Meatloaf: a dish that conjures memories of family dinners, cozy Sunday suppers and the comforting aromas that linger in our mother’s or grandmother’s kitchens. The warm and savory loaf has earned its stripes as a comfort food champion and it isn’t just a dish; it’s a dynamic experience and each recipe adds its own twist. Throughout the North Fork, plenty of meatloaves are ready to be tasted, capturing the essence of tradition and flavor in a unique way.
Come along with us as we embark on this tour of some of the marvelous meatloaves of the North Fork.
“Supper at Mom’s,” a brand new sub-brand for Mugs on Main, is their way to invite the Town of Riverhead to savor a heartwarming home-cooked meal. Their dinner menu is filled with warm pot-pies, crispy country fried steak and yes, meatloaf will be on the menu every Thursday through Sunday from 5 until 10 p.m. The recipe is a tribute to Jeff Schaeffer’s mother, and while he won’t give away his mom’s secrets, he can tell you that the main ingredient is Love with a capital L. This beloved staple comes with a choice of two sides, such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes or Mugs’s fresh veggie blend.
This low-key family restaurant — an island favorite as much for its fresh, good, honest food as its convivial meet-and-greet-your-neighbors vibe — specializes in classic comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s only fitting that classic meatloaf would find a regular spot on the menu. Warm your bones with a hearty slice of their secret recipe, plus pick two sides to accompany it, such as creamy mashed potatoes, coleslaw or even seasoned basmati rice. Bonus: The Islander has a beer and wine license, so if you want a glass of this or that to accompany it, they don’t mind if you do.
It’s easy to get cozy in the relaxed atmosphere of the Cooperage Inn, but add a dish of their excellent meatloaf and you may find yourself asking for seconds, just to stay a little longer. Smothered in hunter gravy — a deep brown mushroom delight seasoned with herbs, shallots and wine, perfect for sneaking into their fluffy roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed seasonal vegetables.
The first modern American meatloaf can be traced back to the late 1870s, a few years before Claudio’s established its stunning Victorian bar in Greenport. Now, over 150 years later, both have established themselves as must-tries along the village waterfront. Their house-made juicy meatloaf is served with mashed potatoes and sauteed garlicky spinach.
Perusing the Cutchouge Diner’s handwritten menu, it’s easy to tell that this meatloaf is unlike all the other entries on our list. Not only is it the thriftiest option, but it also is served as a sandwich. A hot slice of meatloaf is nestled between two slices of your choice of bread and topped with lettuce, coleslaw and a pickle. Add tomato or cheese for an extra $1 and onion for an extra $0.50. And you get to eat it while sitting inside an original 1941 Kullman diner. Grab a root beer float for dessert at $5.50, and you’re still eating for under 20 bucks with tax and tip. Sweet!