Robke's Country Inn: An Essential of Long Island Dining
Written by Salvatore DiBenedetto [The Grubfather]
The last thing I expected when I walked through the door of Robke's Country Inn was to be floored by its supremely fresh Italian food. Unbeknownst to me and probably you, Robke's isn't just a keeper of fresh fare, but they are also at the helm of an intensely loyal fan base. The great food, hospitable staff and genuine good vibes have turned me into a firm believer.
I walked into Robke's Country Inn to a full house of patrons at 2:30pm, pasta dishes whizzing past me and a thriving energy in the air. Confused by the name, I turned to make sure I had indeed walked into a country inn. The door said so. What the hell was going on here?
Whether or not this was a culinary vortex, people seemed to love it, so I threw a smile on my face and was immediately greeted by Lou Selvaggio Junior. Completely void of fraudulent kindness inherited by some weary restaurant owners and pay-for-play wait staff, Lou Jr. was genuinely excited about what was going down at his family's Northport eatery.
Robke's food & general vibe embodies the Selvaggios' Bronx roots which have been sunk deep into Robke's Country Inn since 1978. Lou Senior and his wife Vera can be accredited with not only bringing succulent Italian fare to the country inn, but also blowing it out into new dining rooms and changing its reputation on the island since. Did I mention they still have a grill that's slinging some class act burgers?
The reputation of the restaurant speaks for itself among its diners. I overhead at least 5 separate groups absolutely raving about Robke's on their way out. One gentlemen even stopped me mid food-photograph to let me know how special this place was. In some crazy way, I was deeply touched for this is every restaurant's dream.
So... What about the grub? To sum it up, it was insane.
Robke's attention to fresh ingredients does not go unnoticed. From the renowned Red Snapper Alforno Lunch to their Bucatini Amatriciana, my tasting was nothing short of gorgeous.
Aside from the two mentioned dishes, do not pass up on Robke's decadent mac & cheese which is crowned with steak, the pappardelle segreta and avocado & string bean salad. Each presented a great balance of flavor, heritage and unique concept.
Ending conclusion? You need to eat at Robke's Country Inn and I guarantee you'll be back shortly thereafter. It may be a Long Island icon that you've never heard of but it's well deserving of it's community praise for over 38 years.
Robke's is ideal for a no frills yet high quality date, a family dinner or even pasta/burger at their parlor style bar with a few buds, brews or drinks. Regardless, it'd be a mistake on your end not to go.
A| 427 Fort Solanga Road, Northport, Long Island