From the casual to the high concept, the North Fork of Long Island is the place to eat, sleep, and dream this summer season. Start on the right foot with a trip to these epic establishments, who are serving up the most delicious things imaginable.
New to the Fork this year is the North Fork Doughnut Company, an artisanal bakeshop using local ingredients in their confections. Doughnut flavors are always changing in tune with the season, and the best way to keep track of what’s going on — short of taking a trip to the store — is to follow them on Instagram at @nofodoco. These are cakey doughnuts, filled with whimsy and, yes, sugar. While we’re on the topic of something sweet, the iconic Magic Fountain in Mattituck, which has occupied the same slice of Route 25 since the 1960s, sells their ice cream to go, and you should take advantage of that simple fact. Choosing a flavor is ever the challenge, but for spring, to celebrate the emergence of fruit once again, indulge in simple strawberry, made with fresh strawberries and, of course, lots of cream.
In Southold, head for The North Fork Food Truck, located in the parking lot of the iconic North Fork Table & Inn, where you’ll find the Fork’s best lobster roll, served on an authentic Blue Duck Bakery roll. And make sure not to leave without a half dozen of Claudia Fleming’s famous chocolate chip cookies. Inside the North Fork Table & Inn, you’ll find a far more formal setting, but, as always, you can still find the Bloody Boar, a bacon-infused Bloody Mary that pulls out all the stops. The cozy, intimate bar is perfect for a late-morning drink, in fact.
Next door, in Greenport, where chef Stephan Bogardus (formerly of the North Fork Table & Inn) mans the kitchen at The Halyard, eat the venison terrine, served with Dijon mustard, frisée, and cornichons. Stirling Saké, also in Greenport, is home to superlative Tonkotsu ramen. The broth is made from pork bones sourced from 8 Hands Farm, and the ramen is garnished with red ginger, mushrooms, pork belly, a boiled egg, and fresh scallions. Pair a bowl with one of the plentiful, curated sakés on the restaurant’s drink menu and you have a meal fit for a king or queen.
Then circle back to Mattituck, for a visit to the always-lovely Love Lane Kitchen, where, among other tasty dishes, you can indulge in the pitch-perfect steamed little neck clams, local bivalves served with soppressata, roasted fingerling potatoes, jalapeño-herb broth, and Tuscan bread. Order a glass of wine from the wine list that stars mostly local favorites, and learn a little more about the Long Island wine region in the process. If there is a cake on the counter, under a glass cloche, as there often is in the afternoons and evenings, ask no questions. Simply order a slice. You’ll be happy you did.