If you’re looking for weekend getaway or just a day trip come to my home town…The North Fork of Long Island. It’s only 2 1/2 hrs outside of the city, is wonderful to visit from Spring through late Fall, so there is plenty of time left for you to experience what it’s all about. I’ve put together a list of my go to spots for dining, shopping, wine tasting and my favorite beach to watch the sunset. You won’t find many of these places in a magazine, so if you make it out there let me know your thoughts on my picks and have a beautiful trip!
The North Fork has now become a destination for wine enthusiasts, with tasting rooms open all year long but not all vineyards measure up to the hype. Loud and overcrowded tasting rooms are not my thing… isn’t great wine really the main priority? I always make a stop at my 3 favorite vineyards Bedell Cellars, Croteaux Vineyards and Paumanok. For a Craft Beer experience Greenport Harbor is a fun afternoon.
36225 Main Road, Cutchogue
With a small but well appointed indoor tasting room and a large outdoor deck area overlooking the vineyard, Bedell Cellars has some of the best wines in the area. Typically I am not a Chardonnay girl, as it always seems to get me in the back of the throat but my favorite wine at this vineyard is the Chardonnay 2016. It’s barrel fermented and steel aged producing a complex and savory wine with notes of pear, green apple and a hint of verbena.
My favorite red is the Musée 2013 which the vineyard describes as “Musée is our ultimate expression of North Fork terroir. The wine is powerful, with a show-stopping core of ripe fruit and a complex array of flavors and textural nuances.” At $125 per bottle it is the most expensive of their offerings but definitely worth tasting, it’s delicious you may even want to splurge on a bottle to take home.
Tip: there are picnic tables on the grounds so you can pack a lunch or snack if you like and linger over a few bottles of wine.
1047 Main Road, Aquebogue
With a low key barn type vibe Paumanok is on my list for it’s Chenin Blanc and Late Harvest Riesling Dessert wine.
The Chenin Blanc is “Crisp and fruity with grapefruit, pineapple, and melon aromas. It’s delightfully refreshing and ends with a zippy, lemony finish.” I love this wine paired best with shellfish or chicken.
I am not usually a sweet wine drinker but do enjoy a Port or dessert wine from time to time and the Late Harvest Riesling is really special. Clean, bright aromas of peaches, apples, nectarines, flowers and honey with a nearly dry finish that is rich and complex is are what you can expect from this wine. It makes for the perfect gift or store it in your wine cellar for a special occasion.
This vineyard has been at the top of my favorites since they opened 11 years ago. Specializing in Rosé , they have 6 different types of standard Rosé and 3 sparkling options. I love everything about this vineyard from the quality of the wine to the vibe of the tasting room to the packaging. Unfortunately, due to Southold Town zoning laws the vineyard/winery/tasting room are now closed, but they are continuing attempts to re-open. Good news is until then they are operating a Pop-Up at Little Creek Oysters in Greenport on Monday -Tuesday, 1-8pm, and have tastings at Vintage Mattituck Thursday-Sunday 2-7pm. You can also order online.
Tip: If you take a trip late fall you can usually catch deals on the wine as the vineyards are looking to get rid some that didn’t sell out or they just produced to much of.
42155 Main Road, Peconic
For an awesome craft beer experience head over to Greenport Harbor. With a long list of beers on tap to choose from they have some of the best craft beers around. My favorite is the Summer Ale. They describe it as “Refreshingly delicious, moderately hopped golden ale, with a touch of orange blossom honey for a slightly sweet and floral finish.” For a laid back good time with live music and food trucks you are surely going to want to stop in here.
136 Front Street, Greenport
For an elevated dining experience Noah’s is at the top of my list. Serving innovative seasonal fare, the menu is similar to what you will find in New York and the dishes do not disappoint. With numerous small plates for sharing and a Duck Confit that is one of the best I have had each dish is thoughtfully prepared. The vibe is light and fun, with a seasonal cocktail menu to match.
111 Main Street, Greenport
For a casual seaside dining experience of fish and chips, baked clams or a lobster roll Crabby Jerry’s is it. Nothing fancy, but chill vibes and fresh seafood are what you can expect here. Order at the front and grab a spot at a picnic table with plenty of napkins…you’re gonna need them.
5145 Main Road, East Marion
A trip to the North Fork for me is not complete without a stop for lunch or dinner at the Hellenic Snack Bar. This family owned and operated eatery has been around since 1976 and has the most incredible Greek food. My go to is the Gyro platter made with delicious top quality meat and tzatziki sauce you can tell was made that morning. Everything is made with super fresh high quality ingredients, from the traditional Greek Salads, beautiful fish options, lamb dishes you name it. Be sure to order the taramasalata …it’s the best I have ever eaten!
4414 Sound Avenue, Riverhead
Known for their incredible pies a stop at Briemere Farms is a MUST. My all-time favorite is the Blueberry pie, bursting with perfectly ripe blueberries it’s not too sweet or tart, they have seriously mastered the perfect balance. Honestly, there isn’t a pie here that I haven’t loved every bite of. Since I’m more of a cook than a baker I usually take a trip out East in early November before the holidays to buy a few of the frozen pies that can be baked off. They are awesome since you are not just reheating, but actually baking the crust for the first time….DELISH!
35995 Main Road, Cutchogue
This BNB is close to wineries and a local beach. The house built in 1921 has 3 rooms 2 queen one king, and the modern fresh esthetic of a boutique hotel encased in a historic house. There are no televisions in the rooms promoting a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. They offer bike rental and in house massage for additional costs. Room rates are on par with the area and only drop slightly going into the fall season.
441 Main Street
This adults only hotel is great if you want to be in the heart of Greenport. This hip and relaxing niche hotel is steps away from the restaurants and bars of the town. Well decorated, clean and comfortable, The Gallery offers various rooms to relax in, both inside and outside the hotel. This is a nice option for those looking for a sophisticated and art-filled experience on the North Fork.
58775 Route 48, Greenport
If your looking for a room right on the water then you will want to book a stay at the Sound View Hotel. With a pool, restaurant and beach just a few feet from your door this is the perfect spot for maxing and relaxing.
For beautiful Boho-Chic clothing, jewelry, furniture and home goods Lido is my go to spot. Part luxury, art bohemian they design and manufacture in different countries around the world under the Lido label. They also work with stylists, interior designers and wholesale clients to develop and source product. Here you will find gorgeous hand printed caftans, batik dresses, unique jewelry and home items. Price points are reasonable for unique well crafted and quality pieces. I still have a dress from 6 years ago that I bought from this store and am excited to pull it out every summer. If you don’t make it out to the North Fork you can always shop the online store.
2845 Peconic Lane
This shop is described by the owners as “A vintage and antique general store.” Filled with treasures from their travels here you will find unique pottery, a great vintage lamp or chair, and all kinds of unique and one of a kind home and interior design items. I love a shop that has a point of view, and I have found some wonderful pieces here.
41 Front Street, Greenport
The Weathered Barn is a lifestyle boutique that features an eclectic mix of artisanal goods and home accessories. Here you will find hand stamped re-purposed vintage silverware, and unique gift items for the home and spirit. Years ago I purchases an incredible wind chime made with a piece of drift wood and vintage spoons here and it still hangs in my Brooklyn backyard. The husband and wife owners and business partners Jason & Rena Wilhelm are super sweet and have created a shop that is on the top of my go to list. The pleasure of meeting them both is part of the appeal but if you can’t make it out to the store you can always shop online.
Beall & Bell (no website found)
430 Main Street, Greenport
Located in the town of Greenport, this antique shop has some wonderful pieces in a large range of price points. Tons of furniture, lamps and accessories from Danish modern to Asian antiques this store has it covered. If you are an antique shopper you are going to want to stop into Beall & Bell
The beaches on the North Fork are very different from the South Fork since it is surrounded by the Bay and The Sound. The waves are quieter and the beaches rockier but the beauty is on par with the ocean views of The Hamptons. With lots of options to choose from my number one favorite spot to watch the Sunset is a little beach on the Long Island Sound called Duck Pond Point. With huge Rocks and Views straight to CT this beach is incredible! Check the sunset times, grab a blanket a bottle of wine and enjoy!
Photos in post: Marie Lombardo