Location: 739 Main Rd. Aquebogue, NY 11948
Description: The North Fork's newest must-eat, must-drink restaurant is Petulant Wino, co-owned by Courtney Schaudel and ... More »
The North Fork's newest must-eat, must-drink restaurant is co-owned by Courtney Schaudel and her father, perpetual-motion chef Tom Schaudel, who provided the name and doubtless plenty of the inspiration. This is his third North Fork production, following A Mano in Mattituck and A Lure in Southold.
The former Comtesse Therese Bistro has been brightened and polished, streamlining the style and adding some contemporary flair to the 1830 building, with its tin ceiling and framed mirrors listing drinks.
An oversize, decorative dragonfly is artfully perched near one corner. The in-the-moment, symbol of transition suits this cozy hangout of candlelit compact dining rooms, bar, deck and courtyard. Petulant Wino has a little glow and a lot of flavor.
That comes from chef Lenny Campanelli, who did an excellent job recently at CoolFish in Syosset, a former Schaudel property. His small-plates, tapas-spurred approach encourages sharing.
Have a glass of local wine or a bottle of Long Island beer and nibble on the pretzel croissant and creamy deviled egg. Sample lemongrass-poached shrimp with green-tea soba noodles. Try either the fluke or striped bass crudo. Taste a triangle from the tuna "pizza" with scallion pancake and wasabi aioli.
Tender grilled octopus arrives tossed with potatoes, chorizo, fried garbanzos and piquillo peppers in almond-based romesco vinaigrette. Grilled oysters find a foil in spicy Japanese mayonnaise. Pickled onion and braised short rib enrich the savory, mini grilled cheese sandwich made with Taleggio.
The salad of roasted beets, goat cheese and pistachios improves on the one with dry roasted corn and not-too-sweet watermelon. Crisp, fried kale makes its obligatory appearance. Pickled rhubarb cuts the indulgence of lush, slow-roasted pork belly; pickled onion and lime do the same for the good, chipotle-braised duck taco.
Beef with broccoli and black bean sauce seems almost satirical in this company, but it's made with sirloin. Snappy pan-roasted Long Island blackfish, with Thai green curry and banana salsa, fits right in. Likewise, duck breast paired with mushroom-and-blueberry risotto. Petulant Wino's Black Angus burger with fruitwood-smoked bacon, white Cheddar and black truffle aioli is deservedly popular.
Lemon-cheesecake parfait, a peach and brown butter tart, and warm fig cake with salted caramel gelato: apropos finales.
And you leave far from petulant, just wanting to return.