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What's new in North Fork dining BROUGHT TO YOU by SHERI WINTER PARKER

Celebrated local chef Stephan Bogardus made headlines in February when he stepped away from North Fork Table & Inn to helm The Halyard at Sound View in Greenport. The transition is one of several moves made since the 2018 season that has the potential to change the way you eat when visiting the North Fork this year.

Bogardus, who made a bid to buy his former restaurant before moving to the Greenport waterfront, said his decision to head to The Halyard was “natural.” His new menu centers on “salty seaside classics” with a modern flair, offering what he described as “identifiable Americana classics you’d expect from a seaside venue.”

His transition to a restaurant previously led by James Beard Award-winning chef Galen Zamarra was certainly among the most notable piece of North Fork culinary news heading into 2019, but it is far from the only change worth considering as you craft your summer foodie bucket list.

Stephan Bogardus (Credit: David Benthal)

They say some things never change, but that’s not always the case here

Back at North Fork Table & Inn, Brian Wilson, 44, a former executive chef at Restaurant Montmartre in Washington, D.C., has taken over in the kitchen, saying he plans to maintain the focus on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms.

The arrival of new restaurants and chefs has also made for a more diverse North Fork culinary scene. New American seafood-forward restaurants with farm-sourced dishes remain plentiful, but there are more options on the table in 2019.

Austrian-born chef Wolfgang Ban has brought European influences to the cuisine at the recently opened Green Hill Kitchen, located at the former Harbourfront Deli in Greenport. The restaurant is one of three in the village recently scooped up by Green Hill Restaurant Group proprietors Christoph and Robin Mueller.

Chef-partner Wolfgang Ban, center, at Green Hill Kitchen with owner Christoph Meuller, right, and manager Robin. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Green Hill Kitchen was the first to open late last year. Billed as a live music venue, it will also feature the village’s only boutique butcher counter, which will sell cuts of meats and sausages made by Ban. Across the street, the restaurant group is has transformed the former Deep Water Bar & Grille into a seafood restaurant called Anker.

“It is going to be a little higher-end, seafood-centric with other plates and a little more refined. The drive there is the harbor views you’ll be able to see all-year round. The winter is equally as beautiful [on the North Fork] so why not enjoy it?” — Emily Kessler, Anker

Meanwhile, the third restaurant purchased by the group, Industry Standard, has retained its name and a menu similar to what was offered under its previous owner. All three are expected to remain open year-round.

Chef Greg Ling left Industry Standard just before the change in ownership. He now heads up the kitchen at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company’s Peconic tasting room, offering up a rotating menu of savory dishes that often includes ramen with soft egg and rice bowls with Korean fried chicken, along with other staples such as beer-battered fish and chips and Sunday brunch

Chef Jennie Werts (Credit: David Benthal)

Other notable changes in the Greenport culinary scene include the addition of Ellen’s on Front. Chef Jennie Werts, who launched the pop-up at Drossos Motel with her brother Andrew in the summer of 2017, closed on the former Salamander’s space in February. Salamander’s — best known for its fried chicken — closed this winter after 26 seasons in business. Guests can expect a variety of options from burgers to shareable plates to double fried Crescent Duck wings when the restaurant opens — possibly as soon as this month.

“It is not high-concept food; the goal is ‘food for everyone,’ ” Mr. Werts said. “We want it to be an inviting space.”

Farther west on Front Street, new luxury boutique hotel The Menhaden has opened a new restaurant, The Merchant's Wife. The hotel’s rooftop bar will be an added perk for its guests.

Little Creek Oyster Farm + Market (Credit: Krysten Massa)

The village is also gaining a new “scratch kitchen” restaurant called Pearl, from chef and owner Jennifer O’Brien, that’s eventually slated to open in the former Taste Boutique space on Main Street. And the popular U-shuck oyster bar Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market is hoping to add a second location at Port of Egypt Marine in Southold.

Terra by American Beech is replacing cicchetti and wine bar Basso in the village’s Stirling Square. Basso, meanwhile, is hosting pop-ups at the Blue Inn on Main Road in East Marion.

Claudio's has reopened for its second season under its new ownership group. Several renovations have been made on the property, including a reimagined second floor in the main building. The clam bar is now called Claudio's Waterfront.

A little outside the village in Greenport, casual American eatery Rocco’s Caddy Shack opened in the former Skipper’s in 2018.

Orient by the Sea has reopened for the season after the property was sold to Marc Rowan, owner of Duryea's in Montauk. A spokesperson for Mr. Rowan said Orient by the Sea will continue to operate under its previous management this season.

The past year also marked the closing of several other North Fork restaurants. Beloved dessert spot Sandpiper Ice Cream in Greenport served its last cone after nearly 40 years in business and Four & Twenty Blackbirds will no longer have its seasonal Orient outpost. Sandpiper has been replaced by Greenport Creamery.

In Southold, acclaimed Italian restaurant Caci North Fork closed in October.

The popular Caci in Southold closed its doors last fall. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Its closure came shortly after Osprey Bar & Lounge opened at the former Caci Shelter Island. The Island outpost had opened last summer and was expected to be a year-round venture at the Shelter Island House.

In Riverhead, Mazi and J&L’s Chicken, Fish and Ribs were shuttered. Phil’s Waterfront is now On the Docks Bar and Grill and Craft’d is planning a summer opening at the former Vines and Hops. North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse in Wading River also closed its brick-and-mortar in order to focus on catering.

There will soon be another Italian option in Southold. Maroni Cuisine, a popular Italian eatery in Northport, has plans to open a new location at the former Jeni’s Main Street Grill. Jeni’s moved last year to the former Six Three One space in Southold.

“We are going to focus more out here on the take-out portion of what we do in Northport,” said owner and Southold resident Maria Maroni. “We really want to serve the year-round community and we see a need for it here.”

Mattituck is also gaining a couple new places to grab a casual bite. Mobile pizza truck company Pizza Rita has opened its first brick-and-mortar on Route 48. Guests can expect traditional wood-oven pizza margherita and more creative takes like the Il Sole made with ricotta crust and topped with pork sausage. Fried calzones, Italian entrées and homemade gelato will also be offered. Across the street from Pizza Rita, North Fork Roadhouse is eyeing a summer opening. According to its owners, the restaurant won’t be a typical sit-down venue, but instead a place where people can play games while relaxing and eating in a family-friendly environment.

North Fork Doughnut Co. (Credit: David Benthal)

Mattituck also gained the popular North Fork Doughnut Company, Mattitaco and East on Main in 2018.

Downtown Wading River added a new casual American restaurant in the former Amarelle space on North Country Road. North Tavern has a focus on elevated comfort food. The 3,740-square-foot space sat vacant for three years after Amarelle closed until Fiesta Mexicana opened there in early 2016. That closed about a year later. The space was also previously home to Andrew’s by the Pond.

The building’s turnover history doesn’t concern the new owners.

“We’re not going anywhere,” co-owner Carol Wendelken said. “This is a gem of an area.”

Spring asparagus from Chef Brian Wilson at North Fork Table & Inn. (Credit: David Benthal)

FIVE NEW DISHES TO TRY THIS SPRING

With so many new dining options on the North Fork, the thought of making the right menu choice might make your head spin. We went straight to the source and asked chefs which dishes they’d recommend ordering at their restaurants.

Ellen’s on Front

The Dish: Buttermilk-Brined Double-Fried Duck Wings With Homemade Chow Chow

About the Dish: Chow Chow is a southern condiment made with diced pickled vegetables like green tomatoes and bell peppers.

“The Double-Fried Buttermilk-Brined Duck Wings are an elevated twist on the traditional buffalo wing and Korean fried chicken — which is fried twice for crispiness — and I think it’s going to be a great dish to share at the table,” said owner and chef Jenni Werts. “Instead of chicken, we’re using local Long Island duck and pairing it with Chow Chow. The pickled veggies pair perfectly with the crispy duck — just top it off with a local North Fork beer or glass of white wine for the ultimate summer dinner.”

Ellen’s on Front is expected to open soon at 38 Front St., Greenport

Halyard at Sound View

The Dish: Chilled Asparagus Salad

About the Dish: Local asparagus are first grilled and seasoned with olive oil, then chilled and dotted with a truffled egg yolk mousse. The asparagus is then topped off with a chilled organic, local soft-boiled hen egg with spring herbs like watercress, chervil, miner’s lettuce and parsley to finish.

“The dish was inspired by a classic asparagus and hollandaise, but I wanted a variation that could be served chilled,” said executive chef Stephan Bogardus. “The truffle mousse is something I picked up from working under Thomas Keller at The French Laundry earlier this year, with the truffle being utilized for its unique, earthy flavor and to set a luxurious tone to the dish.”

Halyard at Sound View is located at 58775 County Road 48, Greenport

North Tavern

The Dish: North Fork Farm Fresh Vegetable Tasting

About the Dish: A presentation of mashed Long Island potatoes, smashed carrots, shaved local zucchini, mushroom risotto cake, fresh mozzarella with grilled tomato and an olive oil drizzle.

“This dish is a crowd-pleaser, especially for the health-minded foodies,” said co-owner Carol Wendelken. “We feel good about supporting our family-owned business and the farming community.”

North Tavern is located at 2028 North Country Road, Wading River

North Fork Table & Inn

The Dish: Spring Asparagus

About the Dish: Local asparagus with a Feisty Acres Farm quail egg, green garlic emulsion and toasted pistachios.

“I came to the North Fork in the winter, when things were pretty dormant, so it’s exciting to witness the spring season here and everything it offers,” said executive chef Brian Wilson. “The dish is a celebration of spring and new green growth. We focus on seasonal offerings at the North Fork Table & Inn, and asparagus — along with green garlic — are just a few of the many beautiful items available in spring. We also want to use as many local products as possible, so the asparagus, garlic and quail eggs are all from local purveyors.”

North Fork Table & Inn is located at 57225 Main Road, Southold

Pizza Rita

The Dish: The Northforker

About the Dish: Pizza made with housemade mozzarella, mascarpone, kale, red onion, garlic, pine nuts, Pecorino Romano, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

“The Northforker is one of our specialty Neapolitan pizzas, baked for 60 to 90 seconds in our imported wood-fired Stefano Ferrara oven,” said owner and chef Jeffrey Marrone. “The Northforker is a harmonious union of flavors and textures.”

Pizza Rita is located at 55 Middle Road, Mattituck

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