Red Maple is located within The Chequit Inn on the corner of Grand Ave in Shelter Island Heights in Shelter Island, New York. Just this past weekend, I spent four days on Shelter Island eating my weight in lobster rolls, touring the back roads of the island, and vegging out on its isolated beaches.
On my first night, I dined at Red Maple, which was convenient because I was boarding at The Chequit.
Thanks to a complete overhaul at The Chequit just this spring, Red Maple is brand new, but it already boasts some of the best reviews on the small island. After tasting their food, I can see why.
My cohort and I ordered half a dozen oysters to share; the oysters were remarkably fresh and hail from Montauk, which is located nearby. All items on the raw bar section of the menu are served with champagne and pink peppercorn mignonette, yellow pepper cocktail sauce, and a lemon-herb aioli. The sauces were delicious. While I typically just consume my oysters with a bit of lemon juice, I couldn’t resist the mignonette.
After the oysters, we split the lobster roll (served with sweet herbs on a buttered brioche bun, alongside greens and tomatoes) and the spice grilled lamb burger (served with quick pickles, tomato jam, Catapano feta, and a side of roasted potatoes).
We agreed that the lamb burger was the best we’ve tasted to date, but even after half of the burger I had to force myself to finish the lobster roll. It was absolutely delicious, but I was just so full. Nevertheless, I’d repeat this meal in a heartbeat.
The restaurant offers a great selection of wines, several cocktails, and beer. I ordered Left Hand’s Milk Stout Nitro to go along with my meal, which was delicious, but when I return to Red Maple I’ll have to try a few of their cocktails.
The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable, but they could have stood to be a bit more attentive. Thankfully, the food and ambience make up for that.
The restaurant itself is situated right at the front of The Chequit and most patrons dine outside on its extensive string light-lined patio. There’s a small space to eat inside, but because it was the perfect summer night, we dined on the patio.
Although the patio is lined with lights, our table was a bit too dimly lit to see the food clearly, let alone snap a few pictures. But, I suppose this adds to Red Maple and The Chequit’s rustic island charm. On the flip side, it is beautiful during the day (as pictured above).
The restaurant is well worth returning to and I’m glad to see it garnering so much hype on Shelter Island. While the menu is a bit pricy, the restaurant itself is far from pretentious. Instead, it is the ideal spot for a quiet summer night in Shelter Island Heights.