Tag Archives: Long Island Railroad

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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Is the New York Pizza Slice Dead? Find a Fine One at Penn Station

Is the classic New York pizza slice being pushed aside by gourmet pies? That’s what Newsweek reports in a recent article. New York Magazine disagrees, and so do I.

As proof, I give you the humble slice that can be had from Rose’s Pizza, a narrow, bustling joint located along the cavernous Long Island Railroad concourse deep in the bowels of Penn Station.  No, don’t stop at Domino’s Pizza.  Keep going past K-Mart until you’ve almost reached the A train entrance. Rose’s is on the right.

At rush hour, this very basic pizza pit stop is mobbed. For a few bucks, you get a nice slice sporting a crisp crust that’s topped with a buttery and slightly tangy combo of cheese and sauce.

On a recent Friday, while I was waiting for my train to Greenport on the east end of Long Island, I joined the line at the counter. Genteel it isn’t. There are lots of pizza-sliceloud-mouthed commuters who think nothing of pushing ahead of you in line.

So grab a beer, chill out and order the plain slice. There are also versions topped with all manner of veggies and meats. But for me, a New York slice is best eaten unadorned, just like the pizza gods meant it to be.

Tell me about your favorite slice joints!


The Bronx: Arthur Avenue Pizza

Midtown and Murray Hill: Pizza and Sandwiches

Penn Station: Make Tracks to Tracks Raw Bar & Grill

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