Category Archives: North Fork, LI

LIRR Wine Train Offers N. Fork Wines But Car Odor Mars Experience

Photo: Courtesy MTA.

It sounds like a great idea: a selection of North Fork wines on a specially designated LIRR wine train from Ronkokoma to Greenport.

Only one problem.

How can you drink wine when your gagging from the unappetizing odor wafting through the car from a deoderized restroom?

The wines are from North Fork vineyards (Macari and Duck Walk among them). But the car I traveled on about a month ago—I haven’t been back since so not every car may have this problem— emitted an intense, foul smell. It was eau de toilet mixed with a chemical stench. Long Island Railrod spokesman Sam Zambuto says the odor was caused by disinfectants applied to the lavatory that can seep into the ventilation system.

“Yes, unfortunately it would take away from the experience,” conceded Zambuto, who said the matter had been referred to the LIRR maintenance department.

“When a car is freshly serviced, it has a deodorizer in the rest room.” That scent can be picked up by a car’s ventilation system, he explained. “We’re looking into how this can be eliminated,” Zamputo wrote in an e-mail.

Launched this summer, the Wine Train runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. Every week, six different wines are featured and an individual vineyard is showcased.

Assuming this, uh, unappetizing odor is corrected, you have to cheer on the railroad for its efforts on behalf of Long Island wineries. Once the offending stench is banished, it will be nice to sip some North Fork wines while traveling to the bucolic North Fork.

The North Fork Wine Train.

  • Fridays-only, Memorial Day weekend through the Labor Day weekend.
  • The North Fork wine train is the 5:21 PM train from Ronkonkoma to Greenport (arriving 6:45 PM) on summer Fridays. Customers coming from NYC can take the 3:55 PM train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma (arriving at 5:16 PM) and transfer at Ronkonkoma to the Wine Train.

The Wines and Vineyards

Six wineries/vineyards and 13 different wines that are featured each Friday. A different vineyard is featured weekly along with two types of wine from that vineyard.

Here’s a complete list of vineyards and wines:

Laurel Lake Vineyards

Red: 2007 Merlot

Intense flavors and full bodied.

White: 2009 Chardonnay

Unwooded chardonnay.

Peconic Bay Vineyards

Red: Nautique Esprit de Rouge

Three different grapes are blended across two different vintages.

White: Nautique Esprit de Blanc

Possesses aromatic qualities that are the result of blending.

Macari Vineyards

Red: Sette

A blend of 50% Merlot & 50% Cabernet Franc.

White: 2010 Early Wine (Chardonnay)

New Release made from 100% Chardonnay grapes.

Pindar Vineyards

Red: Pythagoras

This  red was first crafted to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

White: Peacock Chardonnay

Chardonnay with hints of pear and apple and vanilla.

Duck Walk Vineyards

Red: Cabernet Sauvignon

A red with notes of blackberry, currant, and cassis, with a hint of vanilla.

White: Southampton White

Our signature white wine.

Jason Vineyard

Rose: A  bouquet of strawberry, cherries and raspberries.

White – Golden Fleece: A  blend of Cayuga, Sylvia & Rewriter.

 

 

 

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The Best Hot Dog In the New York Area

The Truck. North Fork Table and Inn, Southold, Long Island, NY

What’s the best hot dog in New York? Well, you’ll have to travel a bit to find it. For this beautifully-flavored and sauced hot dog, you’ll need to hop the Jitney or rent a car and travel out to the North Fork of Long Island. There, at a food truck operated by the award-winning  North Fork Table and Inn, located in Southold, are some very fine wieners.

These are simply the best dogs I’ve ever eaten.

Normally, you’d have to dish out serious bucks to eat at the Inn, where Gerry Hayden, who used to cook for Aureole, now dishes out excellent locally sourced dishes.  Award-winning pastry chef Claudia Fleming (late of the Gramercy Tavern) oversees the pastry operation. Where possible, the couple relies on ingredients grown by local farmers or fished from local waters

The Lunch Truck shines as the single best place to get some quick quality grub on the North Fork. The Hartmann’s Atisan All Beef Hot Dog, comes plain or with a variety of toppings ranging from house-made sauerkraut to bread and butter pickle relish  to apple cider vinegar-glazed onion. Then, there’s chorizo chili and pepper jack cheese sauce to throw on top. What a decadent meal that would be!

Even piled high with three toppings—we had sauerkraut, bread and butter pickle relish and onions—the hot dog is an affordable indulgence at $4.50.

I’ve heard the lobster roll (“local when available, but usually Canadian, I’m not gonna lie to ya,” says the truck’s sign) is divine.  I plan to try that this weekend. It goes for $16.50.

Still, just the dogs alone are worth the two hour schlep from the city. While you’re on the North Fork, visit some vineyards and shop the abundant farm stands. Right now, asparagus and rhubarb are in season. Strawberries, as sweet as candy, will be coming soon.

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How to Find Great Pumpkins on the North Fork, LI

Pumpkins. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

I you’re out this weekend looking for great pumpkins, try Krupski’s Farm on the Main Road in Peconic on the North Fork of Long Island.

Yes, you could settle for the specimins at your local bodega. But you’d miss out on the gorgeous pumpkins at Krupski’s—not to mention their huge and varied selection of winter squash.

Krupski's squash. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

Other places to shop for or pick your own pumpkins on the North Fork include a wealth of stands, says Exploreli.  Try some of these:

Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard

Harbes Family Farm Stand

Greenland Family Farms

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North Fork: Nello’s Owner to Open New Restaurant in Greenport

Is Greenport, on the North Fork of Long Island becoming unbearably gentrified?  You draw your own conclusions.

But one sign of the times is the looming presence of a North Fork version of Nello, the Upper East Side boite that’s home to the rich and hoping-to-be-rich. The Greenport eatery is to be called Seaweed and will be located in the white clapboard house at 314 Main Street that once housed restaurant Ile de Beauté.

Proprietor Nello Balan already has a beachead on the East End. He currently oversees Nello Summertimes, in Southamption, best known for its sky-high prices and glitterati clientele.

North Fork, LI farm stand

North Fork, LI farmstand.

Why is this epicenter of glitz dining locating in what’s still a low-key North Fork seaport village surrounded by farmland and vineyards? After all, Nello prices seem way beyond the day trippers and families with kids in tow who still make up most of Greenport’s tourist trade. The eatery’s New York menu features a $60 veal chop, a tad steep in these recessionary times. And the NY Times in 2005 called the prices at the Southamption place “obscene.”

For the Hamptons set, Nello Summertimes seems like a great fit. But will it work for Greenport?

The planned North For eatery, will be “different” than his other establishments, Balan insisted in a phone interview, adding that he wanted a place that’s  “accessible” to Greenporters, both natives and visitors alike. That includes “the rich and not very rich,”  he said. The prices for dishes on the “Mediterranean with Long Island hints” menu will “compare with everybody around there” who operates a restaurant, he said.

Across the street from the new establishment, Balan will also be in charge of the cafe in the new upscale hotel that’s taking shape this summer. It’s also set to open in May 2010.

For all his posh dining credentials, Balan appears to be trying to ease into the mellow Greenport groove.

“I love Greenport,” he said. “It’s very unspoied.  People are nice. This part of Long Island is very special.” He’s even looking for a house in the area.

And the Hamptons?

“In Southampton they live like they live in the city,” he sniffed, already assuming that North Fork ‘tude toward the more upscale crowd to the south.

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North Fork, LI: Greenport Brewery Opens

Photo:  Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

Photo: Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

Long Island beer lovers and visitors to the North Fork, take note: Greenport Harbor Brewing Company has opened for business.

Photo:  Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

Photo: Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

These are not suds for whimps; Greenport Harbor’s beer is very hoppy. But I especially loved the Summer Ale, which is light and fruity. Head Brewer DJ Swanson told me he injects honey into the summer brew after its filtered. That probably accounts for the slightly sweet taste. Other offerings include Harbor Ale, which is like an English pale ale, and a deep, rich IPA, with faint caramel notes.

You can bring your own growler or buy one at the brewery.

Prices:

  • Free tastes
  • Growler plus beer–$17
  • Growler refill–$12
  • Glases, 4 oz ($3.75) and pint ($6.00).

Hours: Friday-Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. While the Brewery isn’t officially open during the week, Swanson will fill up your growler if you stop by.

For more on Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, click here.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
234 Carpenter Street
631-477-6681
Related

New Beer Garden to Open in LI City

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