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Summer Magic

Enjoy the season when dining at these special North Fork spots.

What’s the best thing about summer? It may just be catching up on those dining spots that are only open for a few select months every year. If you find yourself pining for a special outdoor dining experience, thirsty for the best oysters on the North Fork, or in need of a little summer magic, you’re never far from the finest dining action. You just need to know where to look. Before the weather turns cold again, make sure you make it to these dreamy, seasonal spots. Even though once a year is never enough, the memories will last forever. 

It doesn’t get much more summer than sitting outside and devouring oysters and clams on the half-shell. At Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market, in Greenport, that joy is short-lived. Once the warm weather ends, so, too, does the season of sitting outside, so enjoy it while it lasts. Food is served on trays, and the best seating is outside, on a gravel patio (watch the boats sail by from this premium vantage point with a cold brew or two). Nearby lawn space, where the carousel spins all season long, provides ample entertainment if you need to burn off a clam or two — but realistically, it’s just a backdrop for more eating and drinking. 

Zach Erdem recently brought his Southampton culinary brand to the North Fork in the form of ZErdem, where the traditions of Mediterranean cooking abound. In Greenport, ZErdem serves everything from freshly baked bread to grilled meats to smoked eggplant dip. A warm and inviting space, dinner at this summer-only spot is meant to be transportive, a trip to the heart of Europe within the confines of the North Fork. You’ll want to catch it while you can, and that means stopping in before the summer is behind us.  

Hummus — ZErdem

Launched last year, the Minnow at the Galley Ho embraces a challenging concept: sustainable seafood, done the right way. The restaurant serves only line-caught, organic, and in-season ingredients, so the menu is always subject to change, depending on the season and on availability. On any given night, guests can expect dishes like rod-and-reel-caught tuna crudo, served with a fresh caper salsa verde; local littleneck clams, amplified with Holy Schmitt’s horseradish crème fraiche; and spaghetti con crudo, pasta served with oil and garlic, as well as a tartare of local fish and Marcona almonds. But once the season ends, this experience is gone with the wind. So get there while you still can. 

Speaking of ephemeral dining experiences, every spring, summer, and early fall, McCall Wines, in Cutchogue, opens their weekly burger night. On Thursdays and Fridays, diners can eat out on the lawn, along with glasses of the winery’s award-winning wines (go for a glass, or even a bottle). Burger Night features from-scratch burgers from the winery’s grass-fed Charolais cows, along with classic French fries and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Reservations can be made online, and the bespoke, seasonal event lasts from mid-May through the second Friday in October.