09/07/13 4:00pm
09/07/2013 4:00 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Downtown Riverhead restaurant Cliff's Rendezvous, which closed at the end of June due to damage from a kitchen fire, reopened its doors Sept. 7.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Downtown Riverhead restaurant Cliff’s Rendezvous, which closed at the end of June due to damage from a kitchen fire, reopened its doors Sept. 7.

A little more than two months after a small kitchen fire forced Cliff’s Rendezvous to close its doors, the downtown Riverhead restaurant reopened for business today with little fanfare but heaps of happy customers.

Christina Saunders, whose husband, Cliff Saunders, owns the casual bar and eatery, said Saturday afternoon she and her husband didn’t know until “the last minute” when the restaurant would be able to reopen.

“We had to make sure everything was in place,” she said. “We got all the permits and all the inspections done. Everybody gave us the green light, so as of yesterday we said, ‘That’s it! We can do it.’ We’ve been waiting a very long time.’ ”

A grease fire broke out at the popular restaurant June 25 when, Mr. Saunders said, one of the chefs in the kitchen left a pan of bacon unattended near the oven and boiler. Although it suffered minor damage, a small section of the restaurant’s roof near the chimney was charred as a result of the fire and carpeting in the lower dining room was damaged and needed to be replaced as well, Mr. Saunders said.

While Cliff’s Rendezvous was closed, Ms. Saunders said, she and the crew took time to give the restaurant a deep cleaning and make some repairs. Both the upper and lower dining room’s carpeted floors were replaced with ceramic tile that looks like hardwood flooring.

“We made good use of the time,” she said.

Lou Welsh, who has been the bartender at Cliff’s Rendezvous for the past 17 years, said between customers he was happy the restaurant had reopened.

“It’s been a long time,” he said.

To thank the firefighters who helped extinguish the fire, Ms. Saunders said the restaurant plans to host a dinner for the Riverhead Fire Department Monday evening.

“[The fire] was in the middle of that heat wave and some of the firefighters were in full uniform,” Ms. Saunders said. “We’ve been here a long time and they came out for us, and it’s nice to be able to say thank you.”

ryoung@timesreview.com

07/03/13 12:00pm
07/03/2013 12:00 PM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Vine & Hops Café is expected to open on East Main Street in downtown Riverhead later this summer.

A Jamesport couple plans to open a new wine, beer and coffee shop called Vines & Hops Café in downtown Riverhead next month.

Jeff McKay, a strength and conditioning coach who will be operating the 2,200 square-foot café with his wife, physical therapist Christine McKay, told the News-Review the East Main Street café will offer wine from the North Fork and California along with gourmet coffee and a variety of local craft beers.

“I’ve always wanted to get into the hospitality business and it just formulated in my head because there was nothing out here on the East End like this,” Mr. McKay said.

Artisan food prepared by the North Fork Chocolate Company including cheese platters, flatbread, chocolates and truffles will also be on the menu, which Mr. McKay said will change slightly according to season.

The space will also include couches, televisions in the “beer section,” and a gift shop area where customers can purchase gift baskets.The business will only serve wine that has a 90-point or higher distinction of greatness from Wine Spectator magazine.

“We want to bring quality products,” Mr. McKay said of the café, which he describes as having a “European feel, right down to the lighting.”

“The prices will be extremely affordable, though,” he said.

Vines & Hops Café will be located next to TheWarStore.com, a game shop that opened last month. Both rental properties, along with Twin Forks Bicycles, are owned by Riverhead Enterprises.

“This is the sixth new lease in an 18-month period that we’ve signed,” said Sheldon Gordon, the managing general partner of Riverhead Enterprises. “It’s been remarkable what the interest coming to downtown has been. It’s quite gratifying.”

In Mr. McKay’s estimation, downtown Riverhead is close to being an ideal location for Vines & Hops Café.

“We looked at [opening the shop] in Greenport but it didn’t appeal to us because the winters are so slow there,” Mr. McKay said. “With the theater open and businesses are starting to pop up, we thought, ‘Let’s take advantage of the opportunity and settle into downtown Riverhead.’”

Once the shop opens, Mr. McKay and his wife plan to encourage customers to kick back and relax with their favorite drink.

“We consider ourselves the ‘before’ and ‘after’ place – you can come here before a show or a movie,” Mr. McKay said. “People will be able to come and recognize their favorite beverage and have it in a comfortable atmosphere. It’s not a bar and it’s not a restaurant.

“It’ll be as if you’re home in your living room.”

ryoung@timesreview.com

02/01/13 3:00pm
02/01/2013 3:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  All Star

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The All Star in Riverhead is one of several spots throughout the area with specials for Super Bowl Sunday.

There may not be a local team in this year’s Super Bowl, but local bars and restaurants are still gearing up for the big game with a bevy of drink and food specials along with a lot of giveaways. Here’s a rundown of some of the best places to watch San Francisco take on Baltimore:

Digger’s, Riverhead

Address: 58 West Main Street (631) 369-3200

Number of TVs: 9

Specials: No frills, just fun and football. $2 Coors Light and $4 Corona drafts. Special football menu with tailgating food, like 50-cent wings.

Cliff’s Elbow Room, Riverhead

Address: 1549 Main Rd (631) 722-3292

Number of TVs: 4

Specials: $2.50 Coors Light drafts. Free halftime buffet — including wings. T-shirt giveaways, hats and more.

The All-Star, Riverhead

96 Main Road (631) 998-3565

Number of TVs: 135-square-foot HD TV wall, 20 other 55-inch HD TVs, projectors on bowing lanes.

Specials: Starting at 7 p.m. Bud light specials and Coors Light beer bucket specials. Buffet packages. Super Bowl bingo with cash prizes.

Cody’s BBQ & Grill, Riverhead

65 E Main St. (631) 284-9520

Number of TVs: 10

Specials:  Two-for-one Bud, Bud light, PBRs, wine and well drinks. Fifty-cent wings.

J&R Steakhouse, Calverton

4362 New York 25 (631) 727-7218

Number of TVs: 82-inch TV and 8 other TVs

Specials: $44.99 open bar kickoff until the game ends, including appetizer soup or salad, entrée, coffee and dessert. Call for reservations.

Phil’s, Wading River

Address: 1856 Wading River Manor Road (631) 929-0508

Number of TVs: 50 with two 70-inch screens

Specials: $2.50 Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Light drafts. Half-price appetizers. Ticket Giveaways at half-time: TVs, Kegerator, cooler couch and more.

Legends, New Suffolk

Address: 835 1st Street (631) 734-5123

Number of TVs: 23

Specials: Free halftime buffet – Wing assortment, St. Louis ribs, beef kabobs and more.

Elbow Room Too, Laurel

1085 Franklinville Road (631) 298-3262

Number of TVs: 4

Specials: $5 burgers. Beer specials. Free hero for the game and T-shirt giveaways.

Editor’s Note: Restaurants and bars listed are Times/Review advertisers.

Elbow East, Southold

Address: 50 North Sea Drive (631) 765-1203

Number of TVs: 6

Specials: $1 off drinks (happy hour prices) all day. Free halftime buffet — hero, salads, and snacks.

Four Doors Down, Mattituck

Address: 10560 Main Road (631) 298-8311

Number of TVs: 8

Specials: $3 Pabst Blue Ribbon cans and $2 bud 55 select bottles. Drink specials on Bloody Mary and mimosas. 25-cent wings all day and a free halftime buffet. Touchdown shots, T-shirts, keychains and giveaways.

Front Street Station, Greenport

Address: 212 Front Street (631) 477-8724

Number of TVs: 9

Specials: Annual Field Goal Kicking Contest at 1 p.m. Three $100 gift certificates to Front Street Station will be awarded to the top male, female, and child kicker. Lots of giveaways. Well drink specials, $3 beer specials. Free halftime buffet — wings, Rigatoni alla vodka, potato skins, mussels, and baked clams.

Lucharitos, Greenport

119 Main St (631) 477-6666

Number of TVs: 2

Specials: $2 Bud light all day and half price Sangria. All you can drink Sangria from 1-5 for $20. Free halftime buffet and an arm wrestling competition with cash prize.

Sophie’s, Southold

730 Main Bayview Rd (631) 765-5700

Number of TVs: 4

Specials: Drink specials and buffet at half-time.

06/22/11 12:14pm
06/22/2011 12:14 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Alure owner Adam Lovett, seated right, with chef and partner Jeff Uguil, seated left on the deck of the restaurant. Also pictured, along with the waitstaff, are managers Andy Karistinos, left rear, Kathy Nugent, rear second from left and Kerry Ziemacki, standing right.

Owner(s): Tom Schaudel, Adam Lovett and Jeff Uguil

Year established: 2011

Location: Port of Egypt Marina, 62300 Main Road, Southold

Phone: 631-876-5300

Attire: casual/nice

Wheelchair accessible: yes

Hours: Lunch daily (except Monday) noon-5 p.m.; dinner nightly 5-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday until 11 p.m.

Website: www.alurenorthfork.com

A Lure Chowder House & Oysteria, in Southold’s Port of Egypt Marina, is the North Fork’s newest waterfront seafood restaurant and the latest joint venture of celebrated chef Tom Schaudel and restaurateur Adam Lovett. The duo, known for A Mano in Mattituck, Passionfish in Westhampton Beach and Jedediah Hawkins in Jamesport, is joined by chef de cuisine and partner Jeff Uguil, who leads in the kitchen. A Lure serves impeccably fresh fish and seafood in a casual and convivial setting for locals, boaters, day-trippers and vacationers to beautiful North Fork Wine Country.

Pristine waters, big skies and the barrier beach bird sanctuary on Southold Bay are in full view from large windows and a wraparound deck with 100 seats for seasonal alfresco dining. Inside the warm and welcoming year-round dining room are a double-sided fireplace for winter and a 30-foot bar opening onto a side deck. The core of A Lure’s creative and contemporary cuisine is local bounty: East End and East Coast seafood; produce from nearby farms; a Long Island-only wine list; beers from Blue Point, Greenport and Southampton; and specialty cocktails based on fresh fruits. Live entertainment from local musicians makes the scene hard to beat. Entrées feature grilled marinated swordfish with forbidden rice, Thai green curry, asparagus and pineapple mango salsa, as well as cheeseburgers, filet mignon and marinated skirt steak. Sweet endings include Key lime pie with graham cracker crust and flourless chocolate cake with lime-scented caramel and sea salt.

The Dining Guide is not a review column. It appears as a courtesy to Times/Review Newspapers advertisers.

05/17/11 9:28am
05/17/2011 9:28 AM

Owner(s): Diana DiVello
Year established: 1991
Location: 1410 Manhanset Ave., Greenport
Phone: 631-477-1515
Attire: Casual/neat
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Hours: Open for dinner 7 days in season
Website: portobellonorthfork.com

One of the North Fork’s hidden treasures, Porto Bello Restaurant is well worth a trip to its new location, away from noise and crowds, where diners can enjoy delicious food and a spectacular water view in a secluded setting.

Celebrating its 20th year, owner Diana DiVello has returned the restaurant to its original waterfront location in Greenport’s beautiful Stirling Harbor Marina.

Porto Bello offers an extensive Italian menu, as well as fresh local seafood, locally grown vegetables and North Fork wines. Its specialties include stuffed veal chop, pan-seared chicken and the Porto Bello mushroom, grilled and topped with roasted red peppers, Gorgonzola cheese and a balsamic reduction.

“Our Bolognese sauce is a favorite of diners,” said Diana, “made with beef and veal, tomatoes and a touch of cream. And our Italian cheesecake, made with ricotta, is a delectable finish.”

Named “Best of the Best” Italian Food in 2010 by Dan’s Papers, Porto Bello offers an upscale dining experience and professional, friendly staff who pay great attention to diners’ needs. It also provides on-site catering and can accommodate special events.

“We recently had an exciting phone call from Zagat’s, telling us that our ratings for food, service and decor were all up, across the board,” said Diana.

The Dining Guide is not a review column. It appears as a courtesy to Times/Review Newspapers advertisers.

05/11/11 10:09am
05/11/2011 10:09 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Owners Barbara and husband Ettore Pinnaccias (from left), and brothers chef Brian and Mike Pinnaccias (front of the house).

Owner(s): Ettore, Barbara and Brian Pennacchia
Year established: 1989
Location: 28350 Main Road, Cutchogue
Phone: 298-5851
Attire: Casual/neat
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner seven days.
Website: TouchofVenice.com

For 22 years, A Touch of Venice overlooked the water on Wickham Lane in Mattituck, but beginning this month, diners will enjoy a new view in the family owned and operated restaurant.

“We are excited to announce the opening of our restaurant in our new location in the heart of charming Cutchogue Village,” said Ettore Pennacchia, who runs the restaurant with his son, Brian. “We’ve completed major renovations and we think our customers will be surprised to see the changes.”

Ettore and Brian have transformed the former Fisherman’s Rest on Main Road into a classic Italian trattoria, with warm-hued walls, cozy booth seats, a glass-enclosed wine room, restored wood flooring and additional windows. The result is an authentic “dining in Italy” atmosphere.

“Our loyal customers can expect to find all of their favorites on the menu, and the wine list still includes a great selection of North Fork and Italian wines,” said Ettore. The menu remains mostly Italian, with local seafood, seasonal items and fresh local vegetables and fruit. Ettore calls it a “value dining” experience. “We give good-sized portions for the money,” said Brian. The only part of the menu that has really changed, they said, is the expanded bar menu to accommodate the 20-seat bar.

“We have added a bar menu of small plates and will have a fine selection of draft beers,” said Ettore. “Our lunch menu is coming soon, and we are also offering a $22 three-course Early Dinner Special, and a Sunday Family Style Special. And look for our Happy Hour drink specials.”

Two side rooms, which can be joined into one, are available to accommodate special events and private parties.

The Dining Guide is not a review column. It appears as a courtesy to Times/Review Newspapers advertisers.

05/04/11 9:21am
05/04/2011 9:21 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Owners Jan and Bill Claudio, center, with staff.

Owner(s): Janice and Bill Claudio, Beatrice and Jerry Tuthill, Kathryn Claudio-Wyse
Year established: 1870
Location: 111 Main St., Greenport
Phone: 631-477-0627       
Attire: Casual/neat       
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Hours: Open seven days; closed seasonally on Tuesday
Web site: www.claudios.com

In 1870, Manuel Claudio left the whaling ship Neva to open a seaside tavern. Today, Claudio’s is the nation’s oldest same-family-owned restaurant, with a bootlegging past that was featured in a History Channel documentary.

History surrounds diners in the circa 1845 registered historic building on beautiful Greenport Harbor. The magnificent Victorian bar was installed in 1886 by Manuel, who salvaged it from an old hotel being torn down in New York’s Bowery. America’s Cup memorabilia and historic photographs grace the dining room.
A classic seafood house, Claudio’s offers waterfront dining on two levels, with a private room for parties and rehearsal dinners. The lunch and dinner menus feature North Fork fish, clams, scallops, oysters, as well as local produce and many local wines. Claudio’s is known for “all things lobster,” serving whole lobsters up to six pounds, as well as lobster tails, scampi, salad and more. Appetizers include award-winning clam chowders, baked clams, crispy calamari and raw bar selections. Among the seafood entrées are pan-seared scallops, soft shell crabs, stuffed shrimp, linguine with clam sauce and more.

Delights from the land include filet mignon tidbits to start, and entrees such as excellent steaks, including porterhouse or New York strip, Long Island duck, or a classic hamburger. Little diners can enjoy chicken fingers, popcorn shrimp or mac and cheese.
The staff is friendly and professional, and the atmosphere is comfortable, with happy hour every Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Dining Guide is not a review column. It appears as a courtesy to Times/Review Newspapers advertisers.

04/28/11 11:23am
04/28/2011 11:23 AM

Owner(s): Bob Haase
Year established: 1979
Location: 40200 Main Road, Orient
Phone: 631-323-2424        
Attire: Casual    
Number of employees: 20    
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Hours: Open 7 days for lunch and dinner during the season.
Web site: orientbythesea.com

Family owned and operated since 1979, Orient by the Sea Restaurant will open soon for its 33nd season, celebrating great food, a beautiful view and loyal customers. With an extensive menu offering fresh local seafood and locally grown, farm-fresh vegetables, Orient by the Sea is enjoyed by both locals and tourists, as well as the many passers-by who arrive via a scenic drive or by boat. The restaurant sits just west of the Cross Sound Ferry terminal, overlooking Gardiners Bay and, after a day at the beach or an afternoon of wine tasting, it’s the perfect place to relax and have a great meal or cocktail and enjoy the friendly service from longtime staffers.

Known for its delicious lobster specials, Orient by the Sea also offers daily fish specials, local Oysterponds oysters and a variety of Long Island wines. Diners can enjoy light fare, including soups, sandwiches and wraps, or a full-course meal, while dining inside or outdoors. There are stunning water views from every table.

“We are the only restaurant in Orient Point,” says owner Bobby Haase, “And we have a spectacular view, a casual, relaxed atmosphere, delicious food and a staff that offers genuine North Fork hospitality.”

The Dining Guide is not a review column. It appears as a courtesy to Times/Review Newspapers advertisers.