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Husband and wife join forces to tell their stories while they review New York City's hottest restaurants.

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Posts for September 7th 2012

September 07, 2012

SheView: Vine Street Cafe

I had never been to Shelter Island before this past August. I have had tons of students that had second homes or "country" homes there, but I never knew it was so close to the Hamptons - a mere 2 minute car ferry to the isolated island… beautiful, artsy, killer cool sunset beach, one cemetery, no hospital and us.

Vine Street Cafe

The Vine Street Cafe, a great indoor/outdoor restaurant with a grossly expensive market attached and submerged below it, was a last minute Labor Day reservation that HeView scored. I don't give props much, but this reservation earns one to the guy! After leaving the trendy, cool and bumping Sunset Beach cafe for outrageous costing cocktails, we drove to "Vines," had trouble parking (the lot is the pits and valet-less) and proceeded to stumble through the rocks into their small waiting vestibule. Our 8:45 reservation was running late (big surprise there), so we hung until being seated. We peered and pried on other patrons’ plates as we got to our sweet nook of a table tucked in a corner (quiet enough for a kvetch called my father).

There was absolutely no question, someone would be getting the house fave - the Pasta Bolognese - and I was itching for some heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella. I'm not a huge tomato fan but out here the farm fresh tomatoes change the rules. In order to all get a spoonful or two or three of their acclaimed Bolognese, we ordered one for the table as a starter. MAGNIFIQUE! OMG! INSANITY, our party of four gasped and raved! Filling, fresh, thick spaghetti and a to-die-for, perfectly made, red, meaty, salted to perfection Bolognese sauce! I will never forget this dish - officially most definitely on my bucket list. Can we import it to Manhattan? The ladies were virtually full after this sick sampling, but ordered Salmon (mom a.k.a lulu) and Roast Chicken (for me, I know-boring). The kvetch father had Moules and Frites as HeView also got the teriyaki tasting salmon. Despite being pretty darn full, I ate many a frite or too many a frite, picked at my flavorful, beautifully presented roast chicken over broccoli rabe, mango chutney and coconut rice - knowing full well I would not get close to finishing this and would bring it home for Lil View a.k.a "the monster." My mom's salmon also took the ride in the car on the ferry back to North Haven, an area of Sag Harbor. Just too much food and drink after a long day of lounging, sunning, complaining, etc. Still, every bite delicious, perfectly polished and prepared and also mouth watering. The Vine Street Cafe might be a schlep for SouthHamptoners (not us) BUT well worth the travels. Side note: the car ferry is super fun, a definite perk! Get the pasta-it’ll warm your heart and belly. 41 South Ferry Road | Shelter Island (631) 749-3210

September 07, 2012

HeView: Vine Street Cafe

Shutter Island: A movie that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and takes place on a remote island that houses the criminal insane.

Shelter Island: A remote island that stars HeView on multiple occasions this summer and consists only of beautiful homes, a gorgeous beach, a few good (and one great) restaurants, a school and a small police station.

Bottom Line:

Shutter Island… mental hospital. Shelter Island… no hospital.

Vine Street Cafe

The Hamptons are a playground for various demographics… foodies, partiers, families, singles, swingers, celebrities, too young to have obligations and too old to forget responsibilities. The next time you are this far east and still in New York, no matter which bill fits you, I suggest getting on the car ferry and taking the 120-second ride from North Haven (Sag Harbor) to Shelter Island. Not only is the ride fun, but you can also people-watch at Sunset Beach and if you were lucky enough to score the reservation, head over to the Vine Street Café on Route 114. The restaurant is located right off that main road and housed on topographically challenged land, so the parking situation is pretty rough to say the least. Once you manage to sandwich your car between a tree and a giant rock, you are ready to roll into the bustling scene. On a strong recommendation, we pre-gamed a strategy of ordering the Perciatelli Bolognese, which is a thick homemade spaghetti in a ragu of specialty meats, tomatoes and cheeses. To start, we decided to share that Spaghetti dish along with a farm fresh Tomato (red and yellow) and Mozzarella appetizer. I cannot say this strenuously enough: the Bolognese was the BEST I’ve ever had. The pasta itself was screaming homemade to my mouth and the sauce had enough meat to make it thick but not too much to make it chunky. The seasoning was perfect – enough flavor so you know the chef cares but not even close to being overseasoned. I would eat this dish every day if it wouldn’t mean I’d gain a couple hundred pounds. For mains, SheView got the Chicken (for reals?) and I ordered the Grilled Miso Glazed Salmon, served with Bok Choy & Mushrooms and Coconut Rice. Our dining companions also (wisely) ordered the Salmon and the Moules Frites. Although I didn’t try SheView’s chicken, it sure looked good, but I’ll save my detail for the Salmon and the Mussels, which I did try. The Miso Glaze on the Salmon was salted perfectly and the Salmon itself was served medium rare. It was a wonderful piece of fish and ranks near the top of my list the next time a craving for salmon hits. The coconut rice was a bit of a throwaway, but everything here is so good I ate that as well. The Mussels were fine – not outrageous, and the French Fries were hand-cut and excellent. Overall, this was simply an excellent meal and worth the trip – get on the ferry and ride over – just don’t choke (no hospital)! 41 South Ferry Road | Shelter Island (631) 749-3210

September 07, 2012
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