Food & Drink

A tiny island you'll never want to leave

You ever hear that global history was largely shaped by the desire for, and availability of, salt? Well, that theory was actually pretty baseless until now, with the opening of SALT Waterfront Bar & Grill, an eminently trip-worthy gastronomical compound about to cause a massive human migration out to Shelter Island. Tie up at the private dock (don't bother with reservations, or shoes) of this former boatyard, and you'll see three distinct structures

The Shipwreck Bar: Get Titanically toasted beside this 35ft schooner, born in 1929 and now completely gutted & outfitted with three taps and a full bar serving outdoor-appropriate sipples from bottles of Narragansett, to rosé & chilled white, to Dark & Stormys, Cuba Libres, and mojitos

The Wine Dock Tasting Room: Anchored by a bar of interwoven wine barrels, it'll eventually host food-paired tastings. For now, it's got the full complement of vinos from Jamesport Vineyards, all of which you can take home by the bottle or case thanks to the island's first "satellite tasting license", which is also how our giant alien overlords will regulate who gets to eat which satellites

The Grill Itself: With outdoor seating aplenty underneath a giant blue awning, it provides beautiful views of the pristine waters you're about to deplete by downing seafood (from a Le Cordon Bleu grad) like tequila lime shrimp, PEI mussels, and lobster rolls on toasted brioche. There's also ample land food (eg, pulled Caribbean chicken sliders), and the interior's decked with photos of locals (shucking, clamming, etc.) from the Shelter Island Historical Society, as well as a plaque for Billy Joel's River of Dreams, which he recorded at this very marina 20yrs ago

And as if this place couldn't get any more perfect, there's a pool on site, because even if you don't care about salt driving the advance of naval exploration, you do care about cannonballs.