ESCAPING NEW YORK
by Tracy Kaler
|A tranquil sunset on the Long Island Sound|
This is our fourth summer spending time on the North Fork, which sounds more like an eatery than a wine or coastal region. Up until the past several years, few New Yorkers made the trip to the less busy, more casual Hamptons neighbor. But recent press will undoubtedly alter the demographic, which has been mostly East End locals, fellow Long Islanders on a winery day trip, and a few city folk seeking more solitude and less hype. Featured this past June as the Un-Hamptons in the New York Times, I suspect one of New York's best-kept secrets won't be a secret much longer, if it's not been found out already.
|Bogey and I wait for the sun to set.|
The North Fork is country meets beach meets foodie destination, and the latter will no doubt become more predominant in the next several years. Though we prefer cooking to eating out when we're visiting – we shop at favorites like Briermere Farms for fresh, local produce, and the best fruit pies on the Eastern Seaboard, Southold Fish Market and Braun Seafood in Cutchogue, and the Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck – no trip is complete without a meal at Love Lane Kitchen. Love Lane's lobster roll easily rivals those we've eaten in Maine, and the fish tacos are tastier than any I've tried in Manhattan to date.
|Love Lane Kitchen makes a killer lobster roll!--photo via Love Lane Kitchen|
Some beach-goers might say, "It's not on the ocean." Or, "It doesn't have the nightlife of the South Fork." It's not; and it doesn't. Sound beaches are rocky, rugged, and more wild than flat, wide, sandy beaches on the ocean side. Sun goddesses fancy sugar sand to pebbles and shells, and though I love a splash of sun-kissed color, in the afternoons, I'm inclined to relax in an old farmhouse, sipping Chardonnay, devouring cheese, and listening to live guitar music at Sherwood House Vineyards, instead. Or for a quieter experience, I'll lounge on the spongey green lawn at McCall Wines, catching a few rays as I toss back a glass or two of Marjorie's Pinot Noir rosé or Ben's Bordeaux Blend, then admire and pet the Polo ponies between tastes.
|Vines at Sherwood House|
|Lazy day at McCall Wines|
|Mike and Bogey|