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Crazy Beans Greenport

Pancakes from Crazy Beans in Greenport. (Photo credit: Vera Chinese)

Crazy Beans Greenport

Breakfast or lunch? The question can become contentious, especially as the time inches closer to noon. However, brunch makes it an irrelevant one. The breakfast-lunch hybrid allows a person to have their pancakes at 11 a.m. and their dining partner to eat the juiciest of burgers, too. 

Beyond squashing food fights with a single word choice, brunch usually connotes a sit-down meal. Ditch the grab-and-go vibe of breakfast or lunch apropos to a person in a hurry to get somewhere (like work) in favor of indulging in together time with friends and family to savor a meal. It’s a warm way to spend some of the North Fork’s coldest days.

Though some local restaurants are closed through March, others have brunch offerings we dig (into). From a lauded café in Mattituck to multiple spots that offer morning-minded dessert breakfast, these North Fork brunch destinations are open for business this winter. 

Love Lane Kitchen, 240 Love Lane, Mattituck, 631-298-8989

With a pristine interior complete with shiny wooden tables and a menu full of familiar favorites, Love Lane Kitchen epitomizes approachable upscale. Its location on the storied Love Lane in Mattituck has only heightened its popularity through the years. Walk or cruise down the charming street in the late morning or early afternoon for a breakfast menu that runs until 2 p.m. or afternoon lunch treats, too. Green eggs with sauteed kale bring a Seussian classic, while the French toast is made with some of the thickest bread this side of Riverhead (the cheesecake stuffing gets an assist there). A chicken, guacamole and bacon sandwich is a hearty choice for lunch or go for the lobster roll and dream of warmer days ahead.   

The Watershed Kitchen and Bar, 46 Front St., Jamesport, 631-779-3454

This snug spot set in the Bay Breeze Inn has an outdoor patio ideal for al fresco meals during the warmer months and a fireplace inside that immediately warms guests from the moment they arrive. The brunch menu is heavenly for egg enthusiasts: the Watershed omelet is made with a trio of eggs, peppers, ham and cheddar cheese. A sampler with two eggs, bacon, sausage and sourdough bread (and home fries for a bit extra) provides favorite fixings. Meanwhile, Olympia’s silver dollar blueberry pancakes are a breakfast item that gives back, with $1 donation going to Cohen Children’s Medical Center for every order. The humble-yet-mighty lunch menu includes “starters” like Brussels sprouts, wings and burrata. 

Bistro 72, 1830 W. Main St., Riverhead, 631-369-3325

A farm-to-fork restaurant found in Hotel Indigo East End, Bistro 72’s brunch menu includes a yogurt parfait made with local honey, the restaurant’s riff on eggs Benedict (smoked bacon, spinach and kale are involved) and more sandwiches than you can shake a (leafless) stick at. Think a gooey three-cheese grilled cheese made with American, Swiss, mozzarella and tomato jam that hits just right on a frigid morning and a flavorful steak sandwich seasoned with garlic and BBQ sauce. 

Desmond’s Restaurant & Pub, 5720 Rte. 25A, Wading River, 631-846-2335

Brunch is served in a relaxed yet sophisticated environment each Sunday at Desmond’s Restaurant & Pub. Set in the East Wind, it’s a prime dining spot for day-after brunches for wedding guests, vacationers and staycationers alike. Heading to the spa? A pre or post-treatment brunch can be part of the itinerary. Regardless of what brings you to Desmond’s — and perhaps the restaurant’s up-Island-adjacent location — made-to-order omelets with sides of sizzling bacon are hard to pass up. There’s also a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit and marshmallows that fills the bill of breakfast, lunch, brunch and dessert all at once. A complementary mimosa or Bloody Mary is also part of the deal here. Brunch is served on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Crazy Beans, 2 Front St., Greenport, 631-333-2426

This retro-style diner brimming with ‘50s charm offers all-day, everyday brunch. Fully-loaded homies with cheddar and American cheese and bacon, sour cream and eggs or loaded waffle fries with cheddar jack cheese and bacon? Truly, you can’t go wrong in any way. Sweet potato tots, cheesy biscuits, chicken apple sausage omelets, pancake quesadillas and gouda apple grilled cheese are among the seemingly endless list of creative offerings from which to choose.

Country Corner Café, 55765 NY-25, Southold, 631-765-6765

This Southold café is considered a luncheonette and ice cream parlor, but breakfast can be the order of the day all day and every day at Country Corner. It can also include ice cream (and sprinkles and chocolate sauce) atop waffles. Hot oatmeal warms the soul on frigid mornings (or afternoons), while vanilla yogurt parfaits with granola and berries appeal to sweet tooths who can’t do morning ice cream. Soups, a dozen burgers (including cheese, blue cheese, Beyond and avocado) and hot sandwiches like a beer-battered cod and roast beef melt are among the ways to hearty ways to up-level lunch.  

Ram’s Head Inn, 108 Ram Island Dr., Shelter Island, 631-749-0811

Bacon bloody Mary? Check. French toast with blueberry and lemon cream cheese? Also, check. Piping hot seasonal soups, burgers and duck confit? Check, check and check. These are some of the flavorful options on Ram’s Head Inn’s bodacious brunch menu at this quaint inn’s on-site restaurant beside the water — it may be frozen these days. Still, the coastal surroundings remind us that sunny afternoons spent in Adirondack chairs will soon be here again. 

Brunch items from Stars Cafe (Photo credit: Lydia Martinez)

Stars Café, 17 Grand Ave, Shelter Island Heights, 631-749-5345

This approachable local café loved for its amiable service and necessarily strong coffee made from organic, fair-trade beans roasted on-site is a Shelter Island workhorse. It’s open 363 to 364 days per year (only closing on Christmas and sometimes New Year’s). Make-your-own omelets allow diners to start the day their way, and Mexican-inspired dishes like burritos and huevos rancheros have vegetarian, meaty, mild and spicy options.