Next level comfort food is the recipe for the “illegally good” food at Prohibition Kitchen in Port Jefferson.
The 35-seat restaurant opened in the former Kimi Japanese Restaurant on Main Street in April with a menu of fun-sounding, sinfully delicious bites such as the Dirty Mother Clucker — aka fried chicken served on a glazed doughnut.
The concept is the brainchild of Lisa Harris, an entrepreneur in the Long Island food industry for nearly 20 years. Harris, who opened popular Port Jefferson doughnut shop East Main & Main in 2017, initially eyed the 1,500-square-foot space as a place to expand the doughnut shop, but had a change of heart shortly after taking over the storefront in the beginning of the year.
“It was screaming to be a restaurant,” Harris said. “Yet with loving doughnuts and all things decadent, I didn’t want to create just any restaurant. I wanted a restaurant that went above and beyond and did things illegally good.”
Still running East Main & Main, Harris recruited executive chef and front of the house manager Tom Fazio to help create the extravagant menu and execute the concept. Fazio, former head chef and general manager at The Bay Breeze Inn & Chophouse in South Jamesport, has also spent decades working in the Long Island food industry and met Harris years ago as the owner and chef of Waterside Caterers in Northport.
“We were really excited that people have embraced this concept,” Harris said. “From the experience we had with the doughnut shop being so well received, it gave us insight into what this community was longing for. We are very confident with the type of food.”
The morning ’til night gastropub serves breakfast all day along with lunch and dinner items that range from over-the-top indulgent (think: lobster mac and cheese stuffed doughnuts) to fresh takes on vegetarian, i.e. kung pow cauliflower. East Main & Main supplies all the fresh-baked doughnuts.
The restaurant commits to sourcing Long Island produce and provisions when possible, especially when it comes to its bar menu, which is comprised entirely of East End wines and Long Island craft beers. The spirits are also distilled in New York.
A dessert enthusiast, it is no shock that Harris wanted to incorporate mega-sized sweet treats into the menu. Doughnut bread pudding, chocolate chip cookie skillets and boozy milkshakes topped with add-ons like Cinnamon Toast Crunch make for a sweet ending.
“It is important for our guests to have fun and dessert is a big part of that,” she said. “It puts a smile on people’s faces. You can’t leave sad on a sugar high.”
Prohibition Kitchen is located at 115 Main Street in Port Jefferson.