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Aug 23, 2013 09:17 AM

North Fork Report, Greenport Hot Spots and Links to current NoFo articles...

Our daughter is visiting from Brooklyn for the week and we spent the afternoon visiting the new Kotokosta Winery, Main at The square, First and south, Blue canoe before dinner at Comtesse Therese - amazing day!

Kntokosta is Greenport's first winery and it is nothing short of spectacular - the wines are good, too! The tasting room is an incredible space, soaring ceilings, walls of windows, clean, spare, industrial-chic at its very best. The building is sided with reclaimed wood and the tasting room is powered by a huge wind turbine. It's a short walk (.13 mi.) from the back doors to the bluff overlooking the Sound, which is reached by a wide, mowed trail that leads to picnic tables under trees. One couple brought their own chairs to sit right on the edge of the bluff; Stephanie gladly supplied them with an iced holder for the bottle of white they purchased. There is a steep, winding path to the nice beach below but it is doable if you are up to it; fishermen were on the rocks below. After our tasting we bought glasses of our individual choices to sip at one of the tables to fully enjoy the view and experience the incredible surroundings while a huge red-tailed hawk soared overhead. I hesitate to give such a glowing review for fear of them being over-run but there were plenty of people there on a Thursday afternoon so I think it's safe to say the secret is already out. Their wines can only be purchased there; I wanted to buy every one they offered but settled on an excellent Savignon Blanc; a Cab Sav which is by far the best we have ever tasted out here (NoFo is not really known for its Cab Savs for good reason); a lovely Chardonnay and the Blum Merlot (so named in honor of the winemaker from the former Ackerly Pond Winery who recently passed way; it is made from grapes from Ackerly Pond). They also offer their own Merlot featuring grapes grown on site. I will be going back ASAP for their Cab Franc, the first one I ever liked after tasting many out here, and their Viogner, also the best I have ever tasted. They have cheese and something else (I forget) but they do not allow outside food in so be fore-warned. We can't wait to go back. BTW, the owner/operators also own the Harborfront Inn, across from Noah's.

Then we heade to Main for a drink and oysters. We ordered a dozen, mixed, West coast only (I know, blame the daughter who married a West Coast guy), and an incredible crab cocktail. The couple next to us ordered a dozen local, also mixed, and before we finished, Bruce, who was manning the oyster bar, brought over 3 locals for us to taste and 3 West Coast for the other couple - nice gesture and typical of the very friendly staff. If the freshness of the oysters and crab are any indication of the food they serve then dinner should be delicious and we plan to go back soon. It really is a small space inside so reservations are suggested, they were doing a brisk business when we were there.

We walked over to First and South, another favorite of ours, to sit outside and enjoy their super french fries (with another drink). We got in the car to head back west but hubby said we should stop at Blue Canoe so our daughter could see what had been done to the old Chowder Pot, which she had stumbled into once. We sat at the outside bar (club soda; there was still dinner and wine to come) and watched the ferries go back and forth while skateboarders and strollers filled the boardwalk that runs from there all the way back to Claudio's.

We barely made our reservation at Comtesse Therese, which was almost full. Dinner was excellent but the chocolate cake I ordered for dessert was topped with a warm, decadent chocolate sauce that we fought over. We have had their wines before and enjoy them but we had never eaten there; I highly recommend them for food as well as wine. They also have a liquor license in case anyone would like a cocktail before dinner.

NoFo is in the news and here are links, hope they work: (if the link doesn't work just go to, it's on the front page).

From the facebook page of Kontokosta: - nice pics of the winery and more local news for NoFo.

Nice write up by a blogger who recently spent the weekend in Greenport:

Both these links are on the winery's facebook page and you can get them there if these links don't work.

Finally, regarding Claudio's Restaurant in Greenport....I don't think I have ever read a kind word about them but we love the bar (inside, not the outside!). We recently went there for their pineapple martinis made from the huge jar of vodka filled with fresh pineapple on the bar and ordered their delicious homemade potato chips (truly addictive). We also had arguably the best, freshest, cherrystone clams on the half shell ever. Then we said, what the heck, let's order a lobster to share. We watched the bartender fish it out of the tank (2 & 1/2 lbs.) and ordered it broiled. It was perfectly cooked and served with corn that came directly from the farm and fresh, crisp, homemade cole slaw.

Sorry for the long post, hope you make it to some of these places soon!

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  1. All these recommendations are on my list to try now. Thanks for sharing!

    And as for Claudios, yeah it's old fashioned but we too LOVE sitting at the bar, we always end up chatting with the stranger next to us because it's that kind of place. And we always get the raw clams, they are impeccable. Hey, more of them for us, right?

    8 Replies
    1. re: coll

      You're welcome, coll! Sorry the links I posted don't work, the articles and blogs are great and have beautiful photos. Seems like NoFo is in the news a lot recently; again today in Newsday regarding McCall's Winery winning the top award in the state - haven't made it there yet but plan to go ASAP to try their Pinot Noir.

      Glad to hear you also enjoy Claudio's, I was afraid of being blasted but like you say, just more for us, and that old bar is classic "Old New York" :-)

      1. re: nofolady

        Yep, the bar is definitely old NY. From their website:

        "History surrounds you in this National Historic Registered Building, circa 1845. The magnificent Victorian bar was installed in 1886 by Manuel who salvaged it from an old hotel being torn down in New York's Bowery in 1885. At the end of the bar is the beautiful mirrored hardwood saloon door which served as the summer entrance."

        And here are your links:

        A link to Kontokosta, it was easier to find that on the blog itself

        And the Pinterest blog, but you have to jump the pages back to July, it's not set up very conveniently

        1. re: nofolady

          I like McCalls. In general, I dislike the vast majority of red wines made on the NF, but McCall's reserve pinot noir is far and away the best red made out there. Too bad it's $45....about $30 past my price range. McCall's is a nice winery to visit...very simple and low key...and I love the Charolais cattle.

          1. re: EricMM

            Ah. I just saw a truckful of Charolais cattle on the ferry, headed to CT, and wondered where the heck they were coming from. Long Island is starting to get into cattle in a big way suddenly, I always felt that was the one thing really missing in our beautiful countryside.

            1. re: coll

              coll how could you forget the North Quarter Farm in Riverhead and it's huge herd of cattle??????????

              1. re: Motosport

                Are bison considered cattle? I'm not sure....

                I was thinking more like Elsie and Elmer. Hey, I met them both personally at Freedomland, and at the Worlds Fair later on. They are my ideal!

                1. re: coll

                  Bison are cattle!!! The other cattle ranch is out in Montauk near the lighthouse.

                  1. re: Motosport

                    Oh you're right, I forgot about Montauk. That ranch has only been around since the 1600s! But those cattle seem wild to me, rather than domesticated, although obviously I haven't gotten up close and personal with that particular herd. Aren't they like Long Horns or something?

                    I only found out about the Charolois breed when I saw them on the ferry a few weeks ago, and my friend in ND identified them. Now those are my kind of cow. I can see them dressed up like Elsie, with daisy chains around their necks! Although my friend told me that when they have calves, they are very aggressive and even viscious. So much to learn. All I knew until know was Holsteins and Guernseys. What fun!

        1. re: coll

          Don't forget about Cow Tales candy!!

          1. re: Motosport

            I had dinner at First and South last night. I recommend their fried calamari (mostly rings, though) with preserved lemon, and their outstanding, and very rich, clam chowder with smoked cod and bacon. Eggplant with Israeli couscous offered an interesting interplay of textures, but we were not wowed by this dish.

            On the corner across from the IGA.

            Indoor and outdoor seating; they have heaters and provide blankets, helpful for the cooler nights ahead. Manhattan prices. I'd like to return to try their pulled pork sandwich, one of last night's specials.


            1. re: erica

              It's on our post labor day list.