By Tes Silverman
Overlooking Northport Harbor for the last 29 years, The Ritz Cafe serves up American-inspired dishes while offering diners the perfect backdrop for diners who love dining with a view.
“Our customers keep coming back because of the great comfort food we provide,” said John Modzelewski, co-owner of the 44 Woodbine Ave. restaurant with Joe Vettek. “In addition to our food, we have a great view of Northport Harbor that diners can enjoy while they dine with us.”
To start off, diners have the choice of appetizers like stuffed mushrooms ($11.50) and crunchy oysters ($13.50), as prepared by Chef John Hatem, who has run the kitchen for the last 15 years.
The mushrooms have a meaty, earthy flavor, and are stuffed with cream cheese and pork herb, results in a creamy and filling appetizer.
The oysters are made with Japanese bread crumbs, making it crunchy, but not oily, highlighting the soft texture and sweetness of the oysters.
A healthy pre-cursor to an entree can be found in the pecan crusted brie salad ($12.50). The brie’s soft texture and mild, sweet flavor, combined with the pecan crust gives the salad a nutty and creamy taste, adding more depth to it than any regular salad.
Moving on to entrees, The Ritz Cafe offers dishes like the grilled baby lamb chops ($38) and scallops with lemon, white wine and fresh herbs ($23).
The lamb chops are tender and made with a rosemary and mint sauce, creating a dish that’s hearty and filling for any meat lover.
The scallops are broiled, so while the outer layer has a slight sear, the inside is soft and delicate. With the white wine and herbs, the mild, sweet taste of the scallops are more pronounced and savored.
For dessert, diners have the choice of items like the chocolate lava cake ($6), which is dense and moist, and not overly sweet, making it ideal for the diner who wants to savor its rich texture.
Ritz Cafe also offers a $27 prix-fixe menu every Wednesday and Thursday, consisting of one appetizer, one soup or salad and one entree.
For diners on the go, the restaurant also offers a lunch menu with choices like spinach and goat cheese salad, penne and sweet Italian sausage, grilled salmon with sesame ginger or dill Dijonnaise sauce, hot open turkey sandwich, marinated chicken tidbits, and beef, turkey or garden burger.
Sunday brunch is also offered from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for $14. One can dine on selections like challah French toast, eggs benedict, eggs Chesapeake (two poached eggs with mini crab cakes and Hollandaise sauce, add $2), and vegetable and goat cheese frittata.
The Ritz Cafe
44 Woodbine Ave., Northport
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.