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Eat & Drink

Aug 6, 2008 11:14 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Dining Out visits Trolley Barn

Aug 6, 2008 11:14 AM

The Trolley Barn in Speonk is unique among East End restaurants in that it offers diners a choice of different dining experiences in the same restaurant: family-style, or fine dining in the next room.

The family-style dining section offers patrons dishes that take a long time to make, saving customers time in their own kitchens. The meals are served up in big bowls and on platters so that everyone at the table can take the portion they want, a real bonus when there are children in the group, owner Bill Dictor said.

The room where fine dining is featured has a different feel, but is still casual, he added. Patrons can order items a la carte from the menu there.

Mr. Dictor and his partner James Hanlon opened the Trolley Barn on July 24, putting their original idea into action.

“We had a strong opening,” Mr. Dictor said. He describes Trolley Barn as having hearty comfort food in a relaxed setting.

Almost 40 years ago, the restaurant was called Aunt Bella’s Trolley Barn and the owner wanted to keep the popular name.

Mr. Dictor owns two transportation companies that move vehicles, but has always wanted to open a restaurant.

Mr. Hanlon is the chef at Trolley Barn and created the menu. Previously he was the head chef at the Travis Island location of the New York Athletic Club.

At Trolley Barn, everything is made from scratch and the menu is constantly changing because the chef continually introduces local, farm fresh ingredients.

The Trolley Barn’s family dinner menu is $17 for adults and $10 for kids. Diners start with a bowl of seasonal mixed greens with a choice of dressings. Choices for the entrée include sliced fresh homemade meatloaf with beef gravy, herb-roasted half chicken, barbecued half chicken, grilled pork chops, barbecued baby back ribs, spaghetti with homemade Bolognese and macaroni and cheese.

The salad and main dish are served with two side dishes: a choice of a seasonal vegetable medley, fresh mashed potatoes, herb-roasted potatoes, french fries or steamed jasmine rice. Additional sides are available for $3 each.

On the fine dining menu, appetizers and salads range from $4 to $10 and include cream of tomato and basil soup; Trolley Barn crab cake served on a bed of greens with garlic and lemon aioli; beer-battered calamari with spicy homemade tomato sauce; fresh local vine ripe tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil; and a crisp garden salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, red onion and a choice of dressing.

Entreés include the Trolley Burger, served with french fries or chips, for $10; grilled vegetable pasta primavera with house-made pomodoro sauce for $12; linguine with white wine and garlic clam sauce for $16; fresh grilled Atlantic salmon with grilled fruit salsa, lemon scented jasmine rice and vegetable of the day for $20; and a grilled 8-ounce filet mignon with herb-roasted red bliss potatoes and vegetable of the day for $28.

Another entrée is the 18-ounce rib eye with herb-roasted red bliss potatoes and the vegetable of the day, topped with onion rings. “It’s a Freddy Flintstone steak,” Mr. Dictor said. “It’s massive.”

Vegetables of the day include, among others, baby carrots, squash, zucchini and string beans.

All items on the kids’ menu are $6 and include chicken fingers with honey-mustard dipping sauce; the little trolley burger with a choice of cheese; grilled cheese sandwich; and a grilled hotdog, all served with french fries, chips or steamed vegetables and macaroni and cheese.

Vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream is available for $2.

In the fall, Mr. Dictor said the restaurant will feature heartier meals including chicken pot pie and Yankee pot roast. “We will adapt to the seasons.”

The Trolley Barn’s liquor license has not yet been approved. When it is, local beers and wines from the North and South forks will be featured on the menu. And the owner said he plans to offer a Thursday night special at the bar: $7.95 for a beer and burger.

Trolley Barn

216 Montauk Highway, Speonk; 801-2800

Monday through Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m.

All major credit cards except Diner’s Club

No reservations

Handicapped accessible

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Just to let Everyone know The Trolley Barn is now under New Ownership. The Owners of well known Moriches Bay Diner are now running the Trolley Barn. They have a wonderful menu, open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. They have great food and great prices. The portions are amazing and Christina and George make you feel right at home. They have remodled and filled the place with beautiful antiques. So try it out a place to bring the family. The new number is 631-801-2888
By ghost01 (1), Mastic on May 25, 11 10:20 AM
wow, cat was hit by a car in front of this establishment and a local non-profit was there to take the cat to the ER and the owners came out screaming at her, and then called the police on her. Welcome to the neighborhood. Sounds like some real nice people, NOT!
By just breath (82), East Moriches on May 27, 11 8:55 AM