August is the time of year that North Fork restaurants live for. The local produce comes so fast and furious it’s hard for a kitchen to keep up. At Dark Horse Restaurant in Riverhead, both owner Dee Muma and executive chef Jeffrey Trujillo are in their glory.
Greens from Schmitt’s farm (Riverhead) are all over the menu; Schmitt’s beets are in the brasserie salad and the vegan borscht. Anderson’s farm (Riverhead) supplies the potatoes in the vichyssoise, peaches for chutney and pies, and corn whose most unexpected role is in sweet corn ice cream. Local seafood comes from both Mastic Seafood and Cor-J in Hampton Bays.
Dark Horse is also one of Long Island’s best places to avoid gluten. Most of the menu items are completely wheat-free. Where wheat is a factor — pasta for the chicken Alfredo, brioche roll for the burgers — gluten-free versions (homemade and quite good) are available. A gluten-free bread basket is available for the asking. All desserts — from mousse to cakes and pies—are gluten-free.
Dark Horse is at 1 E Main St., Riverhead, 631-208-0072, darkhorserestaurant.com.