long island wineries -- help quick!
hey all - i forgot to post this last night, but the family is heading into long island tomorrow (friday) morning to check out some wineries and eat some food -- except we have no idea where to go. irresponsible. so -- anyone have any recommendations on any wineries to visit? i'm assuming the wines aren't that great (i hope i'm suprised), so some "destination" (see: pretty) wineries would be preferred. but who's got the best wines?
also, whats a good lunch and potential dinner spot?
You may be (hopefully) pleasantly surprised. Long Island actually is a close match to Bordeaux in terms of climate and soils so Bordeaux wines like Merlot and Cabernet Franc do well. Of course they won't compare to the jammy ripe California wines, if that's what you consider good. My suggestion is to follow route 48 from Mattituck and then double back on route 25 sometime after Southold. My favorite was Castello di Borghese, but your mileage may vary.
re: Astoria Lurker
Astoria Lurker has it basically right, although I'd do it the other way around: go up 25 and back down on 48, if only because that's the easier way to go from NYC (since the LIE dumps you off pretty much right onto 25). 25 has more wineries - almost too many - and 48 is more rustic.
Whites are in many ways better than reds at a lot of these wineries, but the red varietals named above, especially the Franc, are catching up. Jamesport is a sentimental favorite of mine, and I like to try to hit some of the smaller producers, like Ackerly Pond, when i go up there. Tastings hover in the $4 range.
Once you get past the outlet mall and big box store hell of suburban Riverhead there are some charming towns up there. But the restaurant scene really hasn't grown with the wineries. I have had a couple of really nice meals at the Country Kitchen in Jamesport (which is rather upscale despite the name) though, which also serves a lot of local wines. Otherwise, you really have to go all the way to Greenport to find more serious dining options.
Here is a map of most of the wineries:
re: Woodside Al
"Suburban Riverhead": I guess you're talking about Rte 58, if you take the dump off at the end of the LIE. It's only been like that for the last 4 or 5 years: before all the day trippers invaded it was a nice wooded road, but half the world seems to live to shop nowadays, so it's a draw for non-foodies.
You should start on Rte 25 the exit before and drive through Riverhead proper, an old fashioned town where all the real stores and restaurants reside. Or if it offends your aesthetic taste to see big box stores, why wouldn't you take Sound Ave. By the way, there are quite a few excellent restaurants between there and Greenport, which have all been mentioned many, many times here.
best wines are at Lieb, Lenz and Bedell
eat lunch at the Modern Snack Bar or the Farmer's Bar -or- dinner at Cliff's Elbow Room or the Bayview Inn
go to Junda's and buy as much strudel as you can
if you like goat cheese head to Catapanos for some of the best
and lastly, for the best greens and asian dressings around head to Sang Lee Farms
I second Jennieb's recommendations for wineries. Lieb is our favorite and the others she mentioned are very good too. Avoid most of the "big" names. Catapanos has wonderful fresh goat cheese.
I'd like to add other Sound Ave stops: Briermere for pies, if you want seafood The Lobster Roll Northside (their south shore and original outpost in the Hamptons is known as "Lunch"), also Harbes Farm for fresh roasted corn (it's a little early in the season though) and fresh lemonade.
Also, if you're willing to go all the way out to Greenport, my fave restaurant there for dinner is The Frisky Oyster. Also, lunch outside on the terrace at Hellenic Snack Bar in Marion.
Haven't been to Junda's but must try soon.
Pindar gives a nice free tasting of quite a few good wines. We like Palmer, for atmosphere in their tasting room, but they do charge for tastes. We like to bring a picnic lunch to either Palmer, Raphael or Martha Clara (good tastings). If you are out around Cutchogue, Farmer Bar, previously mentioned , has great barbecue.
Roanoake is hands down the best.
Shinn is next
Old Field is small but good.
Jamesport is great.
Bedell and Rapheal are good, too.
Lieb is great on the weekend.
If you don't have reservations you might not get in, but give The Fifth Season, Nortfork Table & Inn, or Jeddiah Hawkins a shot for dinner. You'll lay out some cash, but it is completely worth it!!