Get Comfortable

The South Fork’s best comfort dishes will help usher in autumn.

Is that a chill in the air we detect? The looming autumn weather can only mean one thing: it’s time for rib-sticking, cozy comfort food. Nothing makes the days go by faster than the coziest, most delicious foods in the restaurants we love most. And while the South Fork may be populated by picture-perfect farm stands, don’t sleep on the off-season dining. When the cooler temperatures arrive, there are dishes that will keep you warm on the inside. Here are the best comfort dishes on the South Fork. 

Rowdy Hall’s French Onion Soup

Perhaps the East End’s most craveable bowl of soup, Rowdy Hall’s French Onion is an iconic dish that will likely never leave the East Hampton stalwart’s menu. This soup is an entire meal at once: chewy, brothy bread; caramelized onions; beef stock; and, of course, a hearty helping of cheese in a layer at least an inch thick. It’s impossible not to fall madly in love with the soup, but you can give it your best shot. 

TBar Steak & Lounge’s Yellowfin Tuna Tartare 

If you don’t automatically think “comfort food” when you think of tuna tartare, well, you haven’t experienced TBar’s legendary puck of chopped yellowfin, which sparkles with the addition of soy sauce and sesame seeds. An umami-rich dish that hits all the right notes, this dish is simply unforgettable — and perfect for that day when you just want something to put you in the right mood. 

Nick & Toni’s Penne alla Vecchia Bettola 

For pretty much its entire existence — over 30 years now — East Hampton’s go-to dining destination has served this king of the comfort foods. The Penne alla Vecchia Bettola, a cheesy, spicy pasta dish made complete with spicy oven-roasted tomatoes and Grana Padano, has stayed on the menu for all these years for a reason: it’s delicious, and on a cool fall night, you’d be hard-pressed to find something better. Luckily, you don’t have to. 

Penne alla Vecchia Bettola at Nick & Toni’s

Almond Bridgehampton’s Cheese Fries

Chef-owner Jason Weiner won’t steer you wrong anywhere on his smart, curated menu that follows the seasons. But one anytime dish that Almond — now celebrating two decades of service to Bridgehampton — always keeps around is their spectacular cheese fries. Get them with smoked cheddar and hot chilies (Cheese Fries Maracz), au poivre sauce and Gruyere (Cheese Fries Mansour), or just smoked cheddar (Cheese Fries Américaine). No matter which cheese fries you opt for, the proof is in the potatoes: they’re perfect. 

Cheese Fries at Almond

Shippy’s Pumpernickel’s Sausage Platter

This dark and cozy Southampton haunt has held court on Windmill Lane for the better part of a century. The menu has evolved over the course of time, but the mood has remained constant. Wood accents and a commiserative atmosphere make Shippy’s a local favorite among German food fans. The sausage platter — bratwurst, knockwurst and weisswurst served with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut — is a house specialty, and, once you dig in, you’ll know why. The restaurant’s sausages are first-rate, but if that’s not enough, there’s always homemade dessert (including Black Forest cake) for the comfort food finale.