BUOY ONE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT - RIVERHEAD, NY
Each year, my wife and I like to head out to Long Island to check out some wineries, breweries and distilleries. We are big fans of these types of tastings. What goes great with wine, beer or liquor? Food. We always have dinner at the hotel we stay at, Hotel Indigo (READ REVIEW). But lunch is another story, we usually will fine something from a quick google search or by asking around. I found Buoy One in a google search this time. I read the reviews, saw some photos and checked out the menu. They made the wife and I curious.
(Photos taken by John Boccellari)
My initial impression of Buoy One was more curiosity. To be honest, I loved the classic signage on the exterior of the building. The old weathered seafood market sign with the fish under it blew me away. I wish I could have had the fish to hang in my house I loved it so much, sadly I know my wife would never have it. I know my pictures are a little dark, it was the best light I could get in the middle of the afternoon. The place looked much better in person, it had a lot of character.
When you walk inside, you see the seafood market counter and the chalk board sign which I also loved. Buoy One still operates as a market and makes room for a casual and cozy restaurant as well. I was left with the feeling of excitement and could not wait to try the food.
Let's start with the drinks. In the photo of me about to dig into those clams and the photo to the left, you will find the Buoy Rum Punch and the Buoy Margarita. I had the rum punch and let me tell you that this drink is dangerous. It just tastes so frickin' good. You don't taste the alcohol in the drink, but don't let that fool you because it is definitely there as I felt it beginning to effect me later in the meal. My wife enjoyed the Buoy Margarita as well. We know that they definitely know how to make a good drink.
The Clams on the Half Shell were as fresh as they could be. Great lively flavor. Buoy One gives an extra side of horseradish in case you want to make the cocktail sauce hotter. Just like the raw oysters in my last review, I immediately wanted more clams as they went down way too quick.
My wife ordered the Panko Tuna Tidbits. They were beautifully pan seared and were perfectly raw in the center. The tuna was served over both wasabi sauce and soy sauce and a delicious seaweed salad. It was also accompanied by ginger and a clump of a nice chunk of wasabi. I tasted the tuna and preferred it with the cocktail sauce. My wife loved the wasabi sauce.
I'm sure you have all gathered from reading my reviews that I am not really one to share my food. My wife and I shared the Buoy One Seafood Basket. We ordered the lunch portion and it was still a lot of food. The basket featured shrimp, bay scallops, fried fillet and clam strips. Again, the freshness was unmistakable. The fish was not over fried and I could tell that they were using good and clean oil. Worse thing you can do with fish is fry it is old dirty oil. The fish tends to take the flavors of whatever else is fried in old oil. This was not the case by any means. My wife who hates clams not only tried the clam strips, but also enjoyed them. This has never happened before, I was pleasantly stunned. The food was all high quality and amazing.
One would assume that eating in a fish market would mean that service was something they didn't know how to do or care about. I am not one of these people, but I know a couple people like this. It is not a good way to think. I received some pretty fantastic service in the Buoy One. Our server really did a great job. She was at our table when we would need her and not when we wanted to enjoy ourselves. She made sure our food and drinks were perfect and settled our bill quickly when we wanted to leave. She did all of this with a bright smile and happy attitude.
I will give Buoy One a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is my highest rating and they deserve it. Buoy One gave my wife and I a memorable experience that makes us long to return and try more of their food. I wish I lived on Long Island so that I could enjoy purchasing fresh fish from them regularly and also become a regular in the restaurant. Great job Buoy One, I can't wait to come back.
Buoy One has two locations:
1175 W. Main Street
Riverhead, NY 11901
62 Montauk Highway
Westhampton, NY 11977