There seems to me to be no more romantic-sounding street on Long Island than Love Lane in Mattituck. We have been vacationing in the area for the last 20 summers and this lovely street has developed from a few local conveniences — including a laundromat, supermarket and an ever-loved and always present Godiva chocolate shop — to a street of chic, yet down to earth places that have arrived with the rush of drivers from the city and the Hamptonites, who left the south fork for slightly quieter summer living.
We arrive at lunchtime on a Wednesday, usually when most beaches and vineyards enjoy a quiet reprieve from the weekend crowds. Love Lane Kitchen doesn’t seem to have that luxury, nor do they seem to care. The place is teeming with the lunch crowd, all hungry due to the delicious aromas that waft into the street.
Once home to the old laundromat, Love Lane Kitchen has been transformed into a popular eatery, adored by locals and tourists. We are given a table by the tall windows; the fresh sunshine meets us with warmth and happiness.
I order the portobello and mozzarella panini, a sumptuous delicacy that remains hot throughout my meal. The cheese oozes out the sides and perfectly complements the fresh basil leaves within. If I lived closer, I would repeat this meal every day.
Daniel and John choose the grilled cheese off the kids menu, though it’s unlike any grilled cheese they’ve encountered: the cheesy contents spill from full slabs of white bread over the side of the plate. They mostly concern themselves with the full plate of French fries that comes with it; their little mouths have a slight difficulty tackling the thick bread.
The only thing that matches the delicious feeling I have inside is the equally enticing view of the street. A continuous flow gives us our fair share of “people watching” entertainment. I have an aunt who creates trips for herself where her main entertainment is gawking at those who pass by. I love it.
In the offseason, the restaurant gives wonderful and reasonably priced cooking classes that are worth the drive (or the train ride) out.
In addition to a beautifully chic inside, Love Lane Kitchen also boasts a lovely outdoor eating area bordered by the street, a gorgeous mural and a garden of sunflowers. The perfect scene for a summer day. We leave to buy some chocolate before deciding on our next adventure.