Recently, S and I were invited to a Media Dinner to try out Vessel Restaurant, a newly renovated restaurant at the Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island. We’ve never been to Shelter Island before and thought that it was quite a nice and pretty part of town!
Apparently, the renovations to the restaurant changed things up quite a bit from what it was like before. I thought that the centerpiece at the bar was really neat:
There was a good variety of spirits and drinks – S tried a Manhattan and really enjoyed it. There were also some punch bowls for the Media Dinner – “The Local”, which is made with gin, St. Germain, pressed lemon, and cucumber soda; their Mai Tai, made with spiced rum, pineapple, and orange, and a virgin Mojito. I got too excited with the drinks and didn’t take photos, oops…
The restaurant itself looked quite nice and cozy – here’s an example of one of the tables:
I really liked the colors of the restaurant – various shades of green, aqua, and blue. It fit well with the seaside theme and provided a relaxed yet classy atmosphere.
Here’s our menu for the evening!
First up, our amuse bouche:
Beef Carpaccio: popcorn shoots, preserved lemon, crispy capers
I’ve only had beef carpaccio once before, more than four years ago. Carpaccio is thinly-sliced raw beef, and this was super tender. The dish had just enough flavor from the olive oil and popcorn shoots (the yellow shoot that you see), but wasn’t overpowering. I also adored the crispy capers that provided some textural contrast with the tender beef. What a delicious start to the meal! S and I gobbled this down in minutes. (We eat super fast, and I normally don’t notice until we go to a group dinner like this – our plates are empty and everyone around us is working on their second piece… Oh well.)
Heirloom Apple Salad: butter lettuce, Humboldt fog, granola, lemon olive oil, petite celery
Our next course was an apple salad, which was perfect because it was just the start of apple season! Actually, Executive Chef Roy Hendrickson came out to speak to us, and he told us that apple season is actually delayed this year compared with before. There are several types of apples in this salad – Granny Smith, braeburn, and honey crisp – each of which contributed a unique flavor. I was also super happy that the salad was paired with Humboldt Fog, one of my favorite cheeses EVER. Even S, who always crinkles his nose at cheeses, loved it! I was actually quite surprised by that, but it made me happy, hehe. So, both of us really loved this salad, and I definitely recommend it if you’re visiting soon because I bet that the apples will taste even better.
Porcini Dusted Sea Bass: wild mushroom, Peruvian potato, smoked bacon dijon emulsion, avocado mousse, pistachio, upland cress
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