Dan's North ForkDining Features

Smitty’s John Nordin Bowls a Strike

“Grilled corn on the cob, lobster roll, clam bake with local potatoes,” are all foods that define summer on the East End, according to Chef John Nordin of Smitty’s All American Grill at The All Star Lanes & Lounge in Riverhead. Featuring a curated lunch and dinner menu, Smitty’s is a go-to regardless of whether you bring your bowling A-game. Chef Nordin will be at Dan’s Harvest East End, the food and wine classic, on August 22. Here, he discusses being a part of the culinary culture of the East End.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Dan’s Harvest East End this year?
It’s a great event that we participated in last year. I got a chance to see some familiar friends and meet some new ones. Overall a great night out!

One food or fish that everyone should try at least once in life:
If you’re out here—a meal at North Fork Table! A real East End experience

What is the best pairing of food and East End Wine?
The wonderful seafood and fresh produce

If you were to eat at your restaurant as a guest, what would you order?
Our delicious burgers, subs, pulled pork, pizzas

Describe the relationship between East End wine and the agriculture, aquaculture and overall East End culinary culture.
I think that it is a tight knit community, and we are all dependent on each other to create such a great place to have and visit.

The perfect drink for a summer night:
For me, some of our great craft beer and local wines

Food that defines summer on the East End:
Grilled corn on the cob, lobster roll, clam bake with local potatoes

The trio of Dan’s Taste of Summer Events wraps up with Dan’s Harvest East End, the food-and-wine classic, on August 22. Hosted by celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, the event will showcase more than 40 East End winemakers, the dishes of 30-plus top regional chefs and purveyors. Tickets start at $125 for general admission and $275 for VIP admission. The event will be held at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit DansTasteofSummer.com.

Favorite East End-inspired meal?
Right now it’s Montauk calamari sautéed with cherry peppers, toasted garlic and fresh rosemary

What is your favorite local ingredient?
I love our sweet corn on the cob.

What is your favorite aspect of being part of the culinary culture on the East End?
I grew up here and started my cooking career out here over 25 years ago. Feels like home!

When you hear the phrase “local,” what comes to mind?
The vineyards, the water, the farm stands. It’s a whole mindset here.

Where do you find inspiration, inside and outside the kitchen?
In the restaurant, from those I work with; outside, from the local markets and farm stands.

A great meal always begins with…
Friends or family—usually a debate of some sort

Make a toast to East End wine:
I feel that, without the wine industry out here, we wouldn’t have the opportunity or diversity of such great restaurants to work with.

Smitty’s All American Grill, 96 Main Road, Riverhead. 631-998-4232, smittysallamericangrill.com

The trio of Dan’s Taste of Summer Events wraps up with Dan’s Harvest East End, the food-and-wine classic, on August 22. Hosted by celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, the event will showcase more than 40 East End winemakers, the dishes of 30-plus top regional chefs and purveyors. Tickets start at $125 for general admission and $275 for VIP admission. The event will be held at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit DansTasteofSummer.com.

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