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The Riverhead Project WOW!!!

Motosport May 27, 2011 01:23 PM

Last night we checked out this new restaurant in Riverhead. You would never know The Riverhead Project has been open less than a week.
The servers were priofessional and spot on! Food was fantastic and ultra creative.
The owner had The Frisky Oyster in Greenport previously. He transformed the old Chase Manhattan bank office on Main St into a perfectly lovely and subtle space.
The salads and appetizers of lobster pierogies and steak tartare with quails egg were exceptional. For entrees we had perfectly cooked soft shell crab and fish and chips.
Plum pie, luscious chocolate cake and gourmet cookies wrapped up this meal.
$75pp with drinks and a bottle of wine seemed like a bargain for this creative gourmet meal.
Main St in Riverhead is on it's way to becoming a gourmet restaurant row.

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  1. roxlet RE: Motosport May 27, 2011 06:46 PM

    Thanks for the report! That sounds wonderful.

    1. f
      foodiemom10583 RE: Motosport May 27, 2011 08:04 PM

      My friend Moto! Any trips to Coney Island lately?

      The lobster pierogies sound luscious. How were they dressed? (Hopefully) drenched in butter? We'd love to have a decent steak tartare around here.

      1. coll RE: Motosport May 28, 2011 03:47 AM

        Doesn't he also have a BBQ place opening nearby at the old Boardwalk location? I know we will be eating in town a lot this summer!

        1 Reply
        1. re: coll
          Motosport RE: coll May 28, 2011 05:33 AM

          BBQ place is opening down the street but I don't think it is the same owner. Once the hotel opens the stores and restaurants may have a chance of survival. Keep your fingers crossed.

        2. Martin_Chamois RE: Motosport May 29, 2011 06:25 PM

          Our experience was not as good. We had spotty service including poor wait service (non-existent wine service). Starters: Lobster perogie was a lobster ravioli and while OK, not spectacular. The tomato salad was not as on the menu; no baby lettuce, no basil and no red onion only fresh and baked tomatoes and arugula; mains: Berkshire pork chop that was heavily "smoked" that ruined the flavor of the dish and the tempura soft shell crabs that were overly tempura-ed particularily the veggies. Beautiful restaurant with many current flaws. Management seems more concerned with investors, family and friends then paying patrons.

          14 Replies
          1. re: Martin_Chamois
            Motosport RE: Martin_Chamois Jun 1, 2011 12:00 PM

            Martin: As you can see, our experiences were completely different. Was the place very busy when you were there? It was only half full when we were there.
            The crab coating was lite and flacky. Excellent waitstaff ( a local gal) and wine server who suggested an excellent white to go with our seafood. I thought about getting the pork chop but I have a weakness for soft shell crab.
            The owner came over to see if we were enjoying the meal. He could not have been more gracious.
            Go figure??

            1. re: Motosport
              mcf RE: Motosport Mar 25, 2012 06:43 AM

              We just ate there last night for the first time, and we say WOW, too... except for some heavy oversalting on my plate (husband had no such complaints) we had wonderful, seamless service that struck the right balance between attention and non instrusiveness. Our server was gracious, very informative about the food and timely with checking in, offering refills, etc.

              Apps were tuna poke, which was a beautiful melange of taste and texture, along side the most incendiary wasabi we've ever had... grilled octopus was wonderful, too. I had duck breast med rare which was perfect and delciously balanced with a slight citrus flavor but not sweet, and perfectly cooked but very salty rainbow chard and fingerling potato.

              We are not dessert eaters, but we loved our meals so much (and serving sizes are fairly modest, too) that upon being told that desserts are house made we ordered the chocolate messt, which I HIGHLY recommend.

              The room is beautiful, sophisticated and has so much padding on upholstered walls and dividers that the noise is well suppressed and conversation is easy and pleasant. Will definitely make the long trip again, we both loved it.

              1. re: mcf
                Motosport RE: mcf Mar 26, 2012 11:19 AM

                It's one of our favorite place to eat Al Fresco once the weather gets really nice.

                1. re: Motosport
                  mcf RE: Motosport Mar 26, 2012 02:34 PM

                  Riverhead is getting nicer every visit, too. Love seeing it. Such a citified sophisticated room and bar area there, too. I rarely order dessert, and I never keep thinking about it all weekend, but the chocolate mess got my attention and kept it. :-)

                  1. re: mcf
                    Motosport RE: mcf Mar 27, 2012 08:24 AM

                    I.M.H.O. things are moving way too slow in "Rivercity". I blame it on the politicians who just can't seem to make up their minds about anything and throw obstacles in the way of anyone with a creative idea for downtown Main St. I have to give credit to the tRP owner who got his project going in record time.
                    FYI: Blue Door Bakery of Southold is opening a place across the street from tRP a,d there will also be a Ralph's Ice Cream nearby.
                    If we could only get that movie theater open so there would be some foot traffic on Main St. some enterprising entepreneur might open a boutique or two and revitalize the ghost town.

                    1. re: Motosport
                      mcf RE: Motosport Mar 27, 2012 08:51 AM

                      I remember it going back decades, and even just a few years. This is how E. Main St., Port Jefferson, a bombed out, derelict neighborhood looked decades ago when I first lived in that town and it was just coming back under Mayor Swenk. I think a thoughtful, sustainable approach to redevelopment leads to long term enhancements. Definitely, Bay Shore and Patchogue are benefiting hugely from their open theaters and I seem to recall having seen one going up or open in R'Head (as in Westbury, another gentrifying town looking good). Movie theater or other entertainment venue bringing in more evening/late night traffic could be a great addition, yes. But from my outside perspective, it's like time lapse photography and getting out there a couple of times per year seems to be happening so fast! Perspective.

                      1. re: mcf
                        Motosport RE: mcf Mar 27, 2012 09:20 AM

                        The last movie I saw at the Suffolk Movie theater was "Gone with the Wind". I have to admit it was a re-release around 1975. So sad that it sits unused after all these years.

                        1. re: Motosport
                          mcf RE: Motosport Mar 27, 2012 09:49 AM

                          Yes, hope that comes to pass. We're paddlers; have to make sure to paddle the Peconic this year, then eat in town. Have you gone to any of tRP wine project dinners? I'm thinking we'd like to, though it's mighty far on a week night... could be worth the trip?

                          1. re: mcf
                            devain RE: mcf Mar 27, 2012 10:04 AM

                            It's a good wine dinner, communal service, not pretentious and the winemaker is there to talk about the wines. Not bad for $45.

                            1. re: devain
                              mcf RE: devain Mar 27, 2012 10:08 AM

                              Thanks for the info... is the menu available ahead of time?

                              1. re: mcf
                                devain RE: mcf Mar 27, 2012 11:02 AM

                                Sometimes on the face book page, but the Chef does it spontaneously, anywhere from 4 big plates to 15 tapas style courses to a plated dinner.

                                1. re: devain
                                  mcf RE: devain Mar 27, 2012 12:53 PM

                                  Thanks, sounds better and better...

                      2. re: Motosport
                        Motosport RE: Motosport Mar 27, 2012 04:14 PM

                        OOPS! It's the Blue Duck Bakery!!

                        1. re: Motosport
                          mcf RE: Motosport Mar 27, 2012 04:59 PM

                          I don't eat baked goods, but in my head, it was The Big Duck. :-)

            2. coll RE: Motosport Apr 18, 2012 06:00 AM

              We finally made it to Riverhead Project last night and had the most wonderful meal. The service couldn't have been more perfect (luckily we were almost the only people there, but that could have been a bad thing elsewhere). My husband started with the lobster pierogies, which surprised me as he's not the biggest lobster lover, but he didn't even share with me so they must have been extraodinary. There were big pieces of lobster on top, and beautiful carmelized onions underneath, from what I could see. I had to have the foie gras, and have never had any better than this. Melted in your mouth, it was a revelation to me. Came with a soft fried egg, so continental! And the fact that it came with fig mostardo was the cherry on top, so to speak. I make my own, but have never seen it served anywhere before.

              We decided to skip the shellfish, since everything is pretty much local and there is an issue right now out here, but no problem at all. Still plenty to choose from. I had the duck breast, which was a enormous piece, while my husband decided on the crispy suckling pig. Both had the skin attached, which was cooked perfectly to bacon-like goodness. There was plenty of food in each serving, I was expecting the usual 2 or 3 bites that is so popular now, but that was not the case at all. A bed of cut up asparagus under mine, with baby fingerlings cooked in duck fat. While I was driving there I was noticing the farm stands just started with their asparagus and was craving some, it was like they read my mind.

              We split a dessert, creme brulee, which was fine (but not as good as La Plage! I am spoiled) the best part of it were the fresh whole raspberries on top and the raspberry coulis underneath.

              The bill was exactly what I expected (it was our anniversary so I wasn't keeping track) $200 with tip, we each had a couple of martini type drinks so of course that brought it up a bit.

              It is a beautiful room, wish I could have checked out downstairs too but a distinguished group of men headed there at one point while we were eating, obviously a scheduled winetasting. They thought of everything when they designed this restaurant, and it will be high on my list for all our future special occasions.

              22 Replies
              1. re: coll
                Motosport RE: coll Apr 18, 2012 07:44 AM

                $200 with tip!!! What a deal!!! Manhattan ambiance, service and quality @ Riverhead prices!! WOW!! It's our special occasion destination.

                1. re: Motosport
                  coll RE: Motosport Apr 18, 2012 07:49 AM

                  Can't wait to see our bill at Comtese Therese next week.........good thing we have the Corvette up for sale!

                2. re: coll
                  devain RE: coll Apr 18, 2012 08:20 AM

                  I was there last night too!

                  1. re: devain
                    coll RE: devain Apr 18, 2012 12:11 PM

                    Were the the couple with the baby, or the younger couple in the front window, or part of the group at the bar that went downstairs? (Unless you work there!) We were only there from 5 til 7, so we may not have crossed paths; we used to always say we need a secret Chowhound sign so we can recognize each other out in the real world!

                    1. re: coll
                      mcf RE: coll Apr 18, 2012 01:19 PM

                      We should arrange a meetup there sometime. I'd make the trip!

                      1. re: mcf
                        coll RE: mcf Apr 18, 2012 03:45 PM

                        I think I know a few others who would join us....that would be a fun thing to do this summer.

                        1. re: coll
                          mcf RE: coll Apr 18, 2012 04:01 PM


                          1. re: mcf
                            Motosport RE: mcf Apr 18, 2012 09:15 PM

                            We're in!!

                      2. re: coll
                        devain RE: coll Apr 19, 2012 08:02 AM

                        Full disclosure: I do work there

                        1. re: devain
                          coll RE: devain Apr 19, 2012 08:40 AM

                          Well congratulations, you really made our anniversary special!! See you again soon....

                          1. re: coll
                            devain RE: coll Apr 19, 2012 09:32 AM

                            tell them the chef sent you

                            1. re: devain
                              coll RE: devain Apr 19, 2012 10:40 AM

                              I am honored, sir. You rock!

                              1. re: coll
                                devain RE: coll Apr 24, 2012 11:07 AM

                                Thanks, we like what we are doing here

                                1. re: devain
                                  mcf RE: devain Apr 24, 2012 03:33 PM

                                  So do I! Frankly, if all you did was chocolate mess, I'd make the trip. :-)

                          2. re: devain
                            mcf RE: devain Apr 19, 2012 11:48 AM

                            I'd guessed you had an association before now.

                            1. re: mcf
                              mcf RE: mcf Apr 24, 2012 10:48 AM

                              OK, so has anyone arranged such a meetup before? If so, any volunteers to help make it happen? Am glad to participate in making it happen, but I know it's supposed to be coordinated off the boards...

                              1. re: mcf
                                coll RE: mcf Apr 24, 2012 10:52 AM

                                I've met with some local 'hounds before and it was arranged by regular email. Drop me a line and we'll work it out!

                                1. re: coll
                                  devain RE: coll Apr 24, 2012 11:09 AM

                                  the wine project is a good night to get a feel for what we do without breaking your budget and we have a few wine dinners coming up also. A $88 eight course Rose Dinner is in the works.

                                  1. re: coll
                                    ronhall51 RE: coll Apr 24, 2012 11:14 AM

                                    i actually live near there and have yet to go.I have a hard time justifying the price
                                    for just a casual dinner.Seems like more of an occasion place.Am i wrong??

                                    1. re: ronhall51
                                      Motosport RE: ronhall51 Apr 24, 2012 12:02 PM

                                      Relatively speaking the prices are reasonable. For us it's a special occasion place.

                                      1. re: ronhall51
                                        coll RE: ronhall51 Apr 26, 2012 11:33 AM

                                        Ron, we're arranging a Chow meeting there to check it out, send me or motosport an email.

                                    2. re: mcf
                                      Motosport RE: mcf Apr 24, 2012 11:14 AM

                                      my email is in the "profile"

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