Tag Archives: Long Island

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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Great Pupusas, North Fork, Long Island at Restaurante La Cascada

Great Pupusas at La Cascada, Southold, NY. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

Great pupusas in North Fork wine country? Yes, the Salvadoran street food has migrated east, specifically to Southold.  As Edible East End reported recently,Restaurante La Cascada boasts the luscious vegetable- and meat-filled snacks at a restaurant in a strip mall in Southold.

Finding pupusas on the North Fork isn’t all that surprising. After all, the area farms and vineyards attract a fair number of Hispanic farm workers.

On two separate trips, I tried most of the six different pupusas on the menu. I liked the one with the loroco flower, a teardrop shaped Salvadoran plant. My friend Meryl favored the spinach and my husband loved the squash, mushroom, and pork ones.

Each pupusa, buttery and satisfying, is topped with a type of tangy slaw that plays well off the richness of the pupusas.

Both days we visited Restaurante La Cascada we were practically the only gringos in the place. There’s a full menu of standard South American fare–ranging from burritos to quesadillas.

But stick with the pupusas; they’re as large as a small dinner plate.

A single one filled me up.  But who can stop at just one, especially at $1.50 apiece?

Not going out to the North Fork?  Here are the pupusas in the city that Yelpsters like.

La Cascada
46455 County Road 48
Southold, NY 11971-5043
631 765 8708

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Best Potato Chips in NY Area? Try Chips at Southold’s Piping Plover on the North Fork

Potato chips fall into two categories: natural, hand-cut varieties like those offered up at the Piping Plover in Southold on the North Fork of Long Island, or too-salty chips with a taste and texture like cardboard.

At Piping Plover, they make their own potato chips from hand-sliced potatoes. Owner Ken Myers says the dark russet potatoes come from Hallock Farms, a local grower. The potato chips are finished with “a light dusting of garlic, salty and pepper,” he said.  There’s also a vinegar and salt variety. The chips come packaged in a simple brown paper bag and cost a couple of bucks.

What we liked: buttery, crispy potatoey chips, with only the lightest sprinkling of salt. These are chips for folks who like their snack to taste like potatoes without much salt or seasoning, definitely my preference. They’re a tad too greasy, but you can take care of that with a paper napkin. Plus, I love how they come scooped into a plain brown paper bag.

What we didn’t like: Hubby: Not enough salt. Daughter: soggy.

The Piping Plover also serves salads, sandwiches and a variety of snack fare.

Piping Plover Cafe


53345 Route 25
Southold, NY 11971-4643
631 765 5055

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