Caci to open second location on Shelter Island

Executive chef Marco Pellegrini puts the final touches on his house made gnocchi. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Caci North Fork, the highly regarded northern Italian eatery in Southold, is opening a second location on Shelter Island.

Caci Shelter Island will open in May at the former home of The Tavern at the Shelter Island House. Guests of the new 68-seat restaurant can expect the same locally sourced dishes and house-made pasta Caci is known for on the North Fork.

“The menu will mirror Caci North Fork,” said Umbrian-born executive chef Marco Pellegrini. “The starters will be the same. The pasta will be the same. Every sauce, every dish, every portion is going to be tasted by my Italian mouth.”

Caci North Fork opened in a restored farmhouse in 2014 and quickly gained a following for its refined cuisine and ambiance.  Pellegrini, along with his wife Sabrina Vallorini, will continue to make all the sauces, breads, pastas and desserts by hand for the new location.

Sabrina Vallorini makes gnocchi by hand in the Southold kitchen. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Pelligrini is now executive chef at both locations and will split his time between the two. Caci has brought on two new chefs de cuisine to execute the dishes alongside two longtime Caci chefs who have trained under Pellegrini. Half of the staff — including servers and the management team — are also moving to the Shelter Island restaurant.

“The whole team will be experienced and trained,” Pellegrini said. “They will already know the menu. It takes things to another level.”

The Italian and local lineup on Caci’s award-winning wine list will be making the trip, too. The bar will also offer a selection of North Fork and Italian beers on tap or by the bottle as well as seasonal craft cocktails.

One new concept the Shelter Island location will offer is breakfast. Pellegrini is introducing an American breakfast with Italian accents (think: eggs with truffles) to accommodate guests of Shelter Island House.

The former causal dinning spot is currently undergoing a complete renovation into an upscale establishment akin to Caci North Fork. The overhaul includes an updated kitchen and a chic farmhouse aesthetic.

Caci’s gnocchi with duck ragu. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Caci co-owner Daniele Cacioppo said the intention was always to open a second location. The timing was serendipitous when Shelter Island House co-owner Janet Rogler approached them about the opportunity to open in the former Tavern.

“We knew it was time,” Cacioppo said. “We were attracted to the historic charm of this graciously restored inn. Happening at just the right time for Caci North Fork to expand, we all agreed that pairing beautiful accommodations with our simple, pure, authentic and inspired cuisine for the Shelter Island community was a winning combination.”

The restaurant is slated to open with a full spring menu by Memorial Day weekend.

Caci Shelter Island will be located at 11 Stearns Point Road, Shelter Island Heights