Friends and I took a trip out to the North Fork last weekend and I thought I'd report back on what we ate and did not eat there.
We got a late start and by the time we got to Riverhead, we were starving, so stopped at the first likely place once we got past Wal Mart and Wendy's. It was the Modern Snack Bar on Rt 25 in Abequogue, that surprised us all by delivering really fresh, basic food. We had sandwiches -- I had a fried haddock (?) sandwich and my two friends had soft shell crab -- a big one in each sandwich, claws dangling out the sides. Fresh, lightly fried, simple, good. Coleslaw very crisp and non-creamy. The menu also offered duck and mashed turnips which seemed exotic and we later wished we'd come back for dinner to try them. Lemonade was from a mix, though. We considered desserts, including a very lofty lemon meringue pie and strawberry shortcake but one amongst us informed us that when she had looked the owner straight in the eye and asked him if the whipped cream was real, he owned that it was not. So we decided to head to Briermere Farms instead.
We picked out a strawberry rhubarb pie there and drove out to the Southold town beach and sat on the rocks with our forks and ate it. This was my first Briermere pie, and I was underwhelmed. The fruit was not too sweet (a relief) and flavorful, but it was a little on the gloppy side for me. And the crust was a real disappointment -- crisp, but too thick and heavy and without good flavor. In fact, I thought there was some kind of chemical aftertaste (my friends didn't taste it though).
After some beach time and a strawberry-picking pit-stop (can anyone recommend a PYO farm with really sweet berries?), we ended up eating dinner at the Cooperage Inn on Rt. 48 in Riverhead (I think). It was swanky in a Country Living kind of way, overpriced, and mediocre. Fine seafood bisque, huge and good salads, but mushy bready crab cakes. It was also not really what we had in mind (we were imagining some kind of shack on the water with fresh fish and lemons -- any suggestions for future trips?). Before we got there we made failed attempts to eat at "A Taste of Venice" (REALLY not what we had in mind), and The Lobster Roll just up Rt 48 from the Cooperage Inn which seemed promising but was closed.