Long Time Eater, First Time [restaurant] Reviewer…
Happily Ever Laughter has become my little corner of the internet where I share feel-good stories and honest, unbiased reviews of family-friendly (sometimes, couples-friendly!) accommodations or attractions that I believe will offer my readers practical insight.
When an email landed in my inbox inviting me to experience Smitty’s All American Grill in Riverhead, NY, I enthusiastically accepted. After checking out the website, this looked like a place I would love — especially with the fun ambiance it seemed to offer. Admittedly, I am NOT a “foodie” by any means…but who doesn’t love a fun place for lunch?
With that said…
We set up a visit for July 4th weekend since I was going to be on the east end of Long Island visiting family. It was a quick 20-minute drive from Hampton Bays to Riverhead (up Route 24). I brought my daughter, Maggie (aka #MaggieSunshine) along as my dining companion.
The restaurant is set back from the main road. I never noticed it before, so I was happy this opportunity presented itself. I’d be so bold to say it’s a “hidden gem.”
So here’s how this went…
Long story short, due to some emails crossing, the staff was unaware I was coming in and did not know anything about my impending “review” when I arrived. No biggie…the place was huge, we were hungry, and the hostess happily seated us “anywhere we wanted” — we chose the top level of the three-level open-concept restaurant.
First impression: “I love this place.” Very cool space — open and airy. It was like a sports bar without the “I’m in a sports bar and have to drink seven gallons of beer” feel. Honestly, I couldn’t even guess how many TVs they had (there were a lot!). I am sure any major league game that was being played that day, was featured on at least one of the big screens. It would be cool to be there for a major sporting event like the World Series, Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Or maybe even the season finale of a popular tv show.
After being seated, our waitress — Tresina — took care of us making sure everything was to our liking. And it was. Our drinks were cold and refreshing (and served in mason jars which were a fun surprise). I ordered a hamburger and Maggie requested penne with butter. We are pretty edgy!
My burger was awesome – cooked perfectly. While Maggie wasn’t too thrilled with the penne (she likes a very specific consistency that only Ernie and I can cook to perfection!), Tresina happily brought her a personal pizza — which she loved!
Executive chef John Holmes stopped by our table to say hello and ask how everything was. Maggie gave him “thumbs up” and continued enjoying her lunch.
Offering reasonably-priced menu items including American classics such as gourmet burgers (so good!), brick-oven pizza, classic sandwiches, and barbecue dishes as well as many other selections. Items are prepared with local and fresh produce, seafood, cheeses and meats. Smitty’s also offers 24 craft beers on tap, palatable wine from the local vineyards and specialty drinks. Happy hour is every day from 4 – 7 p.m., and there is live music on Friday evenings. It seems like it would be a fun place to hang out with friends.
A super cool connecting bowling alley, The All Star, has twenty-eight lanes and a state-of-the-art arcade area that includes classic games such as air hockey, basketball shootout, and many others. The private VIP bowling room displays an intimate space with six lanes, cozy couches, and a large screen playing music videos in the background. And check out that bar — now THAT’s how you go bowling!
Both the restaurant and bowling ally are available for private parties and fundraising events.
The bottom line: Maggie and I both really enjoyed Smitty’s All-American Bar and Grill. Ideally, I would love for Smitty’s to be closer to us so we could enjoy it more often.
Honestly (the only kind of review I would offer), I can tell you that Smitty’s All American Grill in Riverhead was terrific. I give this place an enthusiastic, Fonzie-style “thumbs up.”
As we left, Maggie asked if we could come back with the whole clan (my husband and I have five children!) so we could have a family-fun day of lunch and bowling.
Absolutely, Maggie. We will definitely go back to Smitty’s! We found a true hidden gem in Riverhead.
Hours of operation:
Monday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Bar open until 12 a.m.
Sunday: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Bar open until 11 p.m.