Two years ago, Vincent Purcell stopped by Greenport Harbor Brewing Company’s Peconic tasting room for a beer. His first thought was, “Why hasn’t this place got a kitchen?” He immediately felt good vibes from the brewery and wanted to cook there, despite the fact that he was correct and it didn’t have a kitchen. “All of a sudden one was built and here I am. They say be careful what you wish for,” laughs Purcell.
Purcell has been cooking with his mom since he was 11, making classic roast dinners and British fry ups. His family always had food trucks and cafes in England and “I just stayed in the kitchen,” says Purcell. As a professional he has cooked for the London Olympics, owned his own restaurant in Spain and has been a chef in Australia and Bermuda. He eventually met his wife, who is from Long Island, and wound up settling down on the East End.
“We do something crazy every 4th of July weekend,” says Katie Hofacker of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company. Three years ago, they opened their Peconic location, last year they ditched their plastic cups and began using glassware, and to celebrate in 2017 they opened a restaurant. 600 people showed up and lines were out the door and into the parking lot all day. Who needs fireworks when you can create your own chaos?
The menu at Greenport Harbor restaurant aims to celebrate the region—with many ingredients coming from within eleven miles of the brewery. All their greens are sourced from Satur Farms, which you can easily see from the tasting room windows. And of course, beer is incorporated into many of the dishes from Tidal Lager-battered cod to beer-brined chicken to Harbor Ale cheese dip.
Currently, the menu is seasonal and an easy transition from the food trucks that fans of Greenport Harbor Brewing used to dine at. Beer battered fried pickles, soft pretzels and mac and cheese are available for those looking for more traditional pub fare. Also on the menu is a house cured salmon sandwich, an Autumn salad and Long Island duck spring rolls, which Purcell describes as “elevated but relaxed.”
The kitchen is an open format, with patrons able to see their food being made, and Purcell intends to keep it that way. However, other changes are in the works. He hopes to eventually transition the restaurant into semi-fine dining with waitress service while maintaining the “rustic and fun” feel. Large tables will encourage family style dining at communal—with sprawling spreads and whole local chickens to share. Also on the horizon is house made jerky and smoked meats.
The Greenport Harbor Brewing Peconic tasting room was always worth the drive for us, but the addition of a restaurant really makes it a destination. Nestled among the plentiful wineries, it’s a chance to try something a little different on the North Fork. Keep an eye out for future beer dinners, menu changes and events. As Purcell told us, “watch this space.”