A Riverhead Restaurant Primer

Riverhead has been “on the upswing” for a while, and it seems that the gateway to the Twin Forks has finally arrived. Check out all that downtown has to offer, and satisfy your taste buds with a stop at a Riverhead restaurant below:

Seaside Grill at Hyatt Place East End & Resort Marina

The Seaside Grill is the perfect place to have a drink and some casual food while enjoying your stay at the Hyatt. Their specialty drinks, like the Mai Tai with spiced rum, triple sec, lime juice, orange curacao and orgeat syrup, are especially enticing. Start with some buttermilk chicken fingers and some pommes frites; or a cobb salad with mixed greens and avocado. Then go for a turkey wrap, a veggie burger, some Buffalo chicken sliders and more. For more information, go to hyattplaceeastend.com.

Turkuaz Grill

Located at 40 McDermott Avenue, Turkuaz has some unique Mediterranean cuisine. With a variety of seafood and “land lover” options, there’s something for every diner at Turkuaz. Maybe you’ll try the grilled mahi mahi, or the grilled sea bass-branzini. The Turkuaz surf and turf is a combination of grilled fresh shrimp and tender lamb chops or lamb shish served with rice and bulgur, fresh salad and beet salad. There are also combinations to choose from: lamb shish kebab and gyro kebab, Adana kebab and chicken kebab, shrimp and swordfish shish and many more. For more information, visit their website at turkuazgrillriverhead.com.

Dark Horse Restaurant

Located at 1 Main Street and overseen by Executive Chef Jeffrey Trujillo, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Dark Horse Restaurant aims to bring great cuisine with local ingredients to Riverhead. On Sunday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., the restaurant offers an early bird menu for a fixed price of $21.95 (plus tax and tip). Choose between the local mesclun greens salad, “Good Ground” style clam chowder or seasonal soup for an appetizer, steak frites with house-made fries, chicken pasta with light Alfredo sauce, fried calamari with rice and chef’s choice vegetables or mild red lentil curry with basmati rice and home made mango chutney for an entreé. For dessert, make the tough decision between key lime pie, chocolate silk or the dessert du jour. Visit darkhorserestaurant.com for more information.

Parto’s Restaurant

Located at 12 West Main Street, Parto’s offers authentic Italian-Sicilian cuisine and brick oven pizza. They were awarded Best of the Best Italian Restaurant and Best of the Best Italian Pizzeria by Dan’s Papers in 2007 and 2008. Some of the more popular dishes include pasta fagioli, zucchini sticks, minestrone, stromboli roll, meatball parmigiana hero and several gourmet personal pizzas from the brick oven, including margherita with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and virgin olive oil; capricciosa with fresh tomatoes, artichokes, black olives, onions, oregano, virgin olive oil and pecorino and more. For more information, go to partosrestaurant.com.

Maple Tree Deli

The Maple Tree, run by chef/owner Kevin Judge, is a great place that specializes in BBQ with a varied list of sandwiches. There’s the Ranch Hand, which has Texas brisket with smoked beans and herb crushed potato; The Tar Heel, North Carolina BBQ with cole slaw and cheddar cheese; the Grilled Pastrami Reuben, consisting of pastrami, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese; The Virginian, with Virginia ham on grilled sourdough with Swiss cheese; and the Maple Tree Fish Cake with lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce, among many others. For more information on Maple Tree, go to mapletreebbq.com.

The Riverhead Project

A project by restaurateur Dennis McDermott, theRiverheadProject has a chic yet warm atmosphere, and features American food with ethnic influences. Try their brunch for some innovative dishes. Choose between four cocktails: an Andele (iced coffee, stoli vanilla, patron XO coffee, shot of Baileys); BeerMosa (PBR, orange juice, triple sec); Bloody Betsy (a Bloody Mary with two shrimp cocktails as a floater); or a Red Eye Lucio (corazon blanco tequila, agave, fresh lime juice and tabasco drizzle). There are several great brunch dishes, including “theotherOMELET” (asparagus, Gruyere, basil), brioche French toast (whipped cream, mixed berries and maple syrup) and more. For more information and the menu, go to theriverheadproject.com.

Cody’s BBQ & Grill

Inspired by the iconic Buffalo Bill Cody, Cody’s BBQ & Grill was named Best of the Best BBQ in 2012 by Dan’s Papers. For an appetizer, go with Cody’s famous tumbleweed onions, fried pickle slices, potato skins, Cody’s loaded nachos and more. Or, try one of their mile-high sandwiches, like Wild Bill Cody’s pulled pork sandwich, Texas sliced Cody’s pulled pork sandwich, The Gunslinger melt, or Cody’s famous “Bulldog” hot dog. If you’re in the mood for Cody’s famous ribs, you can go St. Louis style or baby back. For more information on Cody’s BBQ & Grill, go to codysbbq.com.

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