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Crazy Fork in Mattituck: First bites

Chopped smoked salmon salad at Crazy Fork in

Chopped smoked salmon salad at Crazy Fork in Mattituck. (May, 2013) Credit: Newsday Joan Reminick

Crazy Fork, the casual new Mattituck eatery, is a likable, easygoing spot. At a recent dinner, I saw many strengths as well as a few issues that needed addressing.

The front room, with its oak floors and handsome bar, created a positive first impression. That, however, was somewhat undermined by the area outside the decent-enough restroom. Nothing that a quick paint job and new floor covering couldn't fix.

Plates, flatware and "glasses" are of the disposable variety, but that didn’t impede my appreciation of chef co-owner David Distenfeld’s colorful chopped salad with smoked salmon — inspired, putting lox into a salad! — with a lively cilantro lime vinaigrette ($14.95). Or of his homestyle blackened salmon cakes with a roasted red pepper tartar sauce ($8.95).

A lobster roll ($16.95)  featured a good (if rather onion-y) lobster salad accompanied by humdrum commercial battered fries. And well-spiced, moist Caribbean jerk mahi mahi with pineapple and mango salsa was paired with plain white rice and pre-frozen corn niblets amped up with roasted red peppers and herbs. For dessert, lovely warm banana bread pudding came with caramel sauce and  — ouch — aerosol whipped cream.

Distenfeld said that as the season progresses, he will be using local produce increasingly. Clearly, this talented chef has what it takes to render Crazy Fork a little less crazy.

Crazy Fork is at 10560 Main Rd., Mattituck, 631-298-1100,

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