While the “Farm-to-Table” restaurant trend has caught fire in recent years, and raised the bar on what constitutes “fresh,” the Ram’s Head Inn on Shelter Island has always operated by this method. It was never a trend to follow for the classic restaurant and inn, just what made the most sense when creating their seasonal menus. Cultivated using the abundance of local seafood, game, produce, and herbs, their menu has always featured what is available and in season on Long Island’s East End. Keeping is as “local” as it comes, the Ram’s Head has maintained their own herbs and vegetable gardens on their waterfront property, giving new meaning to the phrase “locally sourced.”
“Right now the Ram’s Head Inn is offering local fluke, and pairing it with with roasted spaghetti squash, red and yellow beets, and a light curry cream that comes from an old French traditional sauce called a “billi bi,” and of course, herbs from the Ram’s Head’s own garden finish the dish,” explains Executive Chef Matt Murphy. “The Wolffer Estate “Grapes of Roth” Riesling is a great pairing with this light but definitive fish , the citrus and crispness of the wine pair perfectly and gives you a fresh spring taste.”
As spring leaves us and summer moves in, Executive Chef Matt Murphy looks forward to gaining more accessibility to the East End’s produce and aquaculture. Currently, the Inn’s menu features Long Island duck, local herbs, fluke, local oysters, and local eggs.
“I love utilizing the local farm stands, which provides us the opportunity to create healthy options. This summer we plan to offer a daily local garden salad as a special, depending on what is available. The Ram’s Head Inn’s own onsite gardens are in the process of being replanted with cucumbers, hot peppers, sweet peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash to be used in our dishes, salads, and cocktails. It doesn’t get much fresher than that!”
It’s not just the Ram’s Head’s dining menu that features all that is best about the East End. Every Tuesday evening in July and August, the Ram’s Head will host a different local vineyard for a complimentary onsite tasting on their waterfront patio, accompanied by live music from local musicians.
For menus, hours of operation, and event information, visit www.theramsheadinn.com
Photos by Madison Fender Photography