Wine Tasting on Long Island's North Fork
by michael cinque and michael braverman
photography by eric striffler
Another noteworthy North Fork seafood mainstay is A Lure Chowder House & Oysteria (62300 Main Road, 876-5300) in Southold. Long Island chef Tom Schaudel prepares chili-dusted yellowfin tuna, pan-seared diver scallops, and grilled king salmon. A self-proclaimed “lobster purist,” Schaudel will not prepare lobster any way other than steamed with lemon and butter. Southold also offers visitors some superb methode champenoise (sparkling wine). Sparkling Pointe (39750 Country Road 48, 765-0200) produces nothing but bubbly; its Topaz Imperial, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is shimmering and spirited, with notes of sour red cherry. For another bon vivant treat, enjoy a flute of the 2007 Brut.
Greenport, once a prosperous whaling and ship building village, has come out of its long slumber with a revived downtown with a distinct food focus. Aldo’s (103–105 Front St., 477-6300), with its own coffee roaster and a terrific biscotti recipe, has been everyone’s favorite café for years. (It even weathered the now-shuttered Starbucks location across the street.) Another stalwart is the Greenport Tea Company (119A Main St., 477-8744), a quaint-looking shop with the loveliest selection of teas and small plates. After strolling around Greenport, you might take a break at Salamander’s (414 First St., Greenport, 477-3711), a pocket-size takeout and specialty grocer with a few tables on the front deck. Interesting soups and classic fried chicken are among the reasons regulars keep returning here. Back on Front Street, chef Noah Schwartz took a plain storefront and converted it into Noah’s (136 Front St., 477-6720), a sleek, stylish restaurant and bar that is one of the great success stories of the North Fork—and for good reason. Dinner begins with a filet mignon slider with truffle béarnaise sauce, or a terrific raw bar selection, and continues on to a warm lobster roll or local seafood bouillabaisse. The wine list is well balanced between North Fork and international wines, and the sophisticated cocktail list is a winner. After a day (or three) of sipping and sating, the ultimate way to end your North Fork getaway is to visit the beautifully restored Front Street carousel in Greenport—and, of course, reach for the gold ring.