New East on Main chef brings elevated take to comfort food menu

Chef Steven Brower in the kitchen at East on Main in Mattituck. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

With a menu of fried mac n’ cheese, smothered baby back ribs and s’mores, East on Main has established its comfort food prowess since opening its doors in Mattituck last fall. Now, the Main Road restaurant is taking its signature home-style cuisine up a notch with new chef Steven Brower.

Brower, who took over the kitchen in March, takes a Mediterranean approach to his dishes, emphasizing fresh ingredients prepared simply. He applies the method to cooking everything from chicken and waffles to lamb loin served over grits.

“I love the concept of home-style cooking with a twist and the idea of reinventing classic dishes,” Brower said. “Elevating that concept brought it to a whole new level — and we’re having fun while we’re doing it. It is not pretentious.”

Brower brings nearly 30 years of cooking experience to the Main Road restaurant, which opened eight months ago in the former Four Doors Down. He got his start in the kitchen working at the iconic Siros Restaurant outside of the Saratoga Race Course, and grew his culinary career in St. Croix and later as chef de cuisine at Starr Boggs in Westhampton Beach under executive chef Frank Lucas.

“I have been on the East End since 1999 and I have grown to love working with the local fish and produce,” he said. “It is the biggest attraction for a chef to work on Long Island; the fresh, clean ingredients.”

Developing more relationships with North Fork growers and producers is at the forefront of Brower’s to-do list. The restaurant currently works with Schmitt’s Farm, Braun Seafood Company and Southold Fish Market to craft its daily specials, such as grilled local asparagus and regular items, such as the clam casserole made with house made lobster stock.

Baby back ribs brushed with a house made pork stock barbecue sauce. (Credit: East on Main)

“It is all made from scratch and with natural ingredients,” Brower said. “It is high-end preparation done in an approachable way.”

Bringing on chef Brower is part of “phase two” of East on Main’s introduction into the community, according to owner Tony Piraino. Phase one, which took place in the fall and winter, was learning what the community wanted in a neighborhood restaurant, he said. Phase two includes the addition of Brower and more extensive exterior renovations, which include new signage, siding and lighting.

“Steve has taken our vision to a whole new level, bringing our concept of welcoming our patrons home with an exceptional dining experience in a comfortable atmosphere,” Piraino said. “He is one of the few chefs that loves to cook meatloaf and duck liver mousse. It has a diverse palate and brings a lot to the table. He offers something for everyone, which is what we’re about.”

Moving forward guests can expect a larger selection of daily specials in addition to the regular menu. The special list will include a rotating selection of six to eight appetizers, five entrees and two desserts, which will change with the season. The restaurant will also introduce prix fixe lobster bake Tuesdays and steak night Wednesday after Memorial Day. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and late night bites 7 days a week.

East on Main is located at 10560 Main Road, Mattituck