Long Island Restaurant Week is back again, five years since WordHampton Public Relations started it to get Long Islanders to go out to eat in the off-season.
This year, from Nov. 7 to 14, at least 13 restaurants on the North Fork will offer special $24.95 three-course prix fixe meals, with menus created by each restaurant’s chefs to highlight their specialties. More restaurants are joining the promotion each day and a full list can be found at longislandrestaurantweek.com. The bargains are available all evening every night but Saturday, Nov. 13, when it runs only until 7 p.m.
A sampling of the menus for some of the participating restaurants was enough to make a gourmet’s mouth water.
Chef Keith Luce at Luce Hawkins in Jamesport is hoping year-round residents will take advantage of Restaurant Week to try the seasonal offerings at North Fork restaurants. He is offering a $25 gift certificate to Restaurant Week customers that can be used for a future visit.
Mr. Luce said that local food is the highlight of most of the menu selections at Luce Hawkins’ Restaurant. Many of the dishes are made with ingredients grown in a cook’s garden behind the inn on South Jamesport Avenue.
Appetizers include North Fork duck wings, a chopped salad of cabbage, romaine lettuce, apples and bacon, and a local beet soup. Entrées will include pastrami-cured bluefish, scallops in a light cream sauce, an organic chicken breast and a lamb and bean cassoulet. Mr. Hawkins is working on a variation of tiramisu called ’nilla misu, made with vanilla wafers instead of lady fingers, which he plans to unveil during Restaurant Week.
“We wanted to do something that showcases the region and make sure that people who live here year-round feel great about coming,” Mr. Luce said of the week’s offerings.
Rosa de Carvalho Ross, who owns Scrimshaw in Greenport, has been participating in Restaurant Week for several years. Scrimshaw, nestled on the Main Street dock behind Preston’s, opened in 2004. It is one of three restaurants in Greenport on the Restaurant Week circuit, along with VINe/1SR (VINe Wine Bar and the First Street Restaurant) and Noah’s.
Ms. Ross, who was raised in British Hong Kong and is of Portuguese-Asian descent, has prepared a menu for Restaurant Week at Scrimshaw that demonstrates the multicultural variety of her regular offerings. Appetizers include Scrimshaw chowder or squash soup, a frisée salad with Stilton cheese, and a basket of homemade dumplings. Entrées range from a Hong Kong bouillabaisse to roasted fillet of curried salmon on organic rice, a cassoulet of duck confit, braised confit pork, an herbed pork medallion with fingerling potatoes or beef Stroganoff with wild rice. Desserts include coconut panna cotta, a five-spice warm apple cake and a chocolate amaretto cake. Scrimshaw is open every day but Monday.
Tweeds on Main Street in Riverhead has been a fixture of Restaurant Week since the program began.
“It is a word of mouth thing. The people that come back seasonally, you can time it to the day when they come back, like the swallows returning to Capistrano,” said Tweeds manager Anthony Coates.
Tweeds will offer a hearty menu that includes its signature dish: bison. Entrées include a bison burger, bison hanger steak, fresh salmon or bass, prime rib, portobello mushrooms and desserts ranging from New York cheesecake to key lime pie and a flourless chocolate cake. The restaurant also has added elk steak to its offerings this year. Tweeds is open every day.
“It brings a wealth of new people to the restaurant,” said Mr. Coates. “It’s mostly people that might have been intimidated to try the restaurant before because they heard it’s a fancy white tablecloth restaurant.”
An adventure in Spanish cuisine can be had at the Red Rooster Bistro in Cutchogue.
“We picked plates that are typical of us,” said executive chef Jeffrey Slade of the special menu, which includes a paella of chicken, shellfish and chorizo for two, a beef short rib, salmón a la plancha and lamb meatballs. Desserts include a crema catalana, which is a Spanish version of crème brulée, pumpkin cheesecake and an apple crumble.
At Legends on the quiet waterfront of New Suffolk, Restaurant Week is the perfect time to warm up with an appetizer of Peconic Bay scallop bisque. It leads off Legends’ robust menu, which includes six appetizers and eight main courses.
Other appetizers include a salad of baby field greens with apples, walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese, lamb merguez sausage with cous cous, truffle cognac cream macaroni and cheese, Egyptian-style dukkah crusted shrimp and seared sea scallops with a raisin caper sauce and pureed cauliflower.
Entrées include veal osso buco, seared roasted salmon, prosciutto wrapped codfish with a tart cherry port wine sauce, a grilled pork porterhouse chop, sauteed shrimp in a champagne beurre blanc sauce and Parmesan crusted chicken. Desserts at Legends include pumpkin cheesecake, molten chocolate cake, apple crisp, a walnut roll and crème brulée.
The North Fork Table & Inn in Southold is taking a warm autumn tack toward its menu, with main courses ranging from a slow-roasted root vegetable torte to a pan roasted organic Scottish salmon fillet, grilled tandoori-spiced chicken breast, a red wine braised boneless beef short rib and a homemade ricotta cavatelli and mangalitsa pancetta ragu.
At the Jamesport Manor Inn, entrées include sweet Italian sausage penne pasta, pan roasted marinated hanger steak and goat cheese roasted chicken with maple acorn squash purée and asparagus.
The Bayview Inn & Restaurant in South Jamesport was also participating as of press time, as was the Dark Horse Restaurant in Riverhead and a Mano in Mattituck.
This is the first time that Deks American Restaurant in Rocky Point has participated in Long Island Restaurant Week. Owner Dean Scott said he decided to sign up after he noticed a big boost in business when Rocky Point hosted its own restaurant week earlier this year.
“It brought in people, and I don’t think it was the price point, I think it was pushing people to support their local restaurants and let them know we were here,” he said.
Deks will serve aged steak, fresh seafood, jagerschnitzel, a 14-ounce aged boneless shell steak and lump crab cakes in a scallion wine sauce for its entrées during the program. Coconut shrimp and mussels in either a white or spicy red sauce will be starters and a Rocky Mountain mudslide cake and Junior’s carrot cheesecake are among the deserts.
If you’re in the mood for comfort food, Gracie’s Hearty Foods & Spirits in Rocky Point has a choice of hefty Restaurant Week offerings. Deviled eggs, fried fresh mozzarella, teriaki wings, baked clams and chicken satay will be served up as appetizers, while baked meatloaf, a Yankee pot roast, chicken marsala, stuffed flounder and cedar plank salmon will be served up as main courses. Gracie’s original cheesecake, bread pudding and apple pie à la mode top off the meals. Gracie’s is closed Mondays.