Coolest northforker stories of 2016: North Fork Shack comes to Southold

Ryan Flatley and Samy Sabil inside their restaurant, North Fork Shack. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Ryan Flatley and Samy Sabil inside their restaurant, North Fork Shack. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The North Fork Shack, which serves fresh, farm-to-table dishes with a heavy Mediterranean influence, opened in Southold earlier this year.

The eatery, which serves vineyard crowds and locals, was two years in the making for owners Ryan Flatley and Samy Sabil.

“[People on the North Fork], they really love good food and they love fresh food,” Sabil told us shortly before the opening. “We wanted to make something new and we thought there was a need for this.”

The menu features of fusion of cuisine from Sabil’s native Morocco and Flatley’s hometown of Southold. Items include pulled lamb served on pita with cucumber sauce and local fish ceviche with plantain chips.

The restaurants attractive interior also pays homage to the North Fork. The dining area has been painted an ocean blue and the floors are laid with ceramic tile that resembles beach wood. Three communal tables made of shiplap furnish the eatery, which is adorned with burlap and nautical-themed decor.

The partners met while working together at North Fork Table & Inn about a decade ago. Sabil worked in the front of the house while Flatley eventually worked in the kitchen under the tutelage of acclaimed late chef Gerry Hayden and his wife, James Beard Award-winner Claudia Fleming.

“He taught me everything,” Flatley said of Hayden.

The pair formed their catering business, Creative Courses, in 2009 after drawing inspiration from a trip to France, Morocco and Spain, including decadent meals in San Sebastian.