It takes verve to open a restaurant when you already have your hands full with one. Kevin LaPrelle and his partners have that verve: They've opened Harbor House American Kitchen in downtown Northport, a few doors away from the spot LaPrelle also co-owns, Bistro 44.
The roughly 30-seat Harbor House has an elegant-slash-beachy feel and a menu focused squarely on seafood and new American dishes created by executive chef (and partner) Jose Morales, who wears the same credentials at Bistro 44. How would a hungry passerby choose between the two? "[Harbor House] has a more casual feel," said LaPrelle, and intentionally gentler price points than the white-tablecoth Bistro 44.
Harbor House's seafood focus manifests in starters ($7.50 to $26) such as fried calamari, a cold seafood platter, clam chowder, steamed clams with chorizo and mussels, and oysters baked Rockefeller-style. Large plates ($25 to $32) move between pastas, chops, seafood and burgers, such as pan-seared ahi tuna in a ginger-orange sauce, sole française and a Parmesan-crusted wild boar chop. The house Cheddar cheeseburger is $15, and a lobster roll (chilled, on a warm buttered bun) is offered at $25.
A rotating weekly beer from Northport neighbor Sand City Brewing Co. is on tap, besides a dozen or so wines by the glass. Among the house cocktails is frose with strawberries and honey.
Patrons of Ship's Inn, which occupied this space for 22 years, will recognize the carved ship in the front door; that business was followed by 7T8 European Fusion, which closed following a May 2017 fire in the same block and was replaced for a spell (in 2018) as ArtToro Restaurant & Tequila Bar.
While Harbor House is focusing on dinner for now (4-10 p.m. daily), LaPrelle, a Northport native, said lunch service will be added in coming weeks, as will al fresco seating in a neighboring alley. OpenTable reservations will be up and running by late June.
Harbor House American Kitchen, 78 Main St., Northport. 631-651-9093. harborhousenorthport.com.