From high-end sushi to takeout Greek gyros, the North Fork and Shelter Island saw an explosion of new food and drink options in 2015.
These new businesses, like small-batch coffee roaster North Fork Roasting Co. or artisanal candy maker North Fork Chocolate Co., have enriched the culinary culture of the East End.
And we’re glad they are here.
Here are 23 new businesses that opened in 2015, presented in no particular order.
Deep Water Bar and Grille, Greenport
Opened in May, this new Front Street restaurant serves up New American cuisine with a focus on seafood. Enjoy the views of Greenport Harbor from “Beth’s Upper Deck.”
Stirling Sake, Greenport
Yuki Mori was the first person to bring high-end sushi and sake tasting to eastern Long Island when he opened Stirling Sake last September. In addition to the traditional menu, chef Akio Kon offers a $65 tasting option that includes edamame, ceviche seared tuna with yuzu miso, seven sushi pieces of the chef’s choosing and a California roll, all capped off with green tea matcha gelato.
American Beech, Greenport
American Beech, a New American restaurant with restaurateur Dennis McDermott and chef Arielle Ferrara at the helm, has received favorable reviews from both the New York Times and Newsday since opening its doors in late summer. With a gray and white interior, an outdoor and indoor fireplace and big fluffy pillows, the new restaurants has a cozy modern coastal vibe.
The all new Lucharitos, Greenport
It didn’t take long for hungry patrons to start filling the seats inside Lucharitos after the renovated eatery opened its doors for the first time since March in May. The Main Street bar and restaurant had tripled its kitchen space and now has the ability to serve 50 customers at tables and another 21 at a new bar. That’s compared to the 16 it could previously seat at tables and the 12 it could fit at the bar.
Good Food, Mattituck
Pastries and empanadas. It sounds like a match made in food heaven, but it has become a reality for two food specialists, Alison Katz and Luchi Masliah, who pooled their resources to open Good Food in Mattituck in June.
PeraBell Food Bar, Riverhead
The offerings from a 7,000 pound imported pizza oven, baked mac and cheese and delicious burgers are among the reasons to visit the new PeraBell Food Bar in Riverhead, which opened last summer.
“Our cuisine is American, definitely, but we’re all over the place,” owner John Peragine told us. “We don’t have any limits.”
Sonoma Grill East, Riverhead
Sonoma Grill East Riverhead, which opened in late August, is serving up wraps, pastas and brick-oven pizza inside the former East Main Street bank building that most recently housed the upscale restaurant the Riverhead Project.
But on a recent visit, the real stars were the eatery’s brunch offerings, which include cookies and cream pancakes ($12, pictured above) and Nutella crepes with a house-made filling ($9).
Industry Standard, Greenport
Industry Standard, a craft beer and small bites dining destination with a mission of catering to locals and restaurant staffers, opened its doors in Greenport last month. Chef Greg Ling, the first executive chef at The Riverhead Project and formerly of The Frisky Oyster and now-shuttered Main, oversees the kitchen.
North Fork Roasting Co., Southold
Upon walking into North Fork Roasting Co.’s new Southold coffee house, it’s a toss-up what will grab your attention first: the complex aromas emanating from the artisanal brews or the undeniable fact that its owners have style. The new store, which was three years in the making for owners Jess Dunne and Jennilee Morris, officially opened its doors on Feb. 14.
North Fork Chocolate Co., Aquebogue
North Fork Chocolate Co. began selling delicious, locally sourced candies out of its Aquebogue storefront in February. Ann Corley and chef Steve Amaral, the co-owners of the company, initially made their chocolates and pastries at the Calverton Business Incubator at Stony Brook University, though they now make their products on site.
Agave Grill and Cantina, Greenport
Mexican restaurant Agave Grill and Cantina, which opened on Greenport’s Front Street in December, is one of the region’s newest eateries. Expect dishes from the owners’ native Puebla, Mexico, like pollo poblano in a mole sauce ($18) and chile relleno, a poblano pepper stuffed with queso fresco, corn and cilantro and wrapped in fried egg whites ($8 for an appetizer).
The wooden bar runs nearly the entire length of the restaurant. An exposed brick wall, adorned with black iron sconces, overlooks the bar, while large wooden shelves hold glasses and bottles.
All that iron, brick and wood creates an industrial, hard look. That’s no accident.
“It represents strength,” said John Mantzopoulos, who opened his re-incarnated restaurant, Mazi, in Riverhead in September. The new eatery replaced Athens Grill which was destroyed in a 2013 fire. “We wanted to come back strong. The fire affected me, but it didn’t affect me where it put me out.”
Pure North Fork, Wading River
Pure North Fork, a “craft bistro” emphasizing local ingredients and a casual atmosphere, opened at Great Rock Golf Course in October.
“There’s such a great plethora of produce and ingredients available to us right at our backdoor,” said general manager Brian Curtin. “We would be silly not to use them. You don’t get any fresher than ordering from right down the street.”
Sabrosa Grill, Riverhead
Healthy fast food may sound like an oxymoron, but that’s what Sabrosa Mexican Grill is all about. The Chipotle-style restaurant opened in Riverhead in August, serving up “healthier” versions of Mexican favorites like burritos, tacos, quesadillas and salads.
Tikal 1, Greenport
Mexican cuisine meets Guatemalan spice at this Greenport eatery which opened in January. The restaurant was named in honor of the ancient city of Tikal, the site of one of the largest Mayan ruins in Guatemala.
The menu includes Mexican favorites like tacos and empanadas, but also Guatemalean fare like chicken pepian, which is chicken boiled then lightly fried and served in a rich green sauce.
Vue Restaurant and Bar, Shelter Island
Situated on “Goat Hill,” one of the highest points on Shelter Island, this new eatery opened at The Shelter Island Country Club this spring. With chef Tom Ritzler at the helm, the menu offers moderately priced seafood, chicken and pasta dishes.
The Tavern, Shelter Island
The Shelter Island House’s new restaurant, The Tavern, offers a full bar, as well as indoor and outdoor dining. Ownership of the restaurant is shared between sisters Suzanne Walsh and Janet Rogler, in partnership with Avi Bevilacqua and Keith Bavaro of Salt Waterfront Bar and Grill.
Red Maple, Shelter Island
Whether you want a roaring fireplace on a cold night or to enjoy a fruity cocktail in August, this new Shelter Island restaurant aims to be a go-to spot for both the flip-flop and wool sock seasons.
Located on the ground floor of the Chequit Inn, the much-anticipated 150-seat restaurant and bar is open for dinner.
North Fork Smoked Fish Co., Greenport
Blue fish pâté and smoked salmon are among the offerings at the new North Fork Smoked Fish Co. storefront. Formerly only available at farmers markets, online and at select retail locations, owner Phil Karlin III now sells his savory creations at this Greenport location.
The new Basso Italian market is a place where you can sit with a glass of wine and enjoy a tray of salty cured meat.
“It’s old-fashioned cicchetie,” owner Nick DeCillis of Mattituck told us. “But at the same time, it’s a market place. You can buy pasta, olive oil, jarred olives and more.”
My Creperie, Wading River
My creperie has been serving a mix of sweet and savory crepes since it opened in downtown Wading River in June.
But while there are more exotic crepes like a roast beef option with blue cheese and fresh spinach, the sweet options are the restaurant’s specialty, owner Robert Nasta said. The decadent Smores crepe is a popular choice.
Sweet Tart, Riverhead
Frozen yogurt shop Sweet Tart quietly opened on Riverhead’s East Main Street in March.
If you like going heavy on toppings then you’ll love filling a 16- or 20-ounce cup at Sweet Tart, which offers 12 flavors of frozen yogurt including cherry limeade sorbet (an unofficial Northforker favorite), sea salt caramel pretzel and Tahitian vanilla.
Vital A Tea, Riverhead
Vital A Tea, which offers 30 teas including loose teas and mixes all priced per pound, opened in Riverhead in June. Based on the concept of a wine tasting bar, the café also offers seating where customers can enjoy a pot of hot fresh brewed tea, sip cold iced teas or try flights of different varieties.
Catering to the residents of Mattituck’s vibrant Greek community as well as Greek transplants on the North Fork, Agora the little Greek market opened in June.
The market offers spinach pies, Greek desserts, olives, cheeses like kasseri and manouri — all rare commodities on the North Fork — and more.
Greek Bites, Mattituck
We are feeling torn over what to mention first when writing about lunch at Greek Bites Grill and Café in Mattituck. The perfect Greek salad dressing? Or the yummy homemade spinach pie.
The Mattituck eatery, which opened in January, is an offshoot of a Center Moriches takeout spot of the same name. It serves up tasty homemade Greek food for eat-in or takeout.