Located in the heart of North Fork’s countryside in Southold, The North Fork Table & Inn is one of the most prized restaurants on Long Island. This charming, countryside restaurant may be the best restaurant I have dined at in many years, or ever. To start, the service is friendly, genuine, and competent. We sat in the far dining room just as you enter to the left, a very quiet and peaceful room for a Sunday evening. Each server and staff member knows the restaurant inside and out and can help you execute your menu choices, make incisive wine and cocktail suggestions, and conform a dish or drink to your specificities. For example, as I am nearly nine months pregnant, the bartender was able to concoct a fruity, tart mocktail that paired beautifully with each course.
Executive Chef Stephan Bogardus has created a smart, contemporary American menu bursting with farm-to-table cuisine crafted from the heart and soul. When I first tasted his Satur Farms Chilled Zucchini Soup with Tomato Foam and Summer Herbs at this year’s Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, I knew that we would be in for a real treat while visiting The North Fork Table & Inn. A native of Cutchogue, Chef Bogardus graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2009. After graduation, he began his training under chef/proprietors Gerry Hayden and Claudia Fleming. In between working in Palm Beach and upstate New York, he returned to The North Fork Table & Inn in the fall of 2015 after Chef Hayden’s passing as the new Executive Chef.
Isola, Shelter Island‘s newest restaurant, opened its doors over July 4th weekend. Located in the Historic Heights District nd within walking distance to the North Ferry, owner Brad Kitkowski has completely revamped the former home to Sweet Tomatoes with plenty of outdoor seating and a spacious rustic-meets-modern wine and cocktail bar.
Isola, or island in Italian, offers a menu of New Italian cuisine, strongly influenced by seasonal ingredients with an emphasis on showcasing the abundance of local delicacies such as clams, sea bass, and tomatoes. Isola works closely with several local farms and fisheries including Shelter Island’s Sylvester Manor, Sang Lee Farms, Koppert Cress, Southold Fish Market, and North Fork Smoked Fish Company. At the helm of the kitchen is Executive Chef Seth Nathan, who brings 17 years of cooking experience to the restaurant. He hails from Santa Barbara Wine Country in California where he was Executive Chef at Mad & Vin at The Landsby hotel, and the Santa Ynez Inn.
Red Maple is a must visit while on Shelter Island. Their menu is brand new this summer, with a new chef at the helm. Inside, you will savor a seasonally inspired New American menu with a minimalist, rustic interior and patio seating. My husband and I visit several times each season for lunch and dinner.
To start, my husband had the Blue Point Toasted Lager from Patchogue ($7) and I had the Shelter Island Sunset cocktail: Hanger 1 Makrut Lime vodka, honey basil lemonade, fresh basil ($12/virgin $7). My husband also tried the Summer Ale on draft by the Greenport Brewing Company. I loved my drink, I would order it again in a heartbeat: not too sweet, earthy with a touch of tang. Additional cocktail choices include their Red Maple Margarita, Ginger Cosmopolitan, and The D.B. Pimm’s Cup.
Cheers to the upcoming summer! I am thrilled to reintroduce my readers to one of my favorite child-friendly beverage companies, Tickle Water. My favorite characteristic of Tickle Water is that it is perfect for small hands, meaning that it will be ideal for my daughter to bring with her to school and activities. Her favorite is the watermelon and green apple. She calls the Watermelon flavored water “owl bubbles.” It is so cute when she laughs after each sip. We enjoy Tickle Water together during the afternoon while at our pool. The size is also compact and lightweight for bringing to the beach. The tickly taste is so refreshing!
So chic and ever-evolving is The Chequit, one of my top three favorite spots on Shelter Island. Red Maple is one of my top choices to bring friends and family to dine. Each time we have visited, we have always been more than impressed with the service and quality of the dishes. Their coconut cake, for example, was chosen as one of the Ten Best Things I Ate in 2016.
New to Shelter Island’s stylish retreat this season includes an expanded offering of baked goods at their onsite grab-and-go outlet, White Hill Café; a freshly stocked Salt Supply retail shop; and delectable new menu offerings at Red Maple, the inn’s bar and restaurant.