Mon and Thu-Fri, 5pm-8pm; Sat, 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-10pm; Sun, 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-8pm
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A duo of fine-dining veterans, burned out by the city and smitten with Long Island's rich local harvest, have made The North Fork Table & Inn an imperative year-round detour in a neighborhood that claims to be starved for quality. Mid-life crisis brought Manhattan kitchen stars Gerry Hayden (Aureole, Amuse) and Claudia Fleming (Gramercy Tavern) to Southold. "I was tired of chasing a lifestyle I was never going to have," says Fleming. Hayden agrees: "We discovered we both wanted to leave New York." His buyout from Amuse bought a house, and helped finance the purchase, with partners, of the former Coeur des Vignes. There in a simple country setting with lowish ceilings and pale-gray wainscoting, fluke sashimi is dazzlingly fresh and framed with ruby grapefruit, and gulf shrimp float in a gazpacho swamp lush with tomatoes on a menu driven by the market. Tonight orecchiette is tossed with braised lamb, pancetta, sheep's-milk ricotta, and more of that tangy tomato, while Atlantic sea bass sits in a puddle of mustardy broth with couscous. Fleming does apricot-blueberry crumb tart, ricotta cheesecake, and upside down peach-raspberry cobbler, graced with her sensational cream-cheese ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt.Extra
Last seating is at 10 p.m.