Attracted to the charm and history of the restored Shelter Island House, the owners of Caci in Southold were bitten by the travel bug. They jumped on a ferry for the chance to expand when the restaurant operations at the hotel became available.
“We all agreed that pairing the inn’s chic and modern accommodations with our simple, authentic and seasonally inspired [Italian] cuisine was a winning combination,” said co-owner Daniele Cacioppo who plans to open the new eatery with partners Anthony, Joseph and Kelly Cacioppo on May 25. “The Cacioppo family and the Walsh family (owners of Shelter Island House) have all been close friends for years, so it could not be a better fit.”
The new island location also couldn’t get any more perfect. The new venture is set just up the hill from the beach and with a private garden meaning relaxation will come with the territory. Inside the 68-seat restaurant the vibe will be simple and welcoming. There will be three dining rooms, a comfortable bar area, spacious covered patio, an outdoor lounge and front porch seating.
Umbrian-born chef Marco Pellegrini will be the executive chef for both locations overseeing food preparation and quality. Like the Southold location, the new restaurant will offer a seasonally inspired menu featuring authentic northern and central Italian cuisine that is “simplistic, inventive and dedicated to all things fresh and house-made.” Think locally sourced meat, fish and vegetables, house-made gelato and pasta and bread that are crafted in the pasta kitchen at Caci North Fork. Cacioppo is especially excited about the taglierini and little neck clams and grilled lamb chops on the summer menu.
New to Caci, the Shelter Island spot will offer breakfast. Diners can expect classic frittatas and omelettes, fresh fruits, sweets with an Italian accent like pan brioche French toast and vanilla infused buffalo ricotta pancakes.
“We wanted to offer a full breakfast menu to the Shelter Island House hotel guest as well as the public as another way to enjoy the beautiful setting here along with chef Marco’s incredible cooking.”
And what better way to take it all in than with a refreshing drink? Two new bourbon cocktails will make their way to Caci Shelter Island. (They will also debut at Caci North Fork May 4.) The North Fork Cooler will be a mix of bourbon, lemongrass simple syrup, cucumber juice and mint while the La Strada will be comprised of bourbon, campari, carpano antica and blood orange twist. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The classic Blueberry Smash, that used to be made with bourbon, will now be twisted with gin, amaro, muddled blueberry and citrus.
“The restaurant scene on the island is so unique, and we are thrilled to become a part of it. We hope to offer an experience to islanders and visitors that reflects what a special place this is.”