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 specification. 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.
We started our evening with the Chilled Maine Lobster & Corn Soup: Crème Fraîche, Soured Blueberry ($30); and the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho: Cherry Tomato, Garden Blossoms, Olive Oil Powder ($17). We then split the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare: (served raw) Ponzu, Taro Chips, Micro Herbs ($20).
Our entrée choices were the Summer Truffle & Ricotta Cavatelli: Parmigiano Reggiano, Chive ($40) (appetizer portion is $24); and the Local Striped Bass: Eggplant, Harissa, Guindilla Peppers, Zataar, Vanilla-Cashew Sauce ($38). Each dish is comprised of flavors you don’t see everyday. The freshness in each bite is unsurpassed by anything we have tasted in a very long time. My favorite was the Lobster & Corn Soup, poured table-side.
Their menu rotates with the seasons. There is a three-course prix fixe for $70, including an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. A three-course wine flight is $25. Chef Bogardus’s Six-Course Tasting Menu, including some of the dishes presented here, is $125. A Six-Course Tasting Wine Flight is $35.
Each dessert is masterfully plated with artistic character and authentic North Fork bounty. Each irresistible, photogenic treat is created by Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming, who was named Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2000. As Pastry Chef at Gramercy Tavern (1994-2002), she collaborated with Tom Colicchio and Danny Meyer to define a distinctively American model for fine dining. It was there that Fleming’s menu established a new standard in pastry kitchens across the country. She and her husband, Gerry Hayden, opened the North Fork Table & Inn in 2006.
We had the pleasure of tasting four of their most popular seasonal desserts:
- Chocolate-Caramel Tart: Salted Caramel Ice Cream
- Caramelized Peach Upside Down Cobbler: with Blueberries and Vanilla Crème Fraiche
- Coconut Tapioca: Passion Fruit Sorbet and Crispy Coconut
- Mixed Summer Berries & Meringue Kisses with Raspberry Sorbet, Toasted Pistachios and Yogurt Crema ($14/each)
Each dessert is an accolade to the summer season on the North Fork. A tough decision, our favorite was the Chocolate-Caramel Tart. They also offer take-home desserts including just-baked chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies. Coffee is custom-roasted by Aldo’s Coffee, and tea is brewed by SerendipiTea of Manhasset.
The restaurant celebrates the local farmers and purveyors, working closely with The Farm, Invincible Summer Farms, Mar-Gene Farms, Satur Farms, Southold Fish Market, Aldo’s Coffee, Browder’s Birds, Blue Duck Bakery, Backyard Brine, and Wickham Farm.
Check the website for hours of operation, which vary depending upon the season. For example, after Labor Day the restaurant is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
http://northforktableandinn.com // 631-765-0177