Hamptons Epicure: A Return to North Fork Table & Inn

North Fork Table & Inn
North Fork Table & Inn, Photo: Stacy Dermont

It’s been too long since I last visited the “American Cuisine & Comfort” food touted by the North Fork Table & Inn’s (NFTI) menu. Located in Southold, NFTI is a North Fork favorite of my family. Overall the food is fantastic—it’s not just good. It dances.

And the atmosphere and presentation is not at all stuffy, it is completely focused on the food. Like us.

As NFTI’s menu also points out, “The North Fork Table supports the local agricultural and fishing communities and promotes awareness of all the pristine bounty the East End has to offer.” Bravo.

Beverage suppliers include local standouts like: Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Anthony Nappa Wines, Coffee Pot Cellars, Leo Family Wines, One Woman Wines and Vineyards, Paumanok Vineyards, Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard, Shinn Estate Vineyards, Sparkling Pointe Vineyards and Wölffer Estate Vineyard.

My husband started off the festivities with The Spicy Geisha cocktail, having been assured by our server that it was not too sweet. Ao Japanese Rice Vodka, Hakutsuru Junmai Sake and Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur. His take: “Huh, that’s good. It’s got a lot of layers. I like it.”

An amuse bouche of a potato and bacon fritter over hot liquid—salty-chive-y clarified Rhode Island clam broth—provided a perfectly savory three bites.

Amuse Bouche at North Fork Table & Inn
Amuse Bouche at North Fork Table & Inn, Photo: Stacy Dermont

Ira & KK’s Gem Lettuce Salad with roasted beets and hazelnuts tossed in sherry-shallot dressing, topped with ricotta salata was just the thing to start me off—a gorgeous tangle of frissée and bitter radicchio balanced with the nuts and wide cheese shavings and chunks of tender, deep-red beet. Organic farmer K.K. Haspel is much missed on the East End after her untimely passing last year. We’re very blessed that her legacy lives on.

Husband found his Peconic Bay Fluke Crudo with heirloom sweet melon and toasted sunflower seeds with cilantro and extra virgin olive oil “very fresh.”

Pennoni Pasta at North Fork Table & Inn
Pennoni Pasta at North Fork Table & Inn, Photo: Stacy Dermont

I was feeling like a bit of beef. It’s not a feeling that creeps up often. It was deliciously quelled by my entrée of Pennoni Pasta with Beef & Pancetta Ragout. The carrot was diced just right and the Parmigiano Reggiano and tomato red wine sauce garnished with fresh parsley made me exclaim, “Oh mommy umami!”

Husband enjoyed his Pan-Seared Long Island Striped Bass with clams, shrimp sausage, wilted baby spinach with spring onion, fresh peas and radish. The shrimp sausage was an interesting take—it was the only bit that I got to sample.

Striped Bass at North Fork Table & Inn
Striped Bass at North Fork Table & Inn, Photo: Stacy Dermont

I’m not sure why a manager felt the need to interrupt our meal after our entrées had arrived—when we were so clearly enjoying them. But she assured us that she was concerned about our every want.

The Rhubarb shortcake that Husband and I shared was very warm and tender—a perfect ending and an invitation to return again—sooner than later.

Rhubarb Shortcake at North Fork Table & Inn
Rhubarb Shortcake at North Fork Table & Inn, Photo: Stacy Dermont

North Fork Table & Inn, 57225 Main Road, Southold, 631-765-0177, northforktableandinn.com. NFTI also offers an onsite farmers market Fridays 9 a.m.–noon, Champagne Garden experience Fridays 5–7 p.m., and their famous food truck 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Thursday–Monday.

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You can now follow Stacy’s adventures on Twitter, @HamptonsEpicure.

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