Island swings into summer: Where to eat, where to shop, what to do for the season

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Shelter Island style on display at The Stand Mercantile, a new boutique at the Island Boatyard.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Shelter Island style on display at The Stand Mercantile, a new boutique at the Island Boatyard.

It will be a summer of discovery for locals and visitors to Shelter Island with new restaurants opening and old favorites sporting fresh menus, plus new businesses alongside tried and true destinations with innovative takes on merchandise and presentation.

The Flying Goat — (631) 749-5404 — takes over the restaurant and bar at the Shelter Island Country Club (SICC) and is operating Mondays through Wednesdays from 3 to 7:30 p.m. and Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 9 p.m. John DeLeo has signed a three-year contract and in season will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The aim is to make it a casual family friendly restaurant, according to SICC Board President Ron Lucas.

The Ram’s Head Inn — (631) 749-0811 — may be for sale, but as owners Linda and James Eklund promised, they’re back and operating it while they continue the hunt for the right buyer. As the inn opens its 38th season, Chef Matt Murphy has been busy planting the inn’s garden to add homegrown items to his menus. Look for the charcuterie platter, Crescent Farms duck confit and assorted homemade chutneys and dark chocolate mousse a l’orange, Ms. Eklund said. Bar manager Harry Brigham, will be offering new, hand-crafted cocktails for the summer. On Memorial Day weekend, the inn will be serving dinner Thursday through Monday, and brunch/lunch on Saturday. Jon Divello and Chris Tedesco will be performing on Friday night and Jane Hastay & Peter Martin Weiss will kick off the Sunday night jazz series, joined by guest vocalists throughout the summer. Beginning July 4, the Ram’s Head will feature “Tuesday Tunes and Tastings” with local wines from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and live music.

Marie Eiffel Market — (631) 749-0003 — on Bridge Street has an expanded line of pastries, thanks to Ms. Eiffel’s recent week of intensive training in Paris and two new pastry chefs she’s brought on board. New pastry recipes call for baking with organic fruits and flour. But that’s not all that’s new. Offerings include grass-fed rib- eye steak and other meats for grilling, organic yogurt and milk, homemade gluten-free bread and soups that, except for the chicken soup, are vegan. Ms. Eiffel is also offering cold brew and cold pressed coffee and an expanded line of cheeses.
Just up the hill is her store that has unique lines of clothing and jewelry.

STARs Café — (631) 749-5345 — on Grand Avenue is renovating downstairs to create space for a market and bakery. Everything is fresh, including sandwiches made with Pepe Martinez’s own freshly baked bread. Look for a juice bar and, for those too busy to cook or just enamored with STARs food, Lydia Martinez Majdišová promises homemade food to take home and reheat. STARS is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with hours extended Monday to Saturday until 6 p.m. in June.

Red Maple at the Chequit — (631) 749-0183 — on Grand Avenue has a new menu for the summer and is open Thursdays through Saturdays, 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner, and Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for brunch.

White Hill Café at the Chequit will be ramping up its selection of freshly baked goods, including breads, cookies and cakes. “We found that both visitors and locals were looking for fresh baked goods, particularly bread and breakfast treats,” said General Manager Jason Mancuso.

Salt Supply, the Chequit’s retail shop, has a new selection of merchandise from beach towels and picnic supplies to clothing, jewelry and home décor. And, of course, there’s the Chequit Inn’s modern rooms for visitors.

18 Bay — (631) 749-0053 — on North Ferry Road specializes in menus made from local seasonal foods and offers a four-course dinner menu. Adam Kopels and Elizabeth Ronzetti plan to serve Wednesdays through Mondays 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

New mother Ashley Knight is gearing up for a busy season at The Islander — (631) 749-1998. Located on North Ferry Road, it opens for breakfast and lunch 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, with hours extended for dinner until 9 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays serving  the basic, satisfying fare that has long served its customers.

Vine Street Café — (631) 749-3210 — on South Ferry Road garners reviews as one of the finest restaurants on the East End. Open Thursdays through Mondays at 5 p.m. for dinner with daily specials.

SALT — (631) 749 5535 — at the Island Boatyard is back again this summer along with the Shipwreck Bar. Expect live music on weekends. Adding to Keith and Ali Bavaro’s plans is the new PORT restaurant (formerly Blue Canoe) in Greenport. Both restaurants open for lunch at noon Saturday, and Sunday and dinner at 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

New at the Island Boatyard is the The Stand Mercantile — (917) 971-1119 — that will feature SALT paraphernalia, including shirts, hoodies and beach wear from global designers. Betsie Carroll, a Manhattan buyer for 20 years, brings her expertise to the new store open Fridays through Monday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the old tasting room at the boatyard.

Kyle’s — (631) 749 0579 — on North Ferry Road is open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the Memorial Day weekend. Kyle promises “a whole new menu.” In addition to cookies and pastries, this year she’s offering a pizza cone. That’s a pizza slice rolled into a cone with toppings tucked inside. Kyle will be serving “Dr. Smoothie” products and a line of vegetable and fruit mixes (her favorite, “tropical sunshine.”) She’ll also have her scrumptious jelly doughnuts and freshly baked biscuits and breads.

Amanda Hayward at Commander Cody’s — (631) 749-1851 — on Smith Street will nourish your appetite whether it’s to eat in or take out. The Commander is open for lunch noon to 2:30 p.m. and dinner 4:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Besides the fried flounder and chicken, there are lobster rolls and other delicious fish dishes. Wild salmon, halibut and sea bass are also available.

At The Tavern at Shelter Island House — (631) 749 5659 — on Stearns Point Road, it’s as much about atmosphere as food and drink, says spokeswoman Julie O’Neill-Bliss. She wants visitors to know that even if they’re not staying at Shelter Island House, they are welcome to enjoy the outside rear lounge area. Live music with ScottE. Hopson is on tap every Saturday night and a prix fixe menu for $25 is available Sunday nights. Thursday is prime rib night. The bar opens at 3 p.m. with happy hour to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Dinner starts at 5 p.m.

The Pridwin Hotel — (631) 749-0476 — overlooking Crescent Beach is known for its Wednesday night summer barbecues. The restaurant opens for breakfast 8 to 10:30 a.m. through the Memorial Day weekend. Lunch is served 12:30 to 3 p.m. and dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. On Memorial Day, it will be breakfast only.Wednesday barbecues begin July 5.
Sunset Beach Hotel — (631) 749-2001 — overlooking Crescent Beach is open Friday through Monday beginning this weekend from noon to 3 p.m. for lunch and 6 to 10 p.m. for dinner, then Fridays through Sundays until the restaurant opens daily (except Tuesdays) the second week of June.

Jack Kiffer is gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend at The Dory on Bridge Street — (631) 749-4300 — serving dinner this Friday night starting at 5 p.m. On Saturday, lunch service starts at 11:30 a.m. with the kitchen open through 10 p.m. When  the weather warms up, he’ll be operating his Tiki Bar outside with drinks and a late night menu of simple fare.

Bella Vita — (631) 749 5462 — found a new home on South Ferry Road with an expanded dining area along with its regular takeout space, offering what John Riccobono calls “every day blue-collar food.” If you missed the expanded menu last summer, you’ll find such entrees as spaghetti and meatballs and chicken parmigiana and, of course, pizza.

Bob’s Fish Market and Restaurant — (631) 749 0830) — on North Ferry Road is back for another season. Kolina Reiter will be in the kitchen and at the counter while Bob is fishing. The market operates Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the restaurant serves dinner Friday through Sunday from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Eagle Deli — (631) 749 5363 — on West Neck Road is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day through the end of September. Owner Orlando Salizar says besides coffee, tea and juice, he offers sandwiches and a menu of hot food that changes from day to day.

Brad Kitkowski, who splits his time between the Island and Manhattan, hopes to open Isola (formerly Sweet Tomato’s) soon on Grand Avenue. It’s currently being renovated. He says Isola will stay with the Italian theme and offer breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a specialty cocktail menu. Chef Seth Nathan has headed kitchens in restaurants in California wine country promises. Mr. Kitkowski promises Isola will “honor the history of the lively building as well as celebrate its past in the historic Heights district.”

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Calling all Island kids — Whale’s Tale is open.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Calling all Island kids — Whale’s Tale is open.

Ice cream is everybody’s treat in hot weather and the Island has two shops — The Tuck Shop — (631) 749-1548 — on North Menantic Road and Whale’s Tale — (631) 749-1839 — on Ram Island Drive. The Tuck Shop, operated by the Sulahian family for 40 years, is for sale. But until a deal is completed, Pat Sulahian said she will continue to oversee the operation. At Whale’s Tale, there are  also coffee drinks, pastries, a vintage miniature golf course and tennis courts.

Towney Montant holds sway at Shelter Island Wines and Spirits — (631) 749-0305 — on Bridge Street. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. except Sundays when it opens at noon and closes at 5 p.m. “There’s something for everybody,” Towney said.

Looking for some warm weather outdoor activity? Sign up for rentals or tours at Shelter Island Kayak Tours — (631) 749-1990 or at Venture Out Paddle Boat Rentals — (631) 317-7466.

For the younger set, Rob Strauss has a new Science Camp — (631) 749-5110 — that he’s running at his home in the Center.  Weekly programs for kids ages 8 to 11 start July 17. Mr. Strauss will involve campers in hands-on learning in biology, chemistry, physics and marine biology to enrich the lessons they get in school. But they won’t be doing homework. A science teacher for 30 years, he is enthusiastic about passing on his knowledge. Campers will also get to create crafts they will bring home. The cost is $400 per week and sessions are scheduled for the afternoons. Mr. Strauss also operates a Photo Booth — (516) 659-7509 —  bringing the booth anywhere on the East End to liven up your party.

Jack’s Marine — (631) 749-0114 — on Bridge Street may be a place many turn for hardware and boating items, but for co-owner Camille Anglin, it’s the focus on toys and beach items that gives her the greatest reward. This year, she has a line of floats in bright designs; a “Tiki Toss” patio game; “Ogle Disc H2O” paddle game with water balloons; and a new clay called “Morph” that allows users to separate colors and use them again. Starting this weekend, Jack’s Marine is open daily through Thanksgiving.

Shelter Island Ace Hardware — (631) 749-0097 — is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but co-owner Meredith Page says Memorial Day for her isn’t for holiday specials or sales. “It’s a time to remember our fallen,” she said.

A new business on the Island this summer is Lisa Shannon’s Feed Your Skin Skincare Studio —(631) 749- 5727. Operating out of her Silver Beach house by appointment only Wednesdays through Sundays, Ms. Shannon offers clinical and results-oriented skin care, she said, but not waxing or hair services.

Peggy Johnson at Bliss’ Department Store — (631) 749-0041 — on Bridge Street has everything from clothing and jewelry to toys, a wide array of solar-wear, bathing suits, sunglasses and various accessories. Ms. Johnson is carrying a new line of Shelter Island jewelry and other Island-themed gift items.

Cornucopia — (631) 749-0171 — on West Neck Road is where you’ll find Mary Lou Eichhorn ready to provide everything from jewelry to homemade chocolates. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closing at 3 on Sundays), she carries clothing, cards, candles and clothing. This Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. she’s hosting a summer kickoff with animal balloons and face painting. She’ll have discount coupons for whatever you might purchase from the store.

Dabney Lee — (917) 365 9878 — is back on Bridge Street for the summer season with new merchandise —candles, hostess gifts, pool floats and all kinds of beach-oriented items. The store is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through June and then every day from July 1 through Labor Day.

Black Cat Books — (631) 725- 8654 — on North Ferry Road is where Michael Kinsey and Dawn Hedberg can provide not just light summer reading, but books of all vintages. If they haven’t got what you want, they can order it. There are new art and photography books along with vintage record albums and Mr. Kinsey advises people to take time scanning the sale rack outside the store, which is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Geo Jo’s — (631) 749-2324 — on North Ferry Road in the Center opens at 4:30 p.m. until about “9-ish,” according to owner Joanne Kresak, offering videos of all genres. But Ms. Kresak also has unique items including jewelry from Indonesia — not expensive, she said.

Marika’s Eclectic Boutique — (631) 749-1168 — on South Ferry Road is just that with many decorative pieces and new merchandise arriving daily. Open daily starting around 9 a.m. Marika says the finds “just get better and better all the time.”

Coastal Cottage — (631) 537-2822 — in the Heights is the place to turn for interior decorating, but Tricia McGrath also has a clothing line this summer. She’ll be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Wish Rock Studio Custom Framing, long run by Sandra Waldner, has been passed on to George Rowland, who will soon open South Side Studio — (631) 599-1611 — on North Ferry Road.

Another place for art and framing is Studio Frameworks — (646) 621-5083 — run by artist Jackie Black. Her focus is on sustainable frames from hardwood found on the Island and from Vermont. She works by appointment only.

The Island’s farm stands and farmer market will be opening this weekend. The farm stand at  Sylvester Manor Educational Farm — (631) 749-0626  — on Manwaring Road is open Fridays from noon to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through July 2, with extended hours later in the season.

The Shelter Island Historical Society’s Havens Farmers Market — (631) 749-0025 — is open Saturdays through September 2 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Havens House Museum on South Ferry Road.