Main Street Cafe: A Northport Mainstay

By Jano Tantongco

Lining the walls of Main Street Cafe in Northport is a homey hodgepodge of portraits of celebrities, a group photograph of the high school’s football team from the 1950s and other relics that are testaments to the restaurant’s mainstay presence in the neighborhood.

Darin Parker said she took full ownership of the establishment 16 years ago, and added that the cafe’s atmosphere and patrons have “always felt like family.”

When her friends ask her what’s the place like, she tells them it’s reminiscent of “Cheers.” Regulars are, indeed, very regular.

“You can almost set your watch by the time certain people are going to walk in the door,” Parker said “We just try to make everybody that walks in the door feel welcome.”

In that time, she said the menu’s hardly changed, but it seems that that works well for the Main Street staple.

“I just try to put reasonably priced, good quality food out, and it seems to be working,” Parker said.

The Shrimp Cargot, available with certain daily specials, shined as an excellent started to the meal. Drizzled with garlic lemon sauce, it’s unafraid to punch with a zesty, savory blend perfectly absorbed by the country bread crostini. The shrimp is juicy and full-bodied, stuffed into welcomingly succulent mushrooms.

The outer layer of the Fried Calamari ($11.95) is lightly breaded, yet remained tantalizingly crispy, while the squid itself is chewy and fresh. It’s served with a marinara sprinkled with a bit of red pepper flakes, adding a little bit of heat to make the appetizer that much more enticing.

The Crab Cakes ($11.95) were stunningly fluffy, while maintaining a hearty consistency that gave way to a warm interior of nautically nuanced the crab blend. Accompanied by cocktail sauce, it include a dollop of wasabi to add a unique effervescence to the dish.

The Shrimp Fra Diavolo ($10), part of the specials menu available Monday through Friday, brings together a silky smooth angel hair pasta with perfectly cooked shrimp for a pasta entree to remember. If you’ve ever felt that a pasta dish was short on sauce, you’ll be thoroughly satisfied with the generous helping of the ever so slightly spicy marinara sauce.

Renowned for their burgers, Main Street Cafe’s unassuming Irish Burger is ($12.95), a simple, yet completely satisfying. Topped with diced onions and red pepper, with a side of spicy mustard, the burger is tender and juicy, with a bit of natural spiciness — but not heat — from its dressings. It’s paired with thickly cut potato wedges that will leave even the most discerning potato patron smiling.

Main Street Cafe also has daily specials, including corned beef and cabbage on Mondays, pot roast on Tuesdays, pasta dishes on Wednesday and prime rib on Thursday. Happy hour takes place every day from 3:30-6:30 p.m., with wine specials on Wednesday, as well.

Main Street Cafe
47 Main St., Northport Village

Cuisine: Classic pub fare
Atmosphere: Intimate and laid-back
Price: Inexpensive to moderate
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.