These days, the North Fork wine trail draws tourists from outside of New York’s state lines. But the area isn’t all wine and no dine. Regardless of the time of year, North Fork restaurants are sizzling and serving everything from old-world cuisine that would make even an Italian grandmother swoon to new-fangled creative fare.
The need to please and push the envelope, coupled with the long hours that come with the job, don’t give chefs much time to stop and smell the Sunday sauce in someone else’s restaurant. But every so often, you’ll find another chef enjoying the fruits of another cook’s kitchen.
Three favorite North Fork chefs shared their favorite restaurants to visit when savoring a rare moment off.
“North Fork Table & Inn. The service and food [are] always great. [The] tuna with foie gras has always been [one of my] favorite dishes there. It’s something that’s been on the menu since [pioneering chef] Gerry [Hayden] was [there], and I always found it an interesting combination of taste texture. [It’s] something I would not have put together.” — Chef Noah Schwartz of Noah’s, Greenport
“John Shearman at 1943 Pizza Bar is doing cool stuff. [The] porchetta and clam pizza is a must-get. I always switch out banana peppers instead of green bell peppers. [At] Stirling Sake, Yuki and crew are always doing clean and beautiful food. Aki catches a lot of what they serve. [You] really can’t go wrong with any of the sushi, but if you see the monkfish torchon, duck ramen and any sashimi specials, you won’t be disappointed. And Yuki has a ton of knowledge about sake. Mynor Ortega is the new chef at First and South, and he’s made some fun changes, [like] bold flavors on everything. The guy is amazing with seafood.” — Chef Greg Ling of Industry Standard Bar and Rocco’s Caddyshack, Greenport
“Because I work so much during the season, I don’t really get to see that much other than my restaurant. But…our sister restaurant SALT on Shelter Island [is a place I] love going during the late afternoon for a blackened mahi- mahi taco and [the cocktail] Arnold palm to the face. Then [I] buy a round of beers for the kitchen (it’s a menu item). After that, my daughter and I buy ice cream from the stand and walk up to The Shipwreck to play some games by the pool. During work in the kitchen, we take turns buying morning fuel. North Fork Doughnut Company — wow, best doughnuts ever. My favorites include fruity pebbles and crumb cake. We also get BLTs from the deli across the street, Sterlington…it may be in the top five sandwiches I’ve ever had. Last but not least, I have an addiction to Briermere Farm’s apple cider and of course their pies — peaches and cream for me, raspberry peach for the rest of the family.” —Alex Williamson of PORT, Greenport