Shelter Island is the perfect escape from the city and the Hamptons. This secluded town offers just as many incredible dishes as the Hamptons do without the hustle, bustle and drama. The beaches are gorgeous, and the people are down to earth. There is a calmness about Shelter Island that cannot be matched. Check out these Shelter Island foods, and you’ll see how you can get more from your money on this laid-back island.
I’ll have to start with the famous Vine Street Café. If you haven’t tried their pasta sauce, you are missing out. And that’s not all, they also have fresh hand cut potato chips. Vine Street is also known for their impeccable wine list, which pairs great with my favorite meal: the spaghetti bolognese made by chef Matthew Bourdreau. The dish captures their homemade bolognese sauce and their al dente pasta.
There’s no use talking about Shelter Island without mentioning Sunset Beach Hotel and Restaurant. The place is run by hotelier Andre Balazs, who is also responsible for trendy and stylish places such as the Mercer, Chateau Marmont and the Standard. The food is the last thing on your mind when you arrive at this beachside haven. You can probably tell by the name, but Sunset Beach is known to have some of the best sunsets on the East End. Enjoy the French vibes and Balazs’ own rosé while you dine on fresh burrata with truffles. For your main course stick with the moules marinières, which are topped off with white wine, confit garlic and, of course, french fries.
Remember La Maison Blanche? The incredibly beautiful hotel on Cresent Beach changed operators this year and opened as Katana, an Indonesian inspired restaurant with a traditional sushi bar. The food is reasonably priced; their drinks are amazing and the service is unbeatable. This is my new summer spot. My favorites? Chef Alexander Lehnen’s Penang chicken with green curry dish, the vegetable spring rolls and the shrimp stir-fry. The chef de cuisine is Kiki Abdat, who hails from Jakarta. Keep an eye on this new spot; they plan to take creative and sustainable foods to a new level.
The next thing you need to try is not from a restaurant at all. In fact, it’s from the local drug store. Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy offers medication for when you get sick, but also offers some of the best floats and milkshakes on the island. All your favorite flavors are there. Mine is the black and white milkshake.
Looking for more than a shake? Whale’s Tale is there for you. Not only do they have the best ice cream on Shelter Island, they also have the best cannolis. Or rather, the only cannolis. These homemade treats’ flavor burst through a crispy shell. Did I mention you can also play mini-golf here? Bring family or friends and make a night out of it. Shelter Island is fun.