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First bite: 18 Bay on Shelter Island

Co-chef and owner Adam Kopels of 18 Bay

Co-chef and owner Adam Kopels of 18 Bay Restaurant on Shelter Island works in the kitchen putting together an antipasti. The restaurant features local fish and produce from local farm stands and servers one four-course menu Thursday through Sunday, dinner only. (July 9, 2011) Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Get a ferry ticket.

In a new, bucolic, beautiful home, 18 Bay has been reborn. The charming restaurant of Elizabeth Ronzetti and Adam Kopels, formerly a destination in Bayville, is even better on Shelter Island. It's closer to the farms and the fish market that provide the bounty.

Ronzetti and Kopels have taken over and overhauled what used to be Planet Bliss. Now, it's your ideal country eatery.

Every day, there's a $50, four-course, fixed-price menu. It includes a quartered antipasti plate, a pasta, a main course and dessert. You choose the main dish and the sweet. The four antipasti and the pasta are automatic. And the kitchen accommodates vegetarians with flavorful substitutions.

The winners over the weekend included a delicious tomato-and-onion crostada, lustrous fluke crudo with gooseberries and watermelon radish, a nutty-sweet grilled sea scallop with pickled onions and frisee, and tender lamb spareribs paired with cucumber dressed with yogurt and dill.

The subs for vegetarians: watermelon salad, and beet-and-red grapefruit salad. The lush pasta was black-pepper pappardelle with favas, prosciutto and house-made ricotta.

Two excellent main courses: crisp-skinned striped bass with heirloom tomatoes, string beans and corn vinaigrette; and  duck, roasted breast and confit of leg, with Chioggia beets and bourbon cherries. Vegetarian choice: a stir-fry of sweet carrot and cabbage.

And for dessert, either a peach-and-blueberry shortcake or a chocolate cupcake with whipped cream and berries.

The best news, however, is that 18 Bay expects to stay open through December.

18 Bay, 23 North Ferry Rd., Shelter Island; 631-749-0053.

In the kitchen at 18 Bay.


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