Where the South Fork of Long Island is a chic magnet for the fashionable; the North Fork is a foodie’s haven.
Local is the law of the land, and menus abound with options using ingredients culled from the neighborhood. It’s the heart of Long Island’s Wine Country, and the physical wonder of the area is the stuff of dreams. Seek and you shall find charming farm stands, quaint villages, country roads, lush parks, endless beaches and historical lighthouses. Nourish your soul and your stomach all in one spot.
Go where the locals go…Score a great cup of coffee and some breakfast at LOVE LANE KITCHEN in Mattituck. Owner Carolyn Iannone says, “Breakfast is served every day until 2 pm and lunch every day until 4 pm year round, with daily specials changing with the abundance of local ingredients available to us on the North Fork like hand-picked organic strawberries from Sang Lee Farms, mint from our backyard herb garden and eggs from neighboring farmers. So delicious, and always made with love!”
240 Love Lane, Mattituck, NY 11952, 631-298-8989, www.LoveLaneKitchen.com
Fall in love with LOVE LANE in Mattituck. The town, although small, is host to special shops and charming local merchants. Find a beach read at the Hamptons indie bookstore, BookHampton, which opened its first store on the North Fork, in the landmark Victorian building on the corner of Main Street and Love Lane. Mark your calendar for the annual Love Lane Street Fair, going on its 38th year, on Saturday, July 11th.
50 Love Lane, Mattituck, NY 11952, 631-315-5064, www.BookHampton.com
Pick up one of Rachel Ray’s “official snacks of the day” to get you through the day’s adventures. NORTH FORK POTATO CHIPS are made in Mattituck using field-fresh potatoes grown in North Fork soil.
8595 Cox Lane #4, Cuthogue, NY 11935, 631-734-2243, www.NorthForkChips.com
Here’s to… a great weekend. Have a toast at LIV VODKA in Baiting Hollow. As an alternative to the famous wineries on the North Fork, a visit to this distillery and tasting room, located on 5,000 acres of potato farms, is a well-played move. The only vodka made on the Island, it takes 15 pounds of potatoes to actually produce one bottle of Liv vodka. On the same trip, you can also sip on some Pine Barrens Whisky, and maybe even go home with a free souvenir shot glass.
2182 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow, NY 11933, 631-630-9322, www.LISpirits.com
Check into JEDIDIAH HAWKINS INN in Jamesport, a landmark hotel at the very center of it all – parks, vineyards and dining for an authentic North Fork experience. The Inn offers the perfect starting point for an ideal weekend on the historic North Fork of Long Island. The property is surrounded by 22 acres of fragrant gardens and farmlands which make for the perfect setting to unwind after a hard day.
400 South Jamesport Ave., Jamesport, NY, 612-722-2900, www.JedediahHawkinsInn.com
Treat yourself to a fine-dining experience featuring local bounty at JEDIDIAH HAWKINS RESTAURANT.
Visit a vintage American Diner for breakfast. THE CUTCHOGUE DINER, right on Cutchogue’s main road, has been a landmark in the community since 1941. Housed inside a retro Kullman dining car, this cool, casual eatery serves old-school authentic diner food and is the perfect place for a quick meal before heading back on the road.
27850 Route 25, Cutchogue, NY, 631-734-7016, www.CutchogueDiner.com
9amGet up close and personal with the BUG LIGHT LIGHTHOUSE. If you’ve timed your visit to the North Fork’s end when EAST END LIGHTHOUSE TOURS in Greenport hosts a lighthouse tour, then you’re in luck. The 6-hour excursion takes you out on Gardiners Bay and the Long Island Sound to see six or more lighthouses, with a boxed lunch and glass of wine included in the ticket price. Then it’s off the boat for a tour of the iconic Long Beach Bar (Bug Light) Lighthouse that sits at the entrance to Orient Harbor. The lighthouse is also visible from ORIENT BEACH STATE PARK which is another option if you’ve missed the boat, so to speak. Make your way down the four-mile long peninsula to the southernmost tip that juts out into the Bay, and you’ll spot the Lighthouse. The park promises adventure in other forms as well – bicycles, canoes and kayaks can be rented to discover more of this National Natural Landmark.
East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation, 3rd Street, Greenport, NY 11944, 631-477-2100, www.EastEndSeaport.org
Grab the brass ring at the ANTIQUE CAROUSEL in Greenport. Make your way over to Mitchell Park and there on the Greenport waterfront, you’ll encounter the 1920s-vintage carousel. Select one of the 36 horses and enjoy the ride. Afterwards, explore the streets of Greenport village and do some serious shopping. LIDO WORLD boutique showcases one-of-a-kind treasures from around the world. The stylish bohemian in you will covet the clothing, jewelry and home furnishings selected personally by the owners. For the more traditional shopper, step into Wm. J. Mills & Co. and invest in a hand-crafted canvas bag from this five-generation family of sail makers.
Antique Carousel, Front St. Greenport, NY 11944, 631-477-2200,
LIDO, 132 Main St. Greenport, NY 11944, www.LidoWorld.com,
Wm. J. Mills & Co., 74100 Main Rd., Greenport, NY 11944, www.MillsCanvas.com
Spend the night at THE STIRLING HOUSE, a waterfront boutique B&B overlooking Shelter Island. Relax and watch the sunset on their wrap around porch or take a stroll to the shops in the heart of Greenport, just two minutes away.
104 Bay Avenue, Greenport, NY 11944, www.TheStirlingHouseBandB.com
Tour Long Island’s famous wine country via the NORTH FORK WINE TRAIL. Whether you follow Rt. 25 for the Main Road wineries or select Rt. 48 for the Sound Avenue wineries; both paths will lead you to atmospheric scenery and an opportunity to sample and purchase award winning wines directly from the producers. Be the first to sip the “sound wine” from KONTOKOSTA Winery in Greenport, which overlooks the bluff of the Long Island Sound. Celebrate your journey with a glass of bubbly born from 29 acres of vineyards at SPARKLING POINTE WINERY in Southold. Revel in red merlot at LENZ WINERY in Peconic, which boasts some of the most mature vineyards in the region. There’s a lot to experience – 3,000 acres of planted vines and over 50 wineries – make certain to assign a designated driver.
Kontokosta Winery, 825 North Road, Greenport, NY 11944, 631-477-6977, www.KontokostaWinery.com ,
Sparkling Point Winery, 39750 Middle Road, Southold, NY 11971, 631-765-0200, www.SparklingPointe.com ,
Lenz Winery, 38355 Rt. 25, Peconic, NY 11958, 631-734-6010, www.LenzWine.com
Refuel with a stop at THE NORTH FORK FOOD TRUCK in Southold. An offshoot of the North Fork Table and Inn, this small outdoor food truck offers up great food, from a simple venue. Step up to the truck window to order from a menu that includes artisan all beef hot dogs served on a toasted Blue Duck Bakery Roll or a North Fork-Style Berkshire Pulled Pork Roll, all served with compostable cornstarch utensils.
Go to www.NorthForkFoodTruck.com to find out the truck’s location and take a driver over.
The reward at the end of your road trip… Be sure to visit one of the many farm stands on the North Fork to stock up on local produce. North Fork native and President of North Fork Weddings, Judy McCleery professes, “Stay out of the supermarkets and go to the farm stands! I’m always looking for in season produce, and because I’m a local, I know where to get the best. I’ll get my strawberries from one stand and my asparagus from another.” BRIERMERE FARMS in Riverhead is known for their legendary homemade pies, make sure you stop by and pick up one, or more, for the trip home.
Briermere Farms, 4414 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901, 631-722-3931, www.Briermere.com