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The Mortadella Sandwich from Barrow Food House is one of the best things we’ve eaten (so far) this year! Photos by Victoria Caruso

Mortadella Sandwich

Barrow Food House, Aquebogue

Since I moved to the North Fork last year, Barrow Food House has quickly become my go-to spot for a casual meal with friends. While their legendary smash burgers have a devoted following, it’s the mortadella sandwich from their specials menu that holds a special place in my heart. Generous layers of the savory cold cut are stacked high, complemented perfectly by rich and creamy burrata, roasted tomatoes and a flavorful pistachio pesto — all nestled between two slices of ciabatta bread. Reminiscent of the Italian sandwiches that my mother used to make for me growing up, every bite of this sandwich fills me with a comforting sense of nostalgia. 

Victoria Caruso, lifestyle reporter

Meatball Pizza

Brix & Rye, Greenport

This pizza can be ordered at either Brix & Rye or its upstairs sister location, 1943 Pizza Bar, but enjoying it with a cocktail in the dimly lit speakeasy among close friends is what makes this masterfully crafted pie special to me. My order has become “the usual’’ when I make my way down the small staircase to the friendly bar. I’ll ask Brix’s lovely Evan, Rob or Dave for a “red pie, mozz, with meatballs, please,” usually with a sweet drink. The smooth red pizza sauce has just the right amount of seasoning, with golden mozzarella complemented with hearty slices of meatball. I’d recommend almost anything from the master pizzaiolos, but for a friendly, flavorful pie, this is my go-to pick.

Lee Meyer, managing editor

Oysters Friskafella

The Frisky Oyster, Greenport

For a long time I was intimidated by The Frisky Oyster with its polished black exterior, dark tinted windows and swanky decor inside. Then this summer I had a sudden burst of confidence and took a seat at the bar. I didn’t have to ponder the menu for long before deciding on one of my all-time favorites: baked oysters with cheese. Called Oysters Friskafella, the dish is one of the restaurant’s most recognizable creations. These plump oysters — caught in the bay I sat just a few steps from — were baked in their shell and topped with a mixture of sautéed spinach, melted Parmigiano cheese, chipotle and wonderfully fragrant garlic aioli. Although these oysters are elevated, they transported me back to my childhood in Florida, eating cheesy baked oysters with my parents in a shabby beachside oyster bar. Oysters Friskafella is a spectacle of the best parts of seafood and not something to miss. 

Lilly Parnell, lifestyle reporter

Power Bowl

North Fork Roasting Company, Southold

Whenever I’m looking for a healthy lunch option, I turn to the Power Bowl at North Fork Roasting Company. It’s a great meal to get all of your veggies in, plus you can add chicken or an egg for extra protein. Most often I also order an iced latte because their coffee is delicious too! 

Sarah Olsen, co-owner and special projects editor

Red Dragon Noodles

Little Fish, Southold

Earlier this summer friends and I went to Little Fish for dinner. We ordered a bunch of apps and plates for the table to share. When the Red Dragon Noodles arrived, the friend who ordered them guzzled down the whole bowl, seemingly in seconds, without sharing a bite. Eager to understand why, I went back the following week to taste the dish for myself. The bowl arrived piping hot with the sweetest aroma from the coconut cream broth. Just one whiff and it all made sense! I dove right in … the soba noodles were perfectly soft yet substantial and the local clams were plentiful. The Calabrian chili gives the broth a nice kick without overpowering any of the other ingredients. Finished off with cilantro and toasted sesame, this dish is a home run, just don’t expect me to share either. 

Michelina Da Fonte, content director

McCall Burger

McCall Wines

I finally made it to a McCall Burger Night and it did not disappoint. Their own grass-fed beef burger was a true delight to eat and perfectly paired with french fries, homemade chocolate chip cookies and a glass of Marjorie’s Rosé. The relaxing atmosphere and rustic charm, along with the delicious food, was the perfect way to start my weekend.

Tina Contento, senior advertising account executive

Caramelized Mushroom Sandwich

Orient Country Store

I’ve been on a big Orient Country Store kick so far this year and my go-to is the caramelized mushroom sandwich. It’s a perfect combination of salty caramelized mushrooms with melty gruyere and some greens on seven-grain bread. There’s a special small-town USA nostalgia I feel when eating outside at one of their picnic tables. Oh, and Miriam behind the counter is just about the friendliest person you’ll ever meet. 

Kaitlyn Burke, advertising account executive

Corn and Zucchini Salad

Barrow Food House, Aquebogue

Barrow Food House’s corn and zucchini salad is something I look forward to all year. The salad is summertime in a bowl — local corn and zucchini, couscous, tomato vinaigrette and feta, finished with a touch of fresh dill and Aleppo pepper flakes. I count myself as someone who doesn’t even like feta, yet I LOVE this salad. 

Stephanie Pincar-Coleman, contributing writer