Rounding up holiday eating and shopping on the Island

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | At Shelter Island Florist, owner Becky Smith has created a living vision of beauty ushering in the holiday season.

If you’re planning Christmas Eve’s or Christmas Day’s dinner on Shelter Island it will have to be at your or a friend’s house, unless you can get a reservation at Vine Street Café. Other restaurants will be closed. But on New Year’s Eve, Sweet Tomato’s and 18 Bay will join Vine Street as open and ready to party.

Jimi Rando at Sweet Tomato’s will be ringing out the old year at 5 p.m. December 31 with the last seating at 10 p.m. The bar will continue pouring until “whatever” with music, dancing and partying. And Mr. Rando will reopen at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Day, operating until 10 p.m.

At 18 Bay, there will be the usual four-course chef’s menu on New Year’s Eve that will be based on market availability of fresh foods.
Vine Street advises that in addition to its service on the Island, its sister restaurant, Blue Canoe in Greenport, will also be open and is easily accessed by Islanders who can leave their vehicles here and walk from the North Ferry terminal to the restaurant, a short block away on Third Street.

NO COOKING? NO PROBLEM
A number of places on the Island stand ready to cater your party or dinner.

Both Reddings and Schmidt’s will take special orders and Amanda Hayward at Commander Cody’s said if you have an appetite for fresh bay scallops, she expects to have a supply, along with her usual array of pies and cakes. She’ll also have smoked salmon and shrimp cocktail platters. Eagle Deli will also provide food platters.

Schmidt’s will offer meats and fish as well as side dishes and features gift baskets and gift cards. At Reddings, you can order prime rib, stuffed quail, roasted duck, fish, side dishes and sweets, according to owner Marie Eiffel.

All these owners ask that you place your holiday orders as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Eagle Deli is open between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Reddings is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. except for Christmas Day. Schmidt’s will be open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and until 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Commander Cody will keep its regular hours, Monday through Thursday from 2:30 to 9 p.m. and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Commander will be open Christmas morning from 9 a.m. until noon for the fish market and pickup only.

IGA will prepare everything from 3- to 6-foot heros to platters of cold cuts and cheeses, vegetable platters, or baked ziti, eggplant, chicken parmigiana or chicken marsala or Italian or Swedish meatballs. Want something not on the list? Call and they’ll do their best to meet your request.

While some Island eateries won’t be operating on Christmas or New Year’s days, their proprietors hope shoppers will stop in during the days leading up to the holidays.

Clark’s Fish House will be open Thursdays through Sundays from 5 to 9 p.m.

SMALL BITES AND SIPS
Jack Kiffer’s Dory won’t be open for the holidays, but will be operating as usual up until Christmas. On December 29, he plans to take a break and close until January 9. Then he’ll return and see whether winter business is light enough for him to consider another two-week hiatus.

Lydia and Pepé Martinez at Stars Café will take their one day off a year — Christmas Day — but will otherwise be open to serve you between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day.

And Bella Vita will be open Christmas Eve until 5 p.m., earlier than its usual 9 p.m. closing on weeknights and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Maria’s Kitchen will be open until 7 p.m. Christmas Eve, but closed Christmas Day and New Year’s. Her usual hours prevail during the holiday period: Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays until 7 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays until 6 p.m. She’ll be offering hot soups every day through the winter months.

SHOP WITH FRIENDS
Now about that shopping — you know what they say — if you can’t find it on Shelter Island, you don’t need it.

Camille Anglin at Jack’s Marine subscribes to that mantra and wants you to know that the toys that are sold out at box stores might well be found on her shelves. And Jack’s, of course, offers a wide array of hardware and marine items. This Saturday, December 21 marks the store’s “Scratch-Off Mania” celebration going on all day. Ms. Anglin invites you to come in and try your luck because everyone will be a winner. Prizes vary, but the top prize is a $200 gift certificate.

Bliss’ Department Store will be open for Christmas shopping, selling jewelry, clothes, shoes and a new collection of Christmas ornaments. Bliss’ and Mary Lou Eichhorn’s Cornucopia, both carry specially made charms displaying the Shelter Island map.

Bliss’ will be open until 4 p.m. Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  on Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

At Cornucopia you’ll also find homemade chocolates, Shelter Island bar ware and a wide assortment of gifts for all ages, Ms. Eichhorn will be available to help you with your selections from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reddings’ owner Marie Eiffel also has two shops in the Heights where you might find the perfect upscale gift item.

JO ANN KIRKLAND PHOTO | Local author Kevin Fitzpatrick shook up a lethal cocktail — a ‘Monkey Gland,’ a 1920′s version of Red Bull — to promote his newest book ‘Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide’ at Table of Content General Store at the beginning of December.

Table of Content General Store, located at 59 North Ferry Road, is open Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Featuring flavored vinegars and oils, teas, speciality food items, gifts and gift baskets, including a basket for animals with partial proceeds benefiting the Yaqui Animal Rescue.  They can be reached at 749-5862.

At Shelter Island Ace Hardware, you can shop for decorations and lights. The store will be open its regular hours from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. But co-owner David Gurney said he expects to operate only half a day on Christmas Eve.

Ah, and where to put those tree lights — Gerry Siller has the answer. He invites you to check out Grady Riley Gardens’ assortment of Fraser firs ranging in size from table-toppers to 12 footers. He also has wreaths, poinsettias, gift items and gift certificates.

Becky Smith at Shelter Island Florist awaits your order on flowers and plants to give your home that warm holiday feel. She’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Sundays when the shop closes at noon. And plan ahead to meet your floral needs so she can ensure you will have the flowers you want. The Island Florist won’t be open Christmas Eve.

Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy has candy, Yankee candles, a wide assortment of Timex watches and paperback books that make ideal stocking stuffers, according to owner Greg Ofrias. Another stocking stuffer, he suggested, is a New York State Lottery scratch-off ticket.

For that special person who has it all, Michael Kinsey at Black Cat Books offers the unusual gift you can’t find elsewhere. It may be a first edition or an out-of-print art book or something that is particularly nostalgic for your recipient. Black Cat Books is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and besides the unusual, he has plenty of other books you would have to go off-Island to find.

Marika’s Eclectic Boutique offers fine antiques and modern furniture and accessories. She’s open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but lives next to her shop and will open her doors by appointment if you call the store at 749-1168. “Plenty of cool stuff here,” she said.
Bridge Street Gifts will be open this weekend, then closing for January, February and March, except by appointment.

If your gift-giving and partying are a little more spirited, you might want to visit Dandy Liquors in the Center or Shelter Island Wines and Spirits on Bridge Street. Both will be open until 7 p.m. Christmas Eve for those last minute purchases.

The Wharf Shop is off-Island, but Shelter Island resident Gwen Waddington runs the eclectic store in Sag Harbor with her mother, Nada Barry, and Ms. Waddington will deliver items here to save you time. The Wharf Shop carries toys, children’s books, adult puzzles, doll houses and doll house furniture and a wide selection of scrimshaw items, Ms. Barry said.

Geo-Jo will feature Ten Thousand Villages Cooperative merchandise, and Fallen Angel Antiques will be open this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with holiday refreshments and new discoveries.

A word of warning to those who plan to use ferries on New Year’s Eve: North Ferry’s last boat from Shelter Island will be at 12:45 a.m. while the last boat out of Greenport will leave at 1 a.m. South Ferry will run its last boat from Shelter Island at 1:45 a.m. and its last boat from North Haven at 1:50 a.m.

The Reporter reached out to virtually every business on Shelter Island and a few didn’t respond, but if your favorite isn’t listed, check it out. It just might be open and worth a visit.