Turning Tables: François Payard opens Southold Social on Long Island

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In June, celebrity New York chef François Payard and restaurateur Adam Lovett opened a new restaurant in Long Island’s North Fork: Southold Social. Former owner of the now-closed Payard Patisserie & Bistro restaurants, Payard built his reputation as a pastry chef at French icons La Tour d’Argent and Lucas Carton before moving to New York to work at Le Bernardin and Daniel (both today wine spectator Grand Prize winners).

“When I heard the space that is now Southold Social was available, I jumped at the chance,” Payard said. wine spectator by email. He ran the popular Southhold General Food Market in the wine town. “People still tell me all the time how much they loved [my restaurants] in New York and Las Vegas. I am delighted to bring something similar but different to Southold: delicious and affordable food and wine in a bistro atmosphere. »

The two-level Southold social area, once an inn, is lined with its original timber beams, which complement the teak floors leading to a tent patio outside, which will soon have a fire pit to make roast shellfish. A 38-seat private dining room is located on the second floor of the restaurant.

Payard’s menu highlights ingredients and produce from Long Island’s North Fork for dishes like Montauk black bass, Berkshire pork chop, truffle polenta, tuna tartare and lobster roll. You can also sample a range of desserts, including pavlova, buttermilk panna cotta with seasonal fruit, and Payard’s chocolate-hazelnut dome. “My upbringing in the south of France is associated with the local laid-back North Fork,” the chef explained. “We use fresh, local ingredients to create Mediterranean-inspired dishes that really shine on their own. Also, I like to mix sweet and savory, because I love baking as much as cooking.

At Southold Social, dishes highlight Long Island’s abundance of seafood and produce. (Felipe Coronado)

Wine Director François Latapie’s affordable wine list also offers a local approach, with choices from Long Island wineries like Wölffer Estate and Kontokosta among its more than 50 selections. Latapie visited area vineyards to expand the list, and Payard is looking to maintain close ties with Long Island growers in the future. Southold Social also offers many wines for French wine lovers, such as Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, Rosé from Provence, Beaujolais, Burgundy and Bordeaux. Half-bottle and magnum selections add even more options to the list.

“With the abundance of local vineyards and fresh, hyper-local ingredients from land and sea,” Payard said, “I want people to see Southold for the foodie destination that it is.”

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