Jamesport Country Kitchen exemplifies what's best about the North Fork. In a setting defined by flowered wallpaper and lace curtains, chef-owner Matthew Kar draws on the bounty of local fishermen and farmers. His preparations are simple and skillful, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves.

Start with his signature salmon cakes, a loose amalgam of fresh fish, herbs and little else. Jalapeno tartar sauce, served on the side, is a good complement. A seasonal offering of shrimp and roasted corn fritters is yet another example of Kar's adroit use of the deep fryer.

In the warmer months, hope that the summery lobster and shrimp stew is on the menu, the pieces of seafood in a light tomato-cream broth punctuated by the sweet crunch of sugar snap peas and the mellow softness of Yukon gold potatoes. Year-round, the boneless Long Island duck with cranberry pear relish, is a local treat. Even a dish that seems humdrum in description - a stir fry of julienne vegetables and chicken with sesame sauce over wild rice - amazes, thanks to optimal produce, juicy poultry and the judicious use of fresh ginger.

For dessert, there's always a fresh fruit crisp, as well as the restaurant's signature white chocolate cheesecake, which, unlike many, is not too too sweet. An apple peach crisp, enjoyed one August evening, topped with vanilla ice cream is the kind of old fashioned all-American dessert that exemplifies what's best about a restaurant such as this.

If you're planning on touring the surrounding vineyards for an afternoon, Jamesport Country Kitchen is an ideal end to the day. Order a bottle (or glass) of local wine from the reasonably priced list. An evening or afternoon meal at this pleasant rural oasis yields lots of satisfaction and a surprisingly small tab.

Joan Reminick

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