Patchogue, the South Shore village flanked by Sayville to the west and Bellport to the east, is the little town that could. It went from being under the radar a decade ago to a food and fun contender approaching the status of Babylon or Huntington.
“This town is truly building itself into a true foodie paradise,” said Terri Novak, executive chef at RHUM in Patchogue. “The local chamber and our village itself is really doing such an amazing job putting our town on the map. Events such as Alive After 5, Taste of Patchogue, Island to Table and all the family parades and breakfast crawls really draw the eyes of guests outside our town.”
Novak stepped out of the kitchen to share her personal top dining spots in Patchogue.
Best for Carnivores: RHUM
Meat dishes rank high among the menu favorites that keep guests returning to RHUM. Novak points to the Dominican ribs, duck empanadas and Caribbean wings as “hugely popular” starters. “They can all be shared, and they are definitely unique and delicious.” Novak and her team have some fun with the entrees. The jerk chicken platter is traditional and lovingly made. “Most guests who’ve visited the Islands for authentic jerk call ours their favorite. We’re super proud of that,” said Novak.
Brews and Apps: The Tap Room
When Novak is finished for the day at RHUM, she heads to her favorite hangout: The Tap Room. “I like to visit with my best friend for a relaxing beer and some appetizers.” The cozy tavern has 27 craft beers on tap, as well as creative appetizers including broccoli balls and crispy dragons (a spin on fried wontons). Novak’s favorite? The spicy pickle chips.
Lazy Day Breakfast: Toast
On Novak’s days off, she often comes back to Patchogue with her family to visit Toast. “It’s a spot for a super wholesome breakfast. They have something for all of us, which is really important when you have a toddler to feed.” Among the family favorites is the andouille sausage omelet with cherry tomato, caramelized onion and roasted corn. Or try the blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes with local honey drizzle, washed down with toasted coconut hot chocolate.
Sweet Pick-Me-Ups: Kilwins
Through a liberal dose of Americana nostalgia, Kilwins, owned by John and Lauren Murray, handcrafts truffles, caramel apples, ice cream and many more old-time confections. Novak gets a frequent fix there before a long dinner shift. “I like to make a quick run down the street for some chocolate-covered espresso beans. They’re a real treat for myself and the staff.”
Rich-and-Creamy Cravings: The Cheese Patch
A cheese shop at its heart, The Cheese Patch lives a double life as a wine bar serving light fare (think all things cheesy like grilled cheese and fondue). Owner Paige Pfeifer has “a vast knowledge of cheese and her vibrant personality shines through her amazing service,” said Novak. Through selections familiar to cheese aficionados, like burrata and manchego, to intriguing offerings such as midnight moon and purple haze, this is where Novak frequently picks up platters for get-togethers at her home. “Try the truffle tremor. I’m obsessed!”