A bad cold has put me hors de combat for tasting wine, so instead here are some random notes on food and drink on the North Fork.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
In preparation for our annual junk food feast during the Super Bowl (which I watch for the commercials), we decided to get a growler of Greenport Harbor beer. But which one to get? We had to do a tasting of them all, since there were several new ones on the menu. Oh, what a burden. The new ones were Antifreeze, a great name for a winter ale; Spring Turning, a Belgian style saison; and Gobsmacked IPA, an English style IPA. We also, in the interest of completeness, sampled Harbor Ale, Black Duck Porter, Otherside IPA and Leafpile Ale. We liked them all, but finally decided that Antifreeze would go best with our Mexican-style snacks of nachos, guacamole, and bison chili. And so it did. (P.S. I was amused by the Free Beer Tomorrow sign, which reminded me of a line in Alice in Wonderland about jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.)
Riverhead Farmers Market
As it turned out, we were not the only ones excited at the thought of a winter farmers market in Riverhead, since when we got there just at 11, when it was scheduled to open, there was already a crowd inside. We could barely find a parking spot in the large lot behind the stores on Main Street. We bought scallops which had just been opened that morning, bread from Blue Duck bakery, fresh pasta, and locally grown oyster mushrooms for dinner, plus eggs from Browder’s Birds for breakfast. We could also have bought wine from a couple of wineries, beer from a local brewery, cheeses, and various desserts and other prepared foods, such as empanadas and spanakopita. Wow. We’ll be back. We heard that everything was basically sold out by 2, so it pays to come early.
Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane
If you like good cheeses, this is the place to come. They not only have a large selection of excellent cheese, they are quite good at giving advice. “I’d like a creamy blue,” I said, and they knew just which of the many blues to steer me towards. “And how about a cheese for someone who is lactose intolerant but loves good cheese?” They had that one, too—a lactose-free well-aged cheese. In addition to cheeses from around the world they also carry local cheeses, such as Catapano’s goat cheeses and Mecox Dairy’s excellent cheeses, plus patés, olives, and great baguettes. In addition, they carry a small but select stock of gourmet groceries and also serve fondue and a few other cheese-based dishes for lunch. I’ve been here frequently and never had a bad cheese. If you want to add bread and cheese to a wine country picnic, stop in here.
Now let’s say you want to barbeque some meat that is better than what you can get in the supermarket. Where to go? Wayside carries a small but top quality selection of steaks, etc., and, though their prices are not cheap, their meats are good. I once ordered a butterflied leg of lamb from them which I then marinated. My husband grilled it and our guests devoured it. They also carry really good sausages, plus various interesting grocery items. Whenever we are there, we see people coming in to get sandwiches made at their deli counter, but we haven’t tried those yet.
Okay, time for another cup of hot tea with honey and lemon. Maybe by next week I’ll be ready to visit another winery!