5 Quintessential East End Winter Dishes

From Wiener Schnitzel to Pork Belly Garlic Noodles, the East End offers an abundance of amazing comfort food.

Your swimsuits are packed away for months. Now is the time to embrace schnitzel.

Sometimes, January feels like the longest month (next to, say, March). Produce is wan. Trees are bare. The East End is empty.

But isn’t this the time of year we’re always talking about, when the tourists are gone and the best spots in town are ours again, even if for only a moment? During this brief window of East End Chill, it’s a good time of year to visit your favorite restaurants. What to eat? Well, we have that problem all but solved. Read on for some of the East End’s best winter dishes.

The Seared Foie Gras and Rare Tuna at the North Fork Table and Inn

It’s not bathing suit weather, so don’t even think twice about indulging in the good stuff. And by good stuff we mean foie gras. The North Fork Table and Inn has served this iconic dish for years, a perfect medallion of seared foie, paired with tuna, daikon, and micro greens. It’s a symphony of textures and flavors and temperatures, all of which complement one another in the richest of ways.

The North Fork Table and Inn, 57225 Main Road, Southold, (631) 765.0177, open Friday and Monday for dinner service, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner service. 

The Wiener Schnitzel at Shippy’s Pumpernickel

Does anything say “winter comfort food” quite like a veal cutlet, pounded thin, breaded, deep fried, and served with German potato salad? I don’t happen to think so. Shippy’s Pumpernickels, the iconic Southampton German spot that has been serving schnitzel and the like for nearly 50 years, offers both lunch and dinner. Snug booths, dark carpeting, and wood paneling all produce a peerlessly old school dining room, and the hearty fare (sausages abound, for instance) is truly best in winter. While I’d eat the crispy, tender wiener schnitzel any time of year, it really is best with a chill in the air.

Shippy’s Pumpernickel, 36 Windmill Lane, Southampton, (631) 283.0007, open Monday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday 4 to 10 p.m. 

The Chicken Liver Pâté at Almond

While we’re on the topic of not-bathing-suit-season, let’s get down to it: This is the best time of year to eat organ meat, and pâté’s king. In Bridgehampton, Almond’s unfussy ethos serves up classics with a twist. In the case of their chicken liver pâté, made with livers from Holly Browder’s North Fork birds, this delicious treat comes with a red onion compote and crusty bread from Blue Duck Bakery. And while you could eat this superlative appetizer in summer, your can eat as much of it as you want right now—without apologies to your summer body.

Almond, 1 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton, (631) 537.5665, open Sunda, 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, 5 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m., Friday, 5 to 11 p.m., and Saturday, 5 to 10:30 p.m. 

The Duroc Pork Chop at The Bell & Anchor

The Bell & Anchor is, truth be told, an incredible restaurant all year long. But in winter, I’m indebted to their Duroc pork chop, which is inches thick and comes with potato gratin and grilled asparagus. It’s a meaty, plentiful affair, and one that lends itself perfectly to a bit of cold weather.

The Bell & Anchor, 3253 Noyac Road, Sag Harbor, (631) 725.3400, open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 10 p.m. 

The Pork Belly Garlic Noodles at Industry Standard

Greenport has its fair share of delicious dining, but Industry Standard—which is essentially a bar with a kitchen—has carved out its own niche. Their menu veers toward the pan-Asian, with great winter options like miso ramen and pork dumplings available. But the best cold weather dish on offer is the pork belly garlic noodle, a tangle of springy noodles served with the fattiest of all pork products, the belly. No one will judge you if you get the pork dumplings, too, by the way. It’s January; treat yourself.

Industry Standard, 45 Front Street, Greenport, (631) 333.2500, open Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m.

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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.