Hidden Gems on the East End: North Fork Dining

This Article Was Updated On July 21st, 2021

The North Fork of Long Island has become a popular touring destination for its wine country tasting rooms, farm stands and restaurants that have become inclusive of the aforementioned, offering local wine and seasonal farm-to-table dishes on their menus. Many of these dining locations have become hot spots in the hamlet hubs and villages, making them very well-known among visitors. This blog is all about those restaurants that are somewhat hidden or at least considered best kept secrets in this region. We hope you find these helpful in your food adventures on the East End.

  1. Ram’s Head Inn, Shelter Island

The Ram’s Head is located on the quiet and scenic Shelter Island, with a beautiful view of the water just beyond their sprawling property that sits atop a gradual-sloping hillside. We think their restaurant and bar, with a warm wooden glow, is a hidden gem simply for its island location amidst the trees, off of the winding road of Ram Island Drive.

Their restaurant’s menu highlights the current season and includes items such as: free range chicken breast, filet mignon, local duck Cassoulet, Littleneck clams, and pumpkin seed crusted salmon. They host a Sunday brunch and even have a special bar menu, which includes truffle mac and cheese, mushroom flatbread, tuna tartare and even a signature burger. Additionally, you’ll find an extensive wine list with inclusions from Long Island as well. For more about Ram’s Head Inn, visit theramsheadinn.com.


  1. Touch of Venice, Cutchogue

This gourmet Italian restaurant doesn’t have a hidden location by any means, as you’ll find it on Main Road/Route 25 in Cutchogue, but we consider it a hidden gem because it will surprise you. Their sophisticated authentic dishes from Italy with a flair will impress you, along with their beautiful, cozy dining room and first-class service. They offer seasonal specials as well as repeated favorites that guests find they go back for again and again.

Touch of Venice supports local wines and you’ll find an extensive Long Island wine list among other favorite brands. You will even enjoy local craft beer on tap. Their menu includes: veal ricotta meatballs (famous dish!), stuffed artichokes (continued favorite), Peconic escargot, pasta favorites, Red Snapper, grilled rib eye, veal dishes and more. They even offer platters for sharing. Find out more at touchofvenice.com.


  1. The Jamesport Manor Inn, Jamesport

Inside this grand, traditional manor house lives an extraordinary restaurant that incorporates local ingredients and a welcoming atmosphere. It is a well-kept secret, located on Manor Lane in Jamesport, on the less traveled path. You’ll find on their dinner menu items such as: roasted beet salad, local oysters, almond crusted fried brie with truffle honey, basil pine nut crusted Berkshire Pork Milanese, local striped bass, lobster pappardelle, truffle mushroom ravioli and more. They offer a separate lunch menu, and host weddings as well as private events and celebrations.

This memorable and romantic location delivers in atmosphere, service and perfectly prepared dishes. Upon visiting their website, you are able to view a menu gallery as well as get a peek into their dining room gallery, the Rosalie Dimon Gallery, decorated with a variety of mediums of colorful landscape artwork. You’ll find their details at jamesportmanor.com.

These three restaurant selections are just a taste of the many hidden gems that you will discover on the North Fork to suit your food cravings. This article is the first in a series. Look for our next one that will highlight Hidden Gems in Montauk Dining. We will be featuring a variety of these best kept secrets or hard to find places in lodging and touring. Stay tuned!

There are many dining options all season long on the East End of Long Island. Plan your getaway for the day, the weekend or longer. Be sure to visit our Events page and explore attractions, more dining, wineries, shopping, lodging and more.