Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Lobster Roll

Patch contributor C.R. Kahme went to the newly refurbished Lobster Roll Restaurant in Riverhead last week and reviewed a meal and the restaurant's ambiance with some friends.

Ambiance: Last Saturday was a perfect day for trying out the new garden dining experience at the Lobster Roll Northside in Riverhead. The new garden will eventually obscure the traffic from busy Sound Avenue — a great plus. At the time of our visit there had been a temporary tent placed where umbrella-ed tables will sit in the future and live music will fill the air to help diminish the sound of cars passing. This spot typifies the North Fork and is the perfect venue for an afternoon of dining on local pleasures — starting with the lobster roll that gave the place its name.

Bedecked in a floral welcome, the steps to the restaurant open to a display of wonderful salads and desserts, encouraging diners to save room at the end of the meal. Fred Terry Sr. originated the restaurant with its sister establishment in the Hamptons and his daughter Dana Bordsen manages this North Fork version. There are a number of shops in the vicinity to entertain including the Gingerbread University, K & L Savannah Gifts, Baiting Hollow Bakery and Sweet Shop and the Cellar Door.

The lunch:

Lobster bisque ($7.50), lobster slider ($8.95), lobster roll ($22.99), mixed grilled vegetable wrap ($12.95), Manhattan clam chowder ($ 6.50), crispy fish and chip roll ($12.95), Kentucky Derby pie ($8), panna cotta topped with strawberries ($5)

The Lobster bisque is a specialty of the house and absolutely delicious, although there was a skim on the top indicating it sat for a while. The Manhattan clam chowder was full of soft clams and veggies. The lobster slider was a far better buy than the famed lobster roll, but the plate was jam-packed with great potato salad and cole slaw. The fish and vegetable wrap were both tasty and beckon the diner to return. The desserts were out of this world. A delicate panna cotta with fresh local strawberries was a hit and the Kentucky pie was a tempting diversion from standard fare.

The diners: Joan and Mike Furst enjoyed the ambience and the repast with me and my husband, Warren, and marveled that they had never been to visit throughout their many years here on the North Fork. I was disappointed that they chose to serve water in plastic, but our server K.J. was efficient and upbeat and the coordination of the wait staff was professional. Joan and Mike remarked that they would be back even though they thought it was a bit pricey. We all wandered through the shops when the lunch was finished and indulged our senses. All in all, this is a great place for an afternoon outing.

The Lobster Roll Northside is located at 3225 Sound Avenue in Riverhead. Call 631-369-3039.

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