By Jano Tantongco
In its eighth season, Whales Tale in Northport has refocused, this time on offering a diverse medley of tasty taco offerings alongside craft beer brewed at the newly-opened Harbor Head brewery that’s footsteps away.
Nestled in the Britannia Yachting Center, Whales Tale stands out with its laid-back atmosphere, and overlooks scenic Northport Harbor. It’s serious about delivering creative meals that go beyond typical brewpub fare.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We just want to have fun. Sometimes, I just want to walk up to a place with no shoes on, hang out and put my feet up, have a nice cold beer and a fish taco,” owner Sosh Andriano said. “That’s the arena that we want to be in.”
Even with this relaxed philosophy, Whales Tale has expanded and grown to accommodate a wide plethora of dining options. The restaurant will be shifting its focus to more specialized and sharable plates, including customizable taco trays for your entire crew to indulge in.
And now, the menu will be complemented by a refreshing and expanding selection of beers, courtesy of Harbor Head Brewing Company, which is Andriano’s latest venture.
One beer has already been formulated, a summer blonde that’s exceptionally crisp, made for easy drinking and perfectly complements any Whales Tale taco. But there are more beers to come, Andriano said.
He’s brewing them with Rich Ruggerio, who is originally from Northport and a master brewer with three gold medals and two world cups under his belt. The goal is to have eight beers on tap by Memorial Day.
“We just want to make great, approachable beer,” Andriano said “For me, what makes good beer is balance.”
The brewery itself is just steps away from the restaurant. In the brewery, customers can purchase cans or four-packs of refreshing brew. Full pint, meanwhile, are served at Whales Tale.
The restaurant has shifted to a focus on sharable taco trays, featuring the diner’s choice of tacos. It’s $27 for a small plate, which doesn’t seem very small at all. It featured eight 4-inch tacos on white corn tortillas, homemade guacamole and Street Fries. The large, featuring 12 tacos, costs $39.
One of Andriano’s favorites is the Maui ($3.95), which brings together a robust cajun chicken topped with cheddar jack cheese, shredded lettuce, fresh mango salsa, crispy onions and cilantro lime ranch. The mango salsa and the lime ranch layer in a zesty flavor that excites the palate.
Another staple is the Baja Pork & Plantain ($3.95) with slaw, lime sour cream and cotija, a Mexican hard cheese similar to Feta cheese. This bold combination brings together succulent pork and sweet, comforting cuts of plantain for a remarkably delicious taco.
For a richer experience, try the Filet Mignon ($4.95) plating up filet marinated tenderloin, jack and cheddar cheese, crispy onions and fire-roasted tomato salsa. An entree crammed into a taco, the meat is tender and inviting, with a generous topping of crispy onions that make this one as fun to eat as it is tasty.
For a fresh catch, there’s the Crispy Fish ($4.95), which mixes up an invigorating fresh tomato cilantro salsa, shredded cabbage and a three-chili spread. A truly springy taco, it’s light, yet satisfying with crunchy cabbage and a hearty, slightly spicy chili spread that makes the fish stand out.
Paired with the taco tray is a an order of Street Fries ($3.50) which offers fantastically crispy fries topped with cotija, sea salt, cilantro and tajin, a Mexican seasoning, alongside the signature Whale Sauce, a creamy, seasoned sauce you might decide to use for everything else.
81 Fort Salonga Road, Northport
Cuisine: Brewpub and tacos
Atmosphere: Casual, laid-back
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.