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The view from the North Ferry. Awesome. (Credit: Sheri Winter Clarry)

North Forkers, it’s that time of the year to head south.

To the South Fork, that is.

Throughout my childhood, food definitely played a significant role. I was blessed to have a mother that took food and the art of preparing it quite seriously. I grew up on what Anthony Bourdain calls in his best-selling book by the same name, all “the nasty bits.”

Now that said, when Maman, (mommy in French) decided she wanted to go out instead of cook, it had to be good. Thankfully New Jersey’s famous Saddle River Inn, a frequent favorite, was right up the street and Manhattan was only a 30-minute drive.

These are some restaurants on Shelter Island and the South Fork that you have got to try if you haven’t already. And during the off-season, you can’t use the excuse of traffic!

Vine Street Café
41 South Ferry Road, Shelter Island

A consistent favorite! And just a few minutes away from the North Fork, via the heartbreakingly romantic, Shelter Island Ferry. Chef Terry Harwood crushes it consistently. When you want to order nearly everything on the menu, you know you’re in good hands.

Harlow East
Long Wharf, Sag Harbor

So incredibly fresh and hip, Harlow East is located in the same space as the former B. Smith’s restaurant, which is some great real estate and makes this a fun destination during the warmer boating months. Chef Danny Ye has a fresh modern take on Nouvelle Cusine with an Asian flair. That might come from Ye’s time at Nobu. Zagat rates Harlow East as one of the Hamptons Hottest new restaurants in 2014.

Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton
1 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike

Chef Kyle Koenig, who Tom Collichio took under his wing as part of the Craft Family, is a rapid rising star (Colicchio has since announced that he is leaving Topping Rose House). At Topping Rose House, Kyle is on a roll with his earthy, creative and classic fare. Trust me when I tell you, it’s worth the trip! He truly embraces the farm-to-table concept that we North Forker foodies have grown accustomed to. 

Sheri Winter Clarry