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Feb 12, 2010 08:24 AM

Affordable in North Fork

Heading out to North Fork for the weekend and I'm looking for an affordable (non-chain) restaurant for dinner. Even a bar with decent food would be great. Looking to spend no more than $60 for a couple. We're open to any cuisine but we particularly like Italian. We're staying in Riverhead so anywhere within a reasonable driving distance is good. Thanks for your help!

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  1. Cliffs elbow room, Marinated Poterhouse!

    1. There are no chain restaurants on the North Fork with the exception of the McDonald's in Mattituck, which was grandfathered in when they passed the ordinance. There are a lot of not very expensive restaurants on the North Fork, many of which are just not very good. We always thought that the marinated steak at Cliff's was unpalatably salty. The Jamesport Country Kitchen on the Main Road in Jamesport would be my pick.

      6 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        Wow really I love Cliffs marinated poterhouse.....

        1. re: wojiparu

          We love Cliff's steaks too, and you can go to Cliffs Rendezvous right in Riverhead village (in case you're in the mood for a martini or two). The steaks aren't as cheap as they used to be though, so not sure about $60 each, if you have drinks and apps/dessert. Probably close though.

          A Mano in Mattituck is somewhat inexpensive but also somewhat upscale for Italian. Not my favorite place but not bad. Also a Touch of Venice, in Mattituck too I think, is more old-fashioned white tablecloth Italian.

          For a bar with decent food (especially the burgers) you have Phils in Wading River. Definitely good if you're price conscious.

          1. re: wojiparu

            Isn't the marinated porterhouse just a steak that's been sitting in soy and/or teriyaki sauce? What else do you think it's marinated in? Really, I thought it inedible, so I'm interested that you think it's good...

            1. re: roxlet

              I have the recipe, soy/teriyaki is one of several ingredients. When I'm not in the mood, I get it plain which is also available. How many times have you eaten there that you don't know you can get it not marinated (guessing "once")? Their steak is very nice and I know people that come from an hour away to go there.

              1. re: coll

                Yes, you're right coll: once was enough. We spent about 13 summers in Mattituck -- summers that we stretched from April through October some years -- and we never found a steak better than a porterhouse from Wayside Market cooked over charcoal. It cost less than our steaks at Cliff's, and it was never a disappointment. Why would we return to Cliffs? We never saw the reason or had the desire. It was that awful, and the alternative was that fabulous.

                1. re: roxlet

                  I've been to the Elbow East a few times..their marinated steaks are good. The marinated steak at O'Malley's, on the other hand, is absolutely awful....a decent enough piece of meat drowned in soy sauce.

        2. If you go out as far as Southold or Greenport, O'Mally's or Skipper's might fit the bill. I like both...

          1 Reply
          1. re: MacTAC

            Yes if you want to take a ride, Skippers would fit the bill. Very friendly place with great seafood. And although some people put it down, we enjoy Soundview on the North Road in Greenport , everyone we take there from out of town wants to go back, and raves about the food (pretty good overall for the price, old fashioned though) and the gorgeous view.

          2. The Birchwood in Riverhead is nice. Prices are reasonable and now that Applebees and Boulder Creek have opened, you can easily get into the Birchwood. Good atmosphere and food.


            1. Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck never disappoints, for breakfast lunch and dinner.

              You mentioned you really love Italian. There is a place right on the Main Road in Mattituck named A Mano. I've never been a big fan of it, but other North Forkers speak very highly of it. It's worth a shot. It is a really nice place with a nice vibe.

              1 Reply
              1. re: stefathena

                I love Amano (but don't get the pizza's). At least as of last fall they had a $25 prix fixe that was a really great deal.