Pat and David

Relaxed luxury: lobster hash at Crazy Beans in Greenport

Relaxed luxury: lobster hash at Crazy Beans in Greenport

Unless we're having wine, one of us (David) could eat breakfast for every meal of the day. That penchant led to a fortuitous discovery. We based our sojourn to Long Island's North Shore at the Greenporter Hotel (326 Front St., Greenport, 631-477-0066; greenporterhotel.com), which is a well-maintained motel within walking distance of everything in the village. Years back, we would have eaten breakfast down the street at the Coronet Luncheonette on the corner of Front and Main streets, a village institution since 1949. In 2016, the place became Crazy Beans (2 Front St., Greenport; 631-333-2436, crazybeansrestaurant.com). It's run by Tim and Callie Brennan Martino, who have two other such breakfast-lunch spots in Miller Place and Stony Brook. The Martinos knew a good thing when they...Read More
Kontokosta and Sparkling Pointe: North Fork’s lifestyle wineries

Kontokosta and Sparkling Pointe: North Fork’s lifestyle wineries

Just as there are no ugly babies, there are really no ugly vineyards. But let's grant that some vineyards—and definitely some wineries—are grander than others. And why shouldn't the folks who can afford it exchange vows by the vines? We also suspect that corporate retreats go better when accompanied by a little wine. Which brings us to Kontokosta and Sparkling Pointe, two of the North Fork wineries that seem very much in sync with the lifestyle aspirations of Long Island's South Fork. Kontokosta makes a terrific first impression If you visit the North Fork, as we did, via the Orient Point ferry, Kontokosta (825 North Road, Greenport; 631-477-6977; theharborfrontinn.com/kontokosta-winery) is the first winery to appear along the main road. The winery and vineyards are perched...Read More
Pollock-Krasner House: Abstract art and matters of taste

Pollock-Krasner House: Abstract art and matters of taste

If you've been following our posts on the agricultural bounty of Long Island's North Fork, you'll be forgiven for assuming that the sole purpose of our visit was to eat and drink. Actually, our journey was inspired by art and by our fascination with Abstract Expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. In 1945, the couple decamped from Manhattan for rural Springs, N.Y., near East Hampton. Their late 19th century farmhouse home and barn studio are now a National Historic Landmark open to the public. (See https://www.stonybrook.edu/pkhouse/ for details on hours and tours.) The ferry from New London, Connecticut, to Long Island deposited us at the very tip of North Fork fields and vineyards. So we spent a few days checking out the ever-evolving wine...Read More
Made by hand: One Woman Wines & Vineyards

Made by hand: One Woman Wines & Vineyards

As a farm girl in Calabria, Italy, Claudia Purita learned how to tend a vineyard and how to make wine while her older siblings cared for the family livestock. When the clan relocated to Long Island, she spent the next few decades in the restaurant trade—until 2002, when she bought a potato farm and decided to plant a vineyard in honor of her late father. One thing led to another, and by 2004 she was cultivating 16 acres of vines. By 2007 she was bottling her first vintage. Now the vineyards have expanded to 35 acres. One Woman Wines and Vineyards (5195 Old North Road, Southold; 631-765-1200; onewomanwines.com) is really two women—Claudia and her daughter Gabriella—and a few hired hands. The mother-daughter team do most...Read More
Tasty dishes for wineries that put the fork in North Fork

Tasty dishes for wineries that put the fork in North Fork

“A loaf of bread, a flask of wine, and thou....” Omar Khayyam was talking about the medieval wilderness in Persia, but his vision of “paradise enough” works just as well for a picnic at one of the North Fork wineries that permit outside food. Almost by definition, vineyards are beautiful places. And a nice meal with a glass of good wine is bound to soften you up to purchase more wine to take home. Most wineries have some food available, but few are set up to provide a spread like the one you can make yourself. Below, we've included two picnic fare recipes from newly published cookbooks that make our mouths water. By the way, the wineries allowing you to bring your own food are...Read More
McCall Wines reflect a clean and lean approach

McCall Wines reflect a clean and lean approach

Russell McCall has been growing wine grapes on his family farm—and the adjacent Peconic Land Trust property—since the 1990s. But he didn't release a wine under the family name until 2007. Everything about McCall Wines (22600 Main Road, Cutchogue, NY; 631.734.5764; mccallwines.com) suggests patience and long-term planning. The sandy soils of the south end of the original vineyard are planted with four clones of Pinot Noir. At 11 acres, it's one of the largest such vineyards on the east coast. McCall planted Merlot in the dense, clay-rich soils of the other 10 acres of the family vineyard. In 2011, he acquired and rehabilitated the adjacent North Ridge vineyard that had been planted in 1983 with Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon—providing the winery with true...Read More
Lenz Winery’s finesse whites still set North Fork standard

Lenz Winery’s finesse whites still set North Fork standard

A British friend once told us that Americans have too many choices. He was referring to ice cream, but it's equally true of Long Island wineries. More than 40 producers welcome the public for tastings so it can be difficult to narrow the field to fit a couple of days. We knew, however, that we wanted to start with Lenz Winery (lenzwine.com). For years, we've been telling people that Lenz makes some of the best Burgundy-style Chardonnay on the East Coast. We certainly hoped that was still true. In a word, yes. Lenz was one of the North Fork pioneers. Its first vineyards date from 1978, which makes the promise of the “Old Vines” series much more than a hollow boast. (Wines in the series...Read More
Lavender and chevre speak French on the North Fork

Lavender and chevre speak French on the North Fork

Lavender by the Bay could not be better located. It was one of the first farms we encountered as we drove from the Orient Point ferry docks into the agricultural stretch of Long Island's North Fork. In mid-June, the English lavender was just beginning to bloom. This pretty, fragrant spot made a welcoming introduction to the region. The farm boasts 80,000 plants on 17 acres. When the French lavender bursts into bloom around the beginning of July, you could think that you are in the south of France. That's where the French-born patriarch of this family-run operation spent his summers. Fortunately for us, lavender also seems to thrive in the salty, sea air of Long Island. The fields may be the big draw, but it's...Read More
Long Island’s North Fork is gourmand heaven

Long Island’s North Fork is gourmand heaven

We recently sailed the Cross Sound Ferry (longislandferry.com) from New London, Connecticut, to Orient Point on the North Fork of New York's Long Island to sip and nibble our way through an agricultural region we don't visit often enough. If you look at a map, you'll see that the landmass logically belongs with southern New England instead of New York. It's all part of the glacial moraine—the deposit of sand and gravel that marks the southern extent of the last glaciers about 15,000 years ago. A lot of silt has settled over that gritty base, and the warm currents of Long Island Sound help make the North Fork into prime farm country just 80 miles east of Manhattan. In 1988, the area was designated as...Read More
Summer on a roll at Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery

Summer on a roll at Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery

Today is the first day of astronomical summer, but one of our favorite roadside eateries has been rushing the season for weeks. Bob's Clam Hut (315 US Route 1, Kittery, Maine; 207-439-4233, www.bobsclamhut.com) is known, of course, for fried clams. Or, more specifically, for fried clams two ways. “Bob's traditional” fried clams are dredged in flour. “Lillian's clams,” an homage to long-time employee Lillian Mangos, are dipped in an egg wash before they're dredged in flour. The second method imparts a slightly tangy, almost sourdough flavor to the breading. The price is the same, but you have to specify which you want when you order. Bob's is much, much more than clams, of course. The fried local haddock is always a treat, and this year...Read More