Walking through the doors of Wayside Market in Southold is like stepping back in time to when butchers helped to make novice home cooks shine — an era this meat retailer is helping revive.
Since the coronavirus pandemic forced many families to cook more when restaurant options were limited, the staff at Wayside has seen a spike in new customers seeking prime cuts of meat and a professional butcher’s expert dinner prep advice.
“It’s collaborative,” says Isabella Rutigliano, chief operating officer of the market and a butcher apprentice to her father, Pasquale Rutigliano, who owns the shop. She recalls customers coming in asking, “My mother-in-law’s coming, my father-in-law’s coming, please help. What can I do?”
Founded in 1950, the fourth-generation old-school deli and meat market located in the heart of the North Fork Wine Trail has saved countless home-cooked meals since it’s been in the Rutigliano family for the past 30 years.
The shop is currently gearing up for soup season and the holidays with roasts, veal, lamb, prime rib, and whole turkeys as well as stews, stocks, and other cold-weather food. It also has a charcuterie section with imported 18-month aged cheeses inside a recently updated retail space. But the farm-to-table trend has really spiced up its recipe for success.
“I think we’re starting to see a real inception of this trade again, which is very exciting,” Isabella says. “There’s so much possibility, especially on the North Fork, as we’re looking at the resurgence of farms and everyone really going back to the basics in what they’re eating and the proteins they’re putting in their body.”
And for those looking for nothing but the best, Rutigliano boasts customers coming from as far as the South Fork for fresh cuts of USDA Prime beef.
“Our product is by far the best product that you can get out here on the East End of Long Island,” she says. “We’re actually pounding out the patties by hand and we do it right in front of you. You can’t find that anywhere else.”
Wayside Market is located at 55575 Main Rd. in Southold. It can be reached at 631-765-3575 or southoldwaysidemarket.com
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