Its exterior sign hasn’t been installed yet, but people are already discovering Espresso North Fork in Mattituck.
The Italian eatery was a fixture in Sag Harbor before co-owner Corrado Paini sold his share in 2014. For the next two years, he worked at his cousin’s Sag Harbor restaurant Cappelletti while searching for a commercial space on the North Fork.
“I love the North Fork, the farms and wineries,” Paini said. “I found this place. It took me a little bit, but I found it.”
Paini was thrilled to find the space on Main Road recently vacated by Uncle Joe’s pizzeria due to its close proximity to Mattituck High School.
“My old store was close to Pierson High School and the kids, teachers, everybody came in,” he said. “So when I saw how close this was to the high school here, I said, ‘Oh my God!’ “
Paini is already planning a menu for students by stop by for lunch or after school.
“When the kids come in I’ll have slices of pizza and some small sandwiches,” he said.
When Paini says sandwiches, he’s talking about the ones he’s well-known for, like his chicken BLT, roasted veggie with gorgonzola and chicken and brie with pesto — all served on his homemade focaccia.
“The community has started coming in to check me out,” he said. “I have to get my focaccia sandwiches ready.”
Besides focaccia sandwiches and pizza, Espresso North Fork serves entrees like penne prosciutto, cheese tortellini, penne alla vodka and fettuccine alfredo, plus a variety of heroes, wraps and salads. Paini also offers seasonal dishes like pumpkin ravioli during the fall.
“I’m from Parma, in northern Italy, and it’s a specialty from there,” he said. “Along with cheese ravioli and spinach ravioli.”
Paini also plans to serve more seafood next spring and summer.
“We’ll have local fish, mussels and clams, fruiti di mare,” he said. “I’ll also do some fish tacos.”
The stream of customers entering the restaurant has already begun to grow. Some pick up orders, while others sit down to eat. Recently, an old customer from Sag Harbor stopped by.
Andrew Skonka, who used to handle Espresso North Fork’s social media account when it was on the South Fork, drove to Mattituck with his wife, Claudee, to see Paini and order sandwiches.
“We miss it very much. All my friends miss his food — he’s a master with his focaccia sandwiches,” Skonka said. “I know many of my friends will make the trip for his sandwiches and it’s a 40-minute drive from Sag Harbor.”
“When you make good food people find you,” Paini said. “The sign will go up soon.”
Espresso North Fork, located at 13500 Main Road in Mattituck, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s closed Sunday. For more information, call (631) 298-8910 or visit espressonorthfork.com.