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Open: The Riverhead Project

The Riverhead Project opened at the former site

The Riverhead Project opened at the former site of a Chase Bank in downtown Riverhead. (April 13, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

For almost a year, North Fork restaurateur Dennis McDermott has done little but work on his Riverhead project. Month after month, he recalled, “people would ask me, ‘How’s the Riverhead project coming?’” When it came time to name the restaurant, the choice was clear: The Riverhead Project.

The restaurant, which opened at 5 tonight, is one of Long Island’s most striking. It occupies a low-slung, ’60s-era structure that, until two years ago, housed a Chase Bank. The bank’s terrazzo floors and steel I-beam supports look right at home with the dining room’s dark wood, crisp white linens and green and eggplant accents.

McDermott was one of the principle architects of North Fork’s now-thriving dining scene. In 2002 he opened Frisky Oyster, Greenport’s pioneering New American restaurant. (He sold it last year to its chef, Robbie Beaver.)  Chef Greg Ling, ex-Frisky, has created a New American menu that is a promising blend of local produce and international influences.

The Riverhead Project is at 300 E. Main St., 631-284- 9300.

Photo: The Riverhead Project ... before its total beautification.

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