North Fork Cozy: 1905 Wine Lounge at The Preston House

1905 Wine Lounge at The Preston House is a perfect place to cozy up with a cocktail. (Credit: David Benthal)

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Since opening its doors last winter, The Preston House in downtown Riverhead has made an impression with its fresh take on New American cuisine.

The 88-seat restaurant located in the renovated former home of Henry H. Preston has an Old-World-meets-new vibe that artfully combines the home’s original 1905 architecture with modern lines and finishes. The dark wood and dim lighting make it a cozy spot to savor a comforting meal — the bombolotti veal and pork Bolognese warms the soul on chilly days.

It is also a one-of-a-kind place to enjoy a cocktail. The main floor bar is a great place to unwind in style. A photo of Mr. Preston — Suffolk County’s first salaried sheriff — hangs prominently above the bar, invoking a historic feel.

That ambience is amplified downstairs in the ultra chic 1905 Wine Lounge. Dubbed 1905 — the year the renovated house was built — the intimate lounge is an ode to the good bones of the historic home, comprised of original stonework and poured concrete flooring. A plush couch and oversized armchairs create a welcoming space for people to bring an Aperol or appetizers from the upstairs bar.

“During the winter months on the East End when people tend to get cabin fever, this is a great space to get away and listen to some live music or cuddle up,” said hotel and restaurant general manager Jennifer Petrocelli. “We treat it as an extension of the upstairs bar, so you can come down here to relax with small bites, a cocktail or wine. People love to spend time down here.”

Overlooking the original fireplace and newly installed temperature controlled 850-bottle wine vault, there is a strong emphasis on local wines at The Preston House. Its developer J. Petrocelli Contracting also owns Raphael Vineyard in Peconic.

“The wine cellar is quite large — and we’re still building it,” Petrocelli said. “We have a big focus on local wine. We wanted people to be able to see the wine collection from the lounge.”

As the weather warms, guests can head outside to the recently added pergola and seating area off the main dining room.

The Preston House & Hotel is located at 428 East Main Street in Riverhead.

One Comment

  • Sweet ! Looks like a great spot for first date, Valentines Day, wifie’s bday, etc. Vintage meets MoD ! p.s. wonder if original fireplace is a working f/p?