Greenport’s transformation from day-trip-friendly fishing village to full-fledged destination is exemplified in Green Hill Kitchen, the New American restaurant that recently took over the decades-old Harborfront Deli on Front Street.
The bi-level space was given a sleek, white-and-wood makeover. The lower dining room boasts a long bar, a big round table, and, along both big-windowed walls, cozy booths. The upper room (and adjoining balcony) that used to be The Loft Upstairs accommodates more tables and its own bar; most nights it also hosts musical acts. See the schedule on Green Hill Kitchen’s Facebook page.
Presiding over everything is Wolfgang Ban, an Austrian chef who was personal chef to the Austrian ambassador to the United States before opening a number of Austrian-inflected restaurants in New York including Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar (which earned a Michelin star in 2014, closed the following year), Edi & the Wolf, a wine-centric tavern in the East Village and Paulaner microbrewery on the Bowery.
Ban, who grew up in the wine-growing Burgenland region of Austria, said he “fell in love with the North Fork.” At Green Hill, he is relying on local ingredients. “We don’t need octopus — we have squid in the Peconic Bay. And the local farms are just wonderful.”
Despite the renovation, Ban has yet to reconfigure the old deli kitchen — that’s on the agenda for the winter. In the meantime, the menu lists four appetizers (among them, squid with red-pepper dashi, shishito peppers and mustard greens, $17), four sandwiches (the PBLT has roasted pork belly and prosciutto along with lettuce and roasted tomatoes, $16) and six mains (such as halibut with roasted corn, tomatoes and chives, $28, and cauliflower with salsa verde with pistachio and lemon zest, $16). Ban’s Austrian background can be seen in the Wiener schnitzel ($32) and käse spätzle a sort of Teutonic take on macaroni and cheese.
The wine list draws from Austria, France and the North Fork; the beer list, from Germany, the U.S. and the North Fork.
Ban’s partner at Green Hill is Christoph Mueller, who owns the building. Mueller has also bought two buildings across the street that house the restaurants Industry Standard and Deep Water Bar & Grille. Ban will take on management of Industry Standard (there are no plans to change the name, menu or staff) and Deep Water will continue to operate as before, just with a new landlord, Mueller said.
Green Hill Kitchen is at 48 Front St., Greenport, 631-477-4900.