Fresh, local, seasonal—all words to describe the menu at the Bayview Inn, and Chef de Cuisine Tom Lopez would have it no other way. Chef Lopez insists upon everything being made fresh, from bread to broths and sauces. Tucked in a beautiful beachy community in South Jamesport, the Bayview Inn is like a little oasis amidst the crazy that comes along with summer time on the East End.
Chef Lopez wanted to take us on a culinary tour of his menu, and so we began with a beautiful Tuna Tartar, served on delightfully crispy wonton chips. The tuna was coated with a spicy herbed mayo, accompanied with crunchy seaweed bits and pickled ginger. Light, fresh, spicy, tart—all in one bite, waking up our taste buds and anticipating the next dish coming our way.
Screamin’ Oysters came out next, and boy did they look screamin’ hot! We could see red pepper flakes floating in the vibrant red broth surrounding each succulent oyster. Popping a whole oyster in my mouth, I first encountered the tender meat, followed by the punch of spice that warmed my entire body. It wasn’t so hot that I couldn’t taste the fresh tomato broth, garlic and fresh herbs. It was perfectly balanced and my taste buds were screamin’ for more!
A real treat for this Italian girl, made-to-order, hand-pulled fresh mozzarella, surrounded with a simple tomato, basil and balsamic salad and house roasted red peppers was next. The dish was a beauty to behold, the colors reminiscent of the Italian flag. The tomatoes were a deep, bold red and tasted like summer. The mozzarella was still warm, and just about melted in my mouth. The simplicity of this dish is what makes it a winner in my book, and one that I will surely be back for.
A house favorite graced our table next: Fettuccine with Lobster and Shrimp in an herb accented seafood broth and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The depth of flavor in the broth was heavenly, and I could taste the briny-ness of the sea, mixed with the fresh flavors of herbs and vegetables. It’s clear that Chef Lopez makes his own broth; the flavors he coaxes out of the fresh food is superb. The shrimp and lobster was cook perfectly, the cherry tomatoes were just lightly warmed through so that they retained some of their fresh crunch and bright flavors. It all worked together so well, I couldn’t get enough.
Our final entrée was the marinated hangar steak, grilled medium-rare, served with an irresistibly fresh salad of arugula, roasted corn and blue cheese in a basil infused vinaigrette. A bite of the steak with the salad was an explosion of fresh flavors in my mouth, the tender beef pairing well with the spicy arugula and tender surprises of roasted corn and blue cheese. The basil vinaigrette is another fresh element that elevates the dish and keeps it light and feeling like a perfect summer entrée. Chef Lopez adds a little whimsy to the dish with a potato creation made to look like a mushroom—it was not only adorable, it was roasted and seasoned perfectly.
Chef couldn’t resist giving us a sampling of his homemade desserts, and we didn’t protest! We were treated to the dessert of the day, a magnificent blueberry crepe filled with ice cream and blueberries, topped with a blueberry sauce, dotted with whole fresh blueberries. The crepe was delicious, and the sauce was like a blueberry explosion. There was also a tiramisu to die for—the sweetened mascarpone cream had this foodie closing her eyes in bliss. Chef Lopez’s New York style cheesecake was everything you want in a cheesecake—creamy, tangy, smooth filling with a delectable crumb crust.
The Bayview Inn Restaurant offers a great prix-fixe meal that will keep you coming back, and we made some friends at the table next to us who were regulars of the restaurant and couldn’t say enough about the delicious food they’ve eaten from Chef Lopez’s kitchen.
For more information, you can visit them on the web at northforkmotels.com.