The Ram’s read Inn is a staple of the historic and peaceful Shelter Island. Founded in 1929, every aspect of the Inn takes you back into the pages of the roaring 20’s with its grand, rustic interior and decorum. Driving to the Inn takes you about ten minutes or so away from the town’s center, though every moment is worth it. I felt as if I was heading toward my own serene escape, that may be the island’s best kept secret. I could only hear the wildlife’s calls and chatter as I exited my vehicle.
This is true country living at its finest. Instantly, I noticed the row of Adirondack chairs, a private beachfront, play equipment for the youngest visitors, a tennis court, and sprawling acres of green grass with plenty of shade. This is the place most of us only dream of escaping to. There are very few, if any, spots on the East End that exists quite like this. I felt as if I transported back in time by at least fifty years. My family recently told me that they frequented The Ram’s Head Inn in the 1980’s and 1990’s as their hideaway far from the seasonal traffic.
Recently, The Ram’s Head Inn opened the season with a newly renovated cocktail and music lounge, newly dubbed Harbor Hall, due to the Inn’s breathtaking views of Coecles Harbor, and the classic, music hall feel of the bar, lounge, and patio.
At the Inn, you will find music and vineyard tastings every Tuesday night with the added perk of a cultivated and locally sourced cocktail list by their new bar manager and in-house mixologist, Harry Brigham. With the addition of twists on classic cocktails, Brigham has also crafted a few seasonal libations that truly tap into what it is to celebrate summer in the Hamptons. Think Blueberry Mojitos with fresh mint and berries plucked from the Ram’s Head’s own garden.
The cocktails I sipped were Summer Thyme: Belvedere Vodka, local raspberries, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, Fee Brothers peach bitters, and topped off with a fresh sprig of thyme; and Sidecar: Remy Martin 1738, Cointreau lemon juice, flamed orange peel ($14/each). Another notable cocktail is the Modena Cocktail: Hendricks Gin, 25 year old aged balsamic vinegar, fresh strawberries, topped with St. Germain foam. Brigham has created ten specialty cocktails for the season.
For my tasting, I tried from their spring menu first the Hazelnut Crusted Goat Cheese: pickled beets, micro arugula, truffle honey ($16); Pan Roasted Angus Filet Mignon: artichoke creamed spinach, rosti potato, Madeira ($44) with a side Caesar salad. The Filet Mignon was cooked to perfection, what a masterpiece. Each layer was a splice of heaven on earth. The dish set in well with the classic, laid back vibe. As you may know already, anything goat cheese tops priority on my list. The Goat Cheese plate was superb with a little taste of savory, creamy, crunchy, and sweet; a little tease for the palate but so satisfying.
Bar fare menu items include the R.H.I. Burger: white cheddar, chipotle aioli, bacon ($18); and Truffle Mac and Cheese: smoked bacon, white cheddar, gruyere, parmesan ($14). For the spring menu, there is a Raw Bar that includes East Coast Oysters with cucumber-ginger mignonette ($18/35); Jumbo Shrimp ($18); and Tuna Poke with avocado-wasabi mousse ($20).
Fresh fruit and vegetables are grown in their garden including blueberries, tomatoes, and hearty herbs such as thyme.
Lunch and dinner are served daily at the Inn, as well as a brunch every Sunday.
http://www.theramsheadinn.com/restaurant-and-bar-menus // 631-749-0811