around the corner from Mattituck tourist destination Love Lane, the Pike Street eatery focuses on empanadas as well as fresh salads, speciality sandwiches and baked goods. The pair hosted a soft opening on Thursday and saw brisk business right away.
An attempt by Northforker to interview both owners had to be done in turns so someone was always at the counter to handle the constant stream of visitors.
Masliah, a native of Uruguay, makes the empanadas. For the uninitiated, they’re a South American dish similar to a British meat pastry.
“They’re like a quick, go-to snack,” she said. “You can have them for lunch with a soup or salad or you can make a dinner out of them.”
Masliah’s empanadas are stuffed with all sorts of tasty treats like chicken, fish and vegetables. Some of the more unusual selections include a bison empanada, which is made with green olives, raisins and garlic stuffed in an olive oil crust. The barbecue pulled pork empanada includes East Hampton’s Smokin’ Wolf BBQ pork, fresh mangos, sweet potatoes, red onion, red peppers, jalapeño and corn stuffed in a wheat flour crust. The seasonal greens empanada includes local greens currently in season like kale and Swiss chard, as well as roasted garlic and manchego cheese in a whole wheat crust.
Kara Hoblin of Greenport was eager to try the empanadas on the first day.
“I think this will be really cool and easy, especially for people who need a lunch break and don’t want to spend too much money,” she said.
Others were equally as enthusiastic.
“The atmosphere looked great, so I pulled over,” said David Wright of Chester, Conn. “If they live up to their name, then we’ll be all right.”
Christian Iglasias, also of Greenport, was just as impressed after trying the empanadas.
“I had the pulled pork and the black bean and they were very flavorful, excellent,” he said. “And that’s coming from [someone from] a Spanish culture, so they get my OK.”
Good Food’s empanadas come in two sizes. The large are sold separately for $3.95 a piece. The smaller ones are sold by the dozen, with prices ranging between $38 and $42.
All of Good Food’s baked goods are made by Katz, including this week’s strawberry/rhubarb tart and strawberry scones. Also available are pound cakes, croissants and quiche. Cakes and pies will also be added to the menu.
Good Food depends on the bounty of the North Fork for its ingredients. For example, the strawberries and rhubarb are from Bay View Farm in Aquebogue and the kale in its baby kale salad comes from KK’s The Farm in Southold.
With Good Food, Pike Street looks poised to become Mattituck’s next shopping and eating destination. Earlier this spring, The Repurpose Project, the vintage furniture store opened across the street. And Agora The Little Greek Market is expected to open soon.
“We are very excited to join the neighborhood, to join the community,” Masliah said.
Pike Street’s shopkeepers are already a close knit group. During Good Food’s construction, The Repurpose Project’s owner Michael Paluck lent his services.
“He built and installed a shelf bar behind our counter and we wouldn’t have gotten our building permit without it,” Katz said.
“It’s exciting this entire area has turned into kind of a foodie neighborhood,” Masliah said. “Across the street we have a Greek market coming. I think everybody does what they do very well, so let’s join the fun.”
Good Food is located at 535A Pike Street in Mattituck. It is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.