Earlier this year, the iconic North Fork Table & Inn officially changed hands. The restaurant, which was long the North Fork’s critical darling, thanks to James Beard Award-winning chef Claudia Fleming and her late husband, the equally celebrated chef Gerry Hayden, is now in the capable hands of Michelin-starred chef John Fraser.
Fraser and his team had planned a prodigious overhaul of the space, but his plans did not account for a pandemic, which has thrown a wrench into the reopening. As restaurants across the country work through this mystifying moment, the North Fork Table & Inn’s adjacent Food Truck has already opened, beginning the season on May 22. The famed truck has a new menu and longer hours now, and is coming of age in a moment when casual cuisine and takeout food is having its time in the sun.
The Food Truck now operates seven days a week, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The kitchen is led by Steven Barrantes, who worked with chef Fraser at Dovetail, Narcissa, and Nix, and who served as sous chef at the Terrace in Times Square. Dishes will change frequently, based on seasonality and availability, though diners can expect some classics to remain on the menu with regularity, like the ever-popular lobster roll (served, in this case, with cucumber, fennel confit, and celery salt).
Other expected dishes include a BLAT, or bacon-lettuce-avocado-tomato sandwich; an all-beef hot dog with pickle relish, sauerkraut, kewpie mayonnaise, chive sour cream, and crispy shallots; tuna tartare, with butter lettuce and pickled cucumber; a classic single or double patty smashburger; fried chicken with pickles and horseradish ranch slaw; and a selection of salads, including a vegan Caesar.
In order to streamline ordering, and to lessen contact, the Food Truck has added an “order ahead” option, encouraging guests to order and pay ahead of time. (And yes: the Food Truck now accepts credit cards.) A selection of beers, wines, and wine spritzes are also available, at a reasonable price point ($6 to $12, on average). Desserts, save for chocolate chip cookies, are summer-specific: ice cream bars, sandwiches, sundaes, and ice pops.
Dedicated NoFoTi lovers will love the fact that there’s even merch. You can indulge in a cap and t-shirt, perfect for whiling the summer days away. If summer feels different this year, you wouldn’t know it from the vantage point of the Food Truck. Here, service has always been casual. Take your food to go, just like you always have. Now that the hours are extended, you can even grab dinner and a sunset.