Thursday, August 29, 2013

north fork happy.

Hello there, Long Island! Egads, where has the month of August gone? Heinously overdue with posts, I thought it would be good to start with the little trip we made out to the North Fork with a recent house guest.

Junda's Pastry Crust & Crumb on Urbanspoon

Situated in a quaint old house along Route 25 in Riverhead is a bakery with a rich selection of artisanal offerings. From muffins to hearth breads to the most beautiful lemon meringue I think I may have ever seen in my life, Junda's Pastry Crust & Crumb certainly made our heads spin. One thing looked more tantalizing than the next. The shopkeeper, a quiet, straightforward woman, humored our paralysis analysis. At last, Jay Cardinal and I settled on oversized vanilla cupcakes with a generous topping of frothy lemon buttercream, while our visitor decided upon a black-and-white cookie and some cute shellfish design cookies. Suffice to say, there was no buyer remorse. Our guest shared some of her shellfish cookies, yummy goodness which gave a subtle nod to shortbread. Next time I will be sure to try out the old-fashioned cookies--- The thumbprints and icebox cookies looked divine.

Cuteness in a cookie!

For next trip... ;)

Next on the agenda was a trip to Orient Point State Park. The weather was iffy on Monday, and we mostly had the place to ourselves. That Empire Passport has certainly more than paid for itself by now.

Noah's on Urbanspoon

As we headed west to our main goal of the day (a winery visit), we got a case of the munchies and headed to Greenport in search of a light meal. DH's parking mojo came in handy, for even on a Monday the town was packed. Fortunately for us we were able to get a prompt seating at Noah's, an airy, contemporary restaurant with a flair for small plates and oysters. We split amongst ourselves two orders of goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, a composition of textural whimsy. The accent of pesto presented an unexpected delight to the main components of the dish. (My only criticism was that two squash blossoms per order seemed a little stingy, given the price point.) We also shared the roasted beet salad, which was excellent. We also introduced our guest to oysters--- a smashing success thanks to the restaurant's high standards for freshness (and shucking). The Pipe's Cove oysters (local to the area) were a commanding, briny presence. We thoroughly enjoyed them, as well as the Beausoleil oysters from New Brunswick. Noah's definitely hit the spot, delighting our palates in fresh, light and seasonal way.

With just enough time to spare for visiting one tasting room, we headed to Croteaux, a hidden-away gem specializing in Rosé. After we passed the cramped entrance room we were welcomed into another world--- a mixture of French countryside and Bohemian bliss with ample seating areas designed for people to mill about or even sit in their own private groups intimately. (I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...)

The tasting (which consisted of six wines) included groups of different varietals, including some remarkable French clones. While not regular consumers of Rosé, we were nonetheless impressed with their beautiful wines. By having all of our tasting glasses poured at once, one could receive a real sensory education through comparison and leave with a deeper appreciation of Rosé. The praise heaped on Croteaux by a friend (another North Fork winemaker) was pitch perfect. You could say we concluded our North Fork trip on a "high note."

What are your favorite restaurants and wineries on the North Fork, Long Islanders? This coastal village girl has a standing invitation for your recommendations... :-)

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