I recently became aware that Long Island has a thriving buffalo ranch out in Riverhead called North Quarter Farm. When I started digging around online about it, I came across a few articles written over the last 10 or 15 years that championed the effort. See the NY Times Article and the Long Island Press Article. I learned that the farm owners also have a steakhouse-type restaurant called Tweeds, run by the husband of the bison ranch team, where they proudly feature many items that derive from bison (buffalo mozz, buffalo hanger steak, buffalo rib eye, buffalo reuben sandwich, etc). There’s even a second restaurant, right next door and run by the wife in the farm team, called Dark Horse. This place is more of a casual bar type of place, with a modern decor and music selection, featuring items like buffalo pate and buffalo pastrami sandwiches. I inquired about whether they use the actual buffalo from the farm in the restaurants. The answer was no (with the exception of the “ground steak” used to make the bison burgers at Dark Horse). Unfortunately their bison must go out to PA to be USDA certified before they can be slaughtered and cooked up into delicious food. But I thought it was cool that they put as much buffalo meat onto the menu as possible to pay tribute to their ranch business. They even offer buffalo meat cuts (steaks of all kinds, pate, chopped meat, etc) to buy and take home for your own cooking adventures.
So my wife and I decided to take a drive out there to try the food and to see the farm. We settled on eating at Tweeds, since we liked the interior better and it was a little more quiet. Since we ordered from the lunch menu I couldn’t realistically give the place a full review here, but I thought it was worth mentioning in a commentary with some photos. The place was beautiful inside, rich with local history and an old timey atmosphere. Apparently the giant bison head on the wall beside the bar is the actual last bison that Teddy Roosevelt ever hunted. Pretty cool. The service was excellent; our waitress Janine was really nice, helpful, and sweet. They had a great selection of German beers on tap and in bottles, and the food was fucking delicious. We started with a bison skewer and a couple of beers. The meat was juicy and tender; cooked just right. For my entree I had a bison hanger steak. It too was perfectly cooked, juicy, and delicious. It came with a peppercorn cognac cream sauce that I could drink by the gallon. So good. My wife had the corned bison Reuben sandwich. Just like a regular corned beef Reuben, but with corned bison. It was incredible, and served with some big sliced pickles. Both of our meals came with potato wedges, deep fried with the skin still on for a really delicious, crispy, homemade pile of steak fries. Needless to say we will definitely be going back here for a proper dinner, where I can sink my teeth into a buffalo rib eye (it wasn’t on the lunch menu).
Scroll down for pics of our food, and for pics of the buffalo at the farm. The bison were right along the fence for a bit, so I got a few close up shots before they walked away. We even had the pleasure of seeing some of the bison “wallowing,” or rolling themselves in a shallow dirt spot, covering themselves in dust.
BUFFALO RANCH PICS:
17 E. Main St.
Riverhead, NY 11901