Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar
Dish: Bison Tongue
Taste Words: Tender, Slick, Not Gamey, Almost Like Beef
I arrived at Edwin Tuccio’s North Quarter Farm in Riverhead on a silverware-spoked chariot. Tuccio, proprietor of Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar, raises 300+ of the bovid species on 250 acres.
It is where the buffalo roam. Literally.
“Lend me your tongues, noble ungulates!” I say. “I arrive in the Head of River to consume you! And without Caesar, for fear of an undesirable flavor profile.”
Tuccio quickly thwarts my gladiatorial ploy and transports me to Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar, which shares space with the 14-room, 1896-established J.J. Sullivan Hotel. Bison is the culinary focal point at Tuccio’s restaurant and no segment of the lean-meated mammal is spared—including the tongue.
“You can basically use all parts of the bison for lean dining,” says Tuccio. “The tongue proves to be less coarse than beef tongue. It possesses a delicate flavor and finer texture.”
Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar boils the grainy, pink-gray tongue (resemblance = hybrid of elephant skin and roast beef) for several hours until tender, and serves thin-sliced with a mayonnaise-based caper sauce (a light-bodied and slightly bitter condiment that includes North Fork-harvested horseradish). The dish, based on Tuccio’s first tongue consumption at Sam Arnold’s The Fort in Denver, Colorado, is offered as an appetizer.