Shelter Island welcomes a new culinary neighbor, serving Northern Italian and seasonal cuisine. Caci Restaurant, known for its main location in Southold, opened a second location Caci Shelter Island in the historic hotel, The Shelter Island House, in Shelter Island Heights in May.
The new restaurant offers a menu highlighting seasonal inspirations from Umbrian executive chef Marco Pellegrini. Pellegrini grew up in the center of the Italian peninsula, in the town of Foligno, before moving his family to Long Island. He opened Caci North Fork in 2014.
“I am inspired by the agriculture and aquaculture the North Fork offers and believe that the access to these fresh ingredients provides me the opportunities to create an unforgettable dining experience,” said Pellegrini. “I am really looking forward to bringing this unique menu, as well as tastes of Central and Northern Italy, to Shelter Island.”
Short for Cacioppo, the restaurant is named after husband and wife team, Anthony and Daniele Cacioppo, who moved to Southold in 1995. In a serendipitous change of events, the two discovered Chef Pelligrini while vacationing in Italy. “It was a magical connection. Marco’s authentic and simple style was exactly what we were in search of. We asked Marco to take a look at the North Fork and the wheels started turning,” said Daniele Cacioppo.
Additional owners are Anthony’s brother Joseph and his wife, Kelly Cacioppo. Caci Shelter Island came to fruition through childhood friends of the Cacioppo brothers, owners of The Shelter Island House, Suzanne and Janet Walsh.
“After several discussions regarding both businesses, it became apparent that Caci taking over restaurant operations at Shelter Island House would be a winning collaboration and a complement for both Caci and The Shelter Island House brands. [It] happened at just the right time for us to expand,” noted Anthony Cacioppo. “We have always loved visiting Shelter Island, and the historic charm of this graciously restored inn attracted us to the opportunity to have our second location here.”
Caci Shelter Island has a simple, yet inventive menu with house made pasta, gnocchi, bread, and gelato, with locally sourced ingredients as well as imported Italian elements. Starters include imported buffalo mozzarella with roasted red peppers, seared sea scallops with blueberry chutney and crispy pancetta, and half dozen raw local oysters.
Pasta dishes include house made buffalo ricotta ravioli with Umbrian black truffle and taglierini with little neck clams and grape tomato confit. Main dishes comprise veal ossobuco Milanese with risotto, or grilled lamb chop with apple chutney. Desserts include tiramisu with hazelnut pralines or for di latte gelato with amarena cherry.
Caci Shelter Island is located at 11 Stearns Point Road in Shelter Island Heights. For more information and to reserve a table, visit www.cacirestaurants.com or call 631-749-5659.