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The Lucharitos mural by artist Kara Hoblin at the new burrito bar in Mattituck. (Credit: David Benthal)

One might think that the pandemic would have discouraged entrepreneurs from opening new restaurants on the North Fork, but a look back at 2020 shows the opposite.

Out in Orient, Duryeas opened up a North Fork location in the old Orient by the Sea location. Serving up lobster and seafood dishes in a Mediterranean setting, the new summer-only spot gave off glamorous vacation vibes. 

After much anticipation, North Fork Roadhouse opened its doors in Mattituck. The 5,000 square foot space, not including the massive outdoor tent that was added, will be open year-round for munching on loaded fries, wings or smoker options from chef Jeni Raymond.

Also in Mattituck, Windamere took over the old Pace’s Dockside at Strong’s Waterclub and Marina. The restaurant’s name pays homage to a private home that used to sit on the property in the late 19th century, while the menu is all modern with tuna tartare, sweet chili duck wings and North Fork bouillabaisse.

The new restaurant Windamere at Strong’s marina in Mattituck (credit: Felicia LaLomia).

Further west in Riverhead, the North Fork added some Argentinian flare to its repertoire. Che, a Argentinain steakhouse, was opened by Carlos Flores to become a center for Argentinian culture, along with great food. 

Greenport got double the French food with two locations of Demarchelier, from the same family behind the famed Upper East Side bistro that closed in 2019. The first Demarchelier popped up in the Menhaden hotel during the summer with a menu focused on more grilled options, while the bistro opened in November with menu items like charcuterie, fondue, lamb shanks, osso bucco and other small plates.

Demarchelier Bistro (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

Lucharitos added another North Fork location to its expanding empire of Mexican spots. Lucharitos Burrito Bar opened in Mattituck as a fast-casual, to-go-focused eatery. Patrons can enter and have their burrito, quesadilla, taco nachos prepared in front of them, choosing what extras they want as they move down the line.

Fortino’s Tavern took over the former Barba Bianca spot on Prestons Dock in Greenport. The restaurant boasts a gorgeous outdoor eating area right on the water. While closed for the season, the restaurant closed the year offering a four-course sit-down dinner — complete with passed hors d’oeuvres, a chef and a server — in the safety of your own home.