Posts made in September 2010

4th Annual North Fork Foodie Tour continues…

Hi Folks…and welcome back!
I learned something very interesting that I will incorporate into any future trips to anywhere. It may not be news to some of you, however staying off the beaten path has it’s rewards. When most of us travel we usually read about the destination(s) and go where the guide books say to go. In many cases it’s a must see destination by virtue of its historic significance or breathtaking architecture. I first experienced this, unknowingly, a couple of years ago in Italy. You can travel from one city to the next and many of the must see destinations are the houses of worship, however after seeing several of them. one can get the feeling you are seeing the same over and over again. The long lines in Florence and Venice used up quite a bit of time, and although the beauty inside was inspiring I found no lines on a visit to the beautiful city of Parma…and the same inspiration.
To the point…and back to Long Island.
For years we would take day trips to the the North Fork because we loved the vineyards, the farms, the antiques, the nurseries, vintage finds and our grandaughter Emma’s and our personal favorite stop, Lavender By The Bay. We endured the crowds in the summer and continued to visit on a regular basis places like Briermere, Peconic Herb Farm, our favorite nurseries and vineyards and ultimately “find”ing Cheryl’s Farm Stand, Shinn Vineyards & Sherwood House Vineyards.
It wasn’t, however, until the North Fork Foodie Tour did we realize how much more we were missing all of those years.
Back to Italy for a second. My point was there are sooo many beautiful churches all over Italy, why spend endless time waiting  to get in? Why endure the crowds and waste time (precious time in the case of Italy) when you can go off the beaten path and find the same inspiration?
Of course there are “must see” places, however in many cases…no matter where you travel, they’re a lot of hype.
Now, back to Long Island.
The tour took us to places we had always seen…but never went in to see.
It was like listening, but not hearing.
We found TY LLWYD Farm (always saw the little black and white sign but never went in). “An active family farm since 1870, it raises DE Kalb Gold chickens…and grows vegetables and unusual varieties of potatoes”.
We were given a tour of the chicken coups and left with our own handpicked fresh eggs and fresh milk…you know the kind where a couple of inches of real cream sits on top of the fresh milk like in the “olden days”.
Serge and Susan Rozenbaum operate Lavender By The Bay in East Marion. Foodie Tour guests were given a tour and learned about the different kinds lavender they grow in the their beautiful fields as well as the bees they cultivate that produce lavender honey. They also have a shop on the property that offers all of these home grown products and more. It’s “trip”!
We were all mesmerized by Barbara Shinn with the walking tour we took on her vineyard. She has such a passion for the work that creates the grapes that produce her wines. Low impact organic sustainable farming is her mantra and I do not use that word loosely. Who else picks grapes by the position of the moon? She is a pioneer in her field that has  proved the naysayers wrong.
Krupski’s Farm, a multi-generational family farm that thrives by changing their focus from a limited number of wholsale crops to a diverse offering of vegetables, fruits and free range poultry sold retail.
Koppert Cress searches the world for unusual varieties of aromatic herbs grown as micro-vegetables.
Satur Farms specializes in leafy vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, root vegetables and herbs.
Other stops included Sang Lee Farms specializing in organic vegetables and specialty Asian greens, Pipes Cove Oysters, Charnew Farms and the venerable Catapano Dairy Farm.
There are sooooo many wonderful fruit and vegetable farms, however…the one that stands out with some  personality is Patty’s Berries & Bunches in Mattituck. There is actually a Patty and I think her mom works there too. It’s a family affair and all I can say is their white nectarines were the best we have ever tasted. You can pick your own strawberries in June, raspberries June through September, blackberries in August and blueberries in July and August or simply take home a pint or quart of berries from this picture perfect oasis of fruit.
Many of these location descriptions are taken from The North Fork Foodie Tour flyer.
The North Fork of Long Island has always been famous for delectable fare.
Think Peconic Bay Scallops, strawberries, potatoes , Long Island Duck and of course Long Island Wine. 2007 is being touted as possibly the best vintage ever  for the vineyards!
The tradition of farming has expanded and now taken on another life as artisans have begun to produce distinctive foods and explore methods of sustainable agriculture.
If you would like to be a part of the 5th annual North Fork Foodie Tour in the summer of 2011 or would like more infomation, contact or call 631.722.5712. I can assure a wonderful learning and unique tasting experience.

Pix are coming!

Next Installment…Amish Country in Pennsylvania

Phoodographs from The North Fork Tour 2010

Cheryl’s  Best Cherry Tomatoes
Lindy’s Hot Dog Truck
Catapano’s Goat Cheese Goat
Catapano Shop
Pugliese Vineyard
Sherwood House Vineyard
Sherwood House Vineyard Sunset
Briermere Produce
Briermere Farm
Lavender By The Bay
Peconic Herb Farm

White Flower Farmhouse on Peconic Lane
Catapano Dairy Farm

Water’s Crest Winery

Peconic Herb Farm
Peconic Herb Farm Honey Bee
Peconic Herb Farm Cart Corral

North Fork Long Island Tour 2010

Hello Everybody Hello…

Well…It’s nearing the end of summer..however…you still have time over the next few weeks at harvest time to appreciate a maaaavelous culinary, gardening and found objects day tour off the beaten path in and around wine country on the North Fork of Long Island.

Your day trip comes with an optional overnight stay in Wine Country and trust me when I say it’s a fabulous full day…or two!

1st stop…Peconic Herb Farm off exit 71 of the L.I.E. (

2nd stop…Ask for directions to Briermere Farm ( off Route 48 (Sound Avenue)…a quick 15 minute ride through wine country and farm country (watch for deer).

It is between here and your next stop you will find Waters Crest Wines ( in Cutchogue (with no vineyard and in, of all places, a shopping center!) for an inspiring 2009 Dry Reisling. On the same side of the street just 100 feet east is, in my opinion, the best hot dog on wheels. No, they are definitely not all the same. Lindy’s hot dog invokes shades of the now out of business Grace’s Hot Dogs. Trust me…this hot dog is awesome! While you are at it, get 3 hot dogs and a soda for 6 bucks!

3rd stop…Continue east for about 15 minutes on Route48 through wine country and make a right on Peconic Lane. Travel less than 1/4 mile to a few nice “off the beaten path” shops (no clothing).

4th stop…return back to Route 48…go right and head east for ½ mile and see on the left Catapano Goat Cheese Farm (voted the best goat cheese in the USA). Wonderful goats milk soaps and skin products will impress, especially for the price).

5th stop…out of Catapano and continue east for about 30 minutes on Route 48 to Lavender By The Bay ( in East Marion…and a quick little side trip to walk the town of Greenport is an option. The lavender fields are picked in July and August and you can even pick your own, however at this time of year there is still a wonderful selection of fresh lavender products and lavender honey to drizzle over your toasted english muffin with sweet butter.

It’s not hard to find Route 25 West coming out of East Marion or Greenport.. This will be your route home and where you will find the majority of Vineyards.

There are soooo many nice vineyards, thus it would be hard for me to suggest…however, yes, there is always the “however”…I would suggest one humble little winery in Cutchogue with great values by the name of Pugliese.

They have nice whites ( I like the Bella Francesca white and yes and un-unctuous and wonderful Bella Maria rose’). They also produce impressive sparkling wines.

Another vineyard that I feel stands out among ALL of the vineyards…and I’ve seen many of them…is Sherwood House Vineyards in Mattituck. So much more than a vineyard. Check out the website @ .

As I indicated, this is tour can be completed in one day with an early start…however if you choose to tour at a more leisurely pace we suggest you consider an overnight stay at the Shinn estate Vineyards Bed & Breakfast (

That about does it. Call me if you want more info and, oh yeah, one more thing. Going or coming back on the LIE off Exit 61 is Mangia Baby! Enjoy, Bert