In the new age of takeout, a drive-through window (and a right of way to get there) is a definite boon. For Drifters Kitchen and Bar in Ridge, that boon came ready-built.
The restaurant — a polished feat of slate, marble and other stone — opened in late June on the site of the former McDonalds at 1600 Middle Country Road. While the Golden Arches are long gone, the spirit of the place lingers in the form of a takeout window and wraparound driveway spared during the dramatic renovation.
Those who dine inside of Drifters choose between a neutral-toned dining room, a polished bar (or nearby booths) or a bright covered patio with wicker seats, a flat-screen television and pullup garage doors. (Owner David Donofrio is also president of a masonry design company, explaining the preponderance of stone that lends Drifters its chiseled look).
Evoking the building's former DNA, Drifters serves five burgers, including a morning-inspired version topped with bacon, American cheese, and an egg, plus hash browns and maple-bourbon syrup ($16). Many starters traverse hearty territory — think wings, nachos, "everything" pretzel logs with mustard and queso sauces and an section devoted to poutine ($9 to $11). Chunky salads ($13 to $15), sandwiches such as a lobster roll ($25) and entrees ($21 to $27) like chicken Milanese, soy-ginger salmon and NY strip steak round out what the restaurant calls its "pre-opening" menu.
The 19-tap beer list blends local craft beers, standard-bearers such as Miller Lite and cult favorites like Cigar City Brewing's Jai Alai IPA. While the wine list holds few surprises, cocktails ($10 to $13) run from strawberry-mango rum punch to a fig old fashioned to a grapefruit-elderflower gin martini laced with sauvignon blanc.
For now, Drifters opens at 3 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Find it at 1600 Middle Country Rd. in Ridge, 631-775-8888. drifterskitchenandbar.com