5 Restaurants You Need to Try This Off-Season

The crowds are gone. Let the culinary games begin!

The crowds are gone. Let the culinary games begin. • Photo courtesy of Tutto il Giorno

The high season may be officially behind us now, but there are plenty of restaurants worth your off-season time. If you’re thinking of dining out some autumn weekend, read on for a round up of some of the best of the out-of-season eats.

18 Bay

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Owned and operated by Elizabeth Ronzetti and Adam Kopels, this Shelter Island restaurant serves a four-course, Italian-inspired chef’s menu in summer… and beyond. The menu changes weekly (diners can find the most current iteration through the restaurant’s website), but always includes a quartet of tiny appetizers, followed by a handmade pasta course, a protein course, and a dessert. The restaurant is housed in a homey, adorable, porched building, originally erected in 1893 by decorated Civil War hero Marcus Duval. Many of the building’s historic characteristics—and all of its charm—have been preserved. Chefs use local produce, from purveyors like Wickham’s Fruit Farm, Terry’s Farm, and Sang Lee Farms. And the menu provides a pretty good amount of bang for your buck: The prix fixe menu costs $75 per person. Wine pairings are also available.

18 Bay, 23 N. Ferry Road, Shelter Island, open Wednesday through Saturday, 5:30 to 10 p.m., Sunday 4 to 8 p.m., (631) 749.0053. 

Tutto il Giorno

Don’t get us started on the long and sordid history of Tutto, which has changed locations and hamlets several times over. Suffice to say, the Southampton outpost makes very good Italian food, and they make it all year round. Although their spaghetti—served with a “Scarpariello” (i.e. long-simmered red) sauce is compelling in its own right, there’s no pasta on the menu quite as irresistible as the linguine, served with clams and flamed tomatoes. A picture-perfect back patio is studded with heat lamps, perfect for an enjoyable meal even as the weather turns a little cooler.

Tutto il Giorno, 56 Nugent Street, Southampton, open 12 p.m. to close daily, (631) 377.3611. 

1943 Pizza Bar

On the North Fork, there are plenty of great pizza options to choose from—but one of our favorites is Greenport’s 1943 Pizza Bar, a tiny space tucked into Main Street that features delicious thin-crusted pies. Pies are 14” and begin at $10 apiece (with toppings costing extra), but the pies are not the only treat at this pizzeria. Wood-fired meatballs are dripping in homemade sauce, while a Caesar salad is a nod to the traditional. Pizza on the East End may feel lacking at times, but this year-round haunt makes up for that perennial problem.

1943 Pizza Bar, 308 D Main Street, Greenport, open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 12 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., (631) 477.6984. 

Isola

Journey, once more, to Shelter Island, for an exemplary year-round take on Italian food. Chef Seth Nathan, a California transplant, uses produce from Sylvester Manor Farm and local Peeko oysters (among other items) in his seasonal take on rustic cuisine. Particularly of note are wood-fired pizzas, adorned with everything from fresh mozzarella to Calabrian salami. On Mondays, the restaurant serves up Nathan’s “famous” chicken parm, for an affordable $18 (though traditionalists may prefer Tuesdays, which are spaghetti and meatball night–$15 per plate). The restaurant, which occupies the former Sweet Tomato’s space in Shelter Island Heights, is within walking distance of hotels, bars, and stores.

Isola, 15 Grand Avenue, Shelter Island Heights, open Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m., (631) 749.9036. 

Dockside Bar & Grill

Sag Harbor’s American Legion building is home to long time restaurant Dockside Bar & Grill, a treat for year-rounders looking to sit near the water (the restaurant faces the Sag Harbor Yacht Club). For years, Dockside has served up some of Sag Harbor’s finest seafaring edibles, including cod, sea scallops, lobster, and crab. The self-proclaimed “serious” lobster roll arrives on toasted brioche, warmed through with lobster stock and served with a simple salad. Fish is locally caught when possible, meats are humanely raised, and vegetables are grown on Long Island. If you can manage to score one of the still-popular-in-autumn outdoor tables, you’ll be treated to a view of boats bobbing in the bay.

Dockside Bar & Grill, 26 Bay Street, Sag Harbor, open Thursdays through Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., (631) 725.7100. 

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Hannah Selinger

Hannah Selinger is a freelance food and wine writer and sommelier living in East Hampton. Her work has appeared in the such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and RawStory.com. She is the wine columnist for the Southampton Press.