By Tes Silverman
As summer winds down, finding a place to dine outside is the main objective to while away the hours and Feed & Grain of Northport in Northport village fits that bill.
Established in the ‘70s by owner Robert Tyler, as Clam Bar & Tavern on the Harbor, it was restored as Feed & Grain seven years ago. Since then, the menu of American restaurant has expanded and a patio overlooking Main Street gives patrons another option for dining.
Once you’ve decided whether to dine indoors or out on the patio, appetizers such as baked clams with panko bread crumbs and garlic ($9.95 for six and $16.95 for a dozen) and calamari Calabrese, with garlic, oil and cherry peppers with Gorgonzola cheese ($13.95) are great starters. The baked clams are lightly breaded so patrons taste the freshness of the whole clams within. The calamari Calabrese is flash fried, then tossed with gorgonzola cheese, cutting through the medium spiciness of the cherry peppers.
For entrees, it offers burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and fish and chips, but if you want something more filling, you can’t go wrong with the lobster and mussels special ($13.95 on Monday and Tuesday; $18.95 the rest of the week) or The Pounder, a ¾-pound shell steak and a ¼-pound lobster tail with baked potato and vegetables ($22.95). The lobster and mussels is a great choice since it can ordered be every Monday and Tuesday at a discount. The Pounder’s shell steak is grilled and well seasoned, and the lobster tail is not overcooked.
Patrons who value quality will be pleased to know that Feed & Grain is committed to excellence in every aspect of their service. The day I dined there, a shipment of mussels was rejected from its supplier because it didn’t meet its high standards. That attentiveness to detail outweighs a risk of losing profits.
For drinks to accompany dinner, Feed & Grain offers margaritas, beers like Dogfish IPA, mojitos and sangrias. One popular drink is Meg’s Sangria, named after a staff member who created the recipe.
If, after having mussels and lobster, you have some room for dessert, creme brûlée and key lime pie are the dishes to order. The key lime pie is creamy and not very tart. The crème brûlée’s creamy custard and the caramelized topping is thin, but just enough to give it a little sweetness.
The restaurant’s longstanding appeal is in part due to staff members who have been around since the 1970s, including manager Jody Bunura, who said the staff strives to provide “great food and a good time in a relaxed, down-home atmosphere.”