Eat, Drink, and Market with Minnow's Andrea Tese
Andrea Tese appreciates a good challenge. Minnow, her first-year restaurant with the soul of an old fishing shack in New Suffolk, specializes in serving line-caught fish and ethically-sourced seafood, which means that what’s on the menu often comes down to what’s available from her coterie of local fishermen.
“I send out seven texts every morning to my different fishermen and providers asking what they’ve gotten in or what they expect to get in,” she said of her daily menu-writing duties for the waterfront restaurant and cafe, which was once home to the Galley Ho bar and restaurant. “And then it’s a lot of running around with a big Yeti cooler full of ice in the back of my car.”
The recent bad weather hasn’t helped slow down. Stormy sea conditions have kept many independent local fishermen glued to port, which has forced her and Executive Chef, Cheo Avila, to be extra-creative when exploring menu alternatives. “You just have to be very flexible, and your chef, like Cheo is, has to be very fluid with these things,” Tese said.
It’s worked. And while she’s admittedly “very militant” about the freshness standards at Minnow, one of her biggest challenges is “being at the mercy of what I can get [from fishermen] that day or the day before.”
She said that problem-solving for the tricky moments is the most fun she’s had in a long time — its all packed into Minnow’s identity, which is about creating a delicious and mindful seafood-forward menu that leaves little to no debris in its wake.
“It’s doable, I’ve proven that,” she said of knowing exactly which local waters the fish on your plate was plucked from, as well as the name of the fishermen who did the plucking. “I’ve had to get creative, and I love being busy. I love creating things.”
When she’s not sourcing the freshest seafood she can hunt down from local fishermen on the East End, there’s a good chance you might see her out on the water — fishing and surfing are her first loves — or out on the road exploring the many vibrant culinary delights the North Fork has on offer.
The first-time restaurateur recently chatted with Dan’s about some of her favorite local eateries, wineries and more.
Where Andrea Tese Eats, Drinks and Markets:
Opties and Dinghies
“The [owners] are a great couple, and it’s like a hole in the wall and they do crepes and they do dumplings, and they also get this gelato from New York City, Laboratorio del Gelato, which is delicious … they’re just great people and their dumplings are amazing. In the winter, they’re open to pick up frozen dumplings. I just place a massive order and keep them in my freezer.”
1010 Village Lane, Orient, (917) 822-1230
The North Fork Shack
“I love this place. His name is Sammy Sabil and the cool thing about him is that here there’s very little variation in cuisine but he’s very playful with his menu and he experiments a lot and he’ll do Indian night and he’ll do Moroccan dinners, he’ll do French.”
41150 County Road 48, Southold, thenorthforkshack.com
“You go in there and they’ll make you the most amazing sandwich with their amazing cured meats and their super beautiful, freshly baked focaccia.”
19 Front Street, Greenport, salumeriasarto.com
“I think McCall has some of the best wines out here and their Ben’s Blend is, I think, the best best red wine out here. They also have all of their own cows that graze there, grass fed and organic, and they have a little Airstream that they make burgers out of [for Burger Nights]. They have all these picnic tables, families come and drink wine, and the kids play, it’s amazing.”
22600 Main Road, Cutchogue, mccallwines.com
Minnow at the Galley Ho is located at 650 1st Street, New Suffolk, minnowrestaurant.com. New offerings on their fall menu include Japanese izakaya-style items on Mondays, while a weekly serving of Raclette — like a more-decadent take on fondue — takes place every Thursday.