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Monday
Jun232014

Shelter Island Uncovered

Looking for an island excursion? Well, with just a ten-minute hop on the North Ferry out of Greenport to Shelter Island you’ll get just what you're looking for. But don’t be fooled, this piece of tranquility comes well equipt with great restaurants, quaint shops, historical landmarks, a nature preserve, inviting beaches, lively night life, French flair and even some celebrity spotting. We’ve explored the island from all points, both on land and by sea, and here’s what we uncovered.

Union Chapel, North Ferry Line, The Chequit Inn, Sylvester Manor (image via sylvestermanor.org)Historical Landmarks
Shelter Island has a long, rich history. The first summer vacationers arrived on the island in 1871 and formed a resort community known today as Shelter Heights. A stroll through the neighborhood and you’ll find that many of the original, gingerbread homes still remain and are part of the National Registry along with a nine-hole golf course, the Chequit Inn and the Union Chapel. If you’re looking for more authenticity visit the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm situated on 243 acres and dates back to the mid 1600’s. There are cultural events throughout the summer and a working organic farm open to the public. The Havens House, a 1743 farmhouse, now a museum run by the Shelter Island Historical Society, offers up summer activities ranging from Yoga in the Barn to Plein Air painting classes. Don’t miss the lively farmers market held every Saturday morning.

Kayaking, Paard Hill Farm (image via newsday.com, Mashomack Preserve (image via long-island.newsday.com), Crescent Beach (image via hopper.com)Activities
By land
– Bike rentals can be had from Piccozzi’s Garage & Bike Shop, located in town, across from Dering Harbor. Please note: The terrain is varied so be prepared for a bit of cardio activity. There’s horseback riding available at Hampshire Farms Riding Center, specializing in English-style horseback riding (is there any other?) and Paard Hill which also offers lessons for all levels
By water
– If paddleboarding’s your thing you can rent from Venture Out Sporting Goods. They’ll be happy to drop off and pick up your equipment from any beach, house or other location you might request. Or kayak your way around the island with Shelter Island Kayak Tours. Take a guided tour or venture out on your own just by following the five-mile buoy trail markers. Don’t miss the tiny, Taylor’s Island where you can explore its charming circa-1900 log cabin. Good to know: The island is also accessible by foot at low tide, from Mashomack Nature Preserve – but be sure to watch the changing tides!

Beaches and The Great Outdoors
Accessible only by an unpaved path called Oak Tree Lane you’ll find the secluded Shell Beach, a narrow curl of shoreline that juts into Shelter Island Sound. If you’re looking for where the locals go try Hay Beach off Menhaden Lane, where you’ll find islanders angling for local bluefish. Another favorite is the secluded Fresh Pond, a freshwater pond at the end of Fresh Pond Road, were locals like to go to cool off, though we've heard there are snapping turtles so beware. For non-stop action try Crescent Beach, also known as Sunset Beach where you’ll find water sport rentals and lively entertainment. But if you’re looking for a bit of tranquility head to the Mashomack Preserve, run by The Nature Conservancy. The preserve, which covers about a quarter of the island, has 10 miles of shoreline and 20 miles of hiking trails. Bring your binoculars, it’s the perfect spot for bird watching.

Marie Eiffel, PasParTou (image via pas0par-tou.com), Dabney Lee (image via dabneylee.com), Marika's AntiquesShopping Therapy
Marie Eiffel offers both a clothing store and home decor store located in Shelter Heights. It’s where you’ll find unique European designers and well chosen, gotta have, items for the home. There’s always a treasure to be found at Marika’s Antiques with an eclectic array of mid-century modern furniture, lamps, flea market finds and outdoor furniture and objects. Dabney Lee, new to Shelter Island, is an airy, new “pop-up” store located on Bridge Street. A great place for stationery, decorative items and accessories. PasParTou, also located on Bridge Street, offers a unique selection of home decor items, fashion accessories, cashmere sweaters, nautical-inspired clothing and vintage nautical items.

Sunset Beach (image via sunsetbeach.com), Reddings Market, Vine Street Cafe (image via vinestreetcafe.com), The Chequit InnWhere to Eat
Grab coffee and a breakfast burrito at local favorite, Stars Café, located in Shelter Heights. Reddings Market, located on Bridge Street, is the island’s go-to gourmet market, bakery and café. It’s a good place to fill up a picnic basket for a days outing. Looking for something campy and local then try Bob’s Fish Market, located on N. Ferry Rd. We go for their lobster rolls but if you’re looking to do some of your own cooking then stop in to their adjacent fish market for the local, daily catch. SALT, a casual dock-side restaurant located in Little Neck Harbor serves up their award winning clam chowder and our favorite fish tacos. Looking for the scene and to be seen? Then head to Sunset Beach Restaurant for a late dinner of French cuisine, a bottle of Andre Balazs' Reserve Rosé and plenty of action. Vine Street Café with its simple, farm chic décor, laid back atmosphere, daily specials and amazing wine list makes this a favorite dining spot for locals and visiting Hamptonites. Drop in at the historic Chequit Inn for a casual afternoon bite. Dine al fresco on their umbrella clad patio overlooking the picturesque Dering Harbor. And if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, it’s nothing but ice cream served up at the Tuck Shop located mid-island on N Menantic Road.

The Perlman Music Center (via 27east.com), La Maison BlancheEntertainment and Culture
The Perlman Music Center, a summer camp run by violinist Itzhak Perlman. features free weekly concerts throughout the summer. Good people watching and celebrity spotting can be found at Sunset Beach, order up a caipirinha, sit back and enjoy the show. And if you’re looking for some joie de vivre then go for a night-cap along with a rousing game of Petanque at Le Maison Blanche, the island’s homage to everything French.

And on that note - Santé! Et bon voyage!

Monday
Jun232014

Rolling in Dough Rolls into Greenport

All photos by David KorchinA little over 6 years ago, Matt Michel, owner and pizza maker extraordinaire, started a business called Rolling in Dough, making and serving pizza out of a 1943, K-6 International Harvester, mobile pizza truck. Fast forward to 2014 and he’s now opened the 1943 Pizza Bar, named after his pizza truck, in Sterling Square, Greenport. The pint sized eatery accommodates up to 30 people with seating both inside and out and offers up a menu of tasty tidbits like marinated olives, crostini, garden greens and of course pizza.

There’s a creative array of toppings including pulled pork, spicy fennel sausage, prosciutto, goat cheese, ricotta, carmelized onion, buttery mashed potatoes, arugula, basil pesto, and more. Take a seat, get it to go or plan a party using their unique catering services.

What’s next on the horizon? Well by mid July we can look forward to the opening of Brix and Rye located right at the mouth of Sterling Square on Main Street. A bit of a speak easy featuring a selection of fine scotch, rye, whiskey, beer and wine along with a menu of items, one of which will surely be pizza.

Monday
Jun232014

4 More Reasons to Love Sang Lee Farms

Photos by Joni RentzIf you’re going to make only one farm stand stop on the North Fork make this the one. Sang Lee has over 100 acres of certified-organic goodness, producing over one hundred varieties of vegetables and herbs. And along with all of their great produce, famous heirloom tomatoes and delicious prepared food products they’re hosting a great variety of events throughout the summer as well, all focused on educating us on the importance of good food and good fitness. 1. For starters, there’s Yoga on the Farm, surrounding you with the sounds, smells and sights of the great outdoors every Thursday and Saturday morning. 2. Join, Tour Talk Taste with Karen Lee where you’ll get to tour the farm and greenhouses, learn the history of the farm and get some insider tips on how to grow your own herbs, vegetable and flowers. You later get to sample some of the latest creations coming out of the Sang Lee kitchen. 3. For all of you wanna be farmers you can volunteer at Sang Lee to help bring in the crops of snap peas, strawberries, raspberries and more, Wednesday afternoons now through the end of July. 4. Join the Tasting Club Featuring Fabulous Farm Fresh Food & Wine Pairing in late June and July. Reservations are required so check out their website for dates and times and to sign up for all of their events.

Monday
Jun232014

We're Naming the "Bests of the North Fork"

All photos by David Korchin. 1943 Pizza Bar. Blue CanoeBEST OUTDOOR DINING
Waterside: Scrimshaw, Blue Canoe
Patio: 1943 Pizza Bar, Love Lane Kitchen

 

Blue CanoeBEST BURGER
Blue Canoe, Noah’s, O’Malley’s

 

Cliff's Elbow Room. DrossosBEST OLD SCHOOL
Cliff's Elbow Room in Jamesport, Claudios, Drossos

 

Croteaux Vineyards. McCall Wines.BEST TASTING ROOM
Croteaux Vineyards, Sherwood House, McCall Wines

 

Beall & Bell. North Found Co.BEST FINDS
Beall & Bell, North Found Co, Whiteflower Farmhouse

 

Lucharitos. The Greenport carousel.BEST CHEAP DATE
Lucharitos, Drossos, The Custer Institute, The Greenport Carousel

Monday
Jun232014

Summertime Essentials

Hey it’s summer and we’ve got a few essential, and not so essential things to help you 1. Pass the time, French style  2. Host a feathered friend  3. Deliver a thoughtful gift 4. Crack open a few bottles 5. Keep things chillin and 6. Swat a fly with panache

Friday
Mar282014

Farm Stand Finds

Photos by Joni RentzHere's what you can expect to find on the stands this summer season. And check out our FARMSTANDS page for our top farmstand locations.

Strawberries: May - June
Beans
: June - Sept
Broccoli: June - Nov
Cabbage: June - Nov
Lettuce: June - Oct
Peas
: June – July
Squash
: June – Oct

Friday
Mar282014

The Stargazers Report

Photo by David KorchinLiving in the city, stargazing wouldn't make anyone's top 10 things to do list. But when you're out on the North Fork, with that expansive black sky with it's twinkling lights overhead, it's another story. Here is a listing of the top 2 meteor showers this coming season. So grab a pillow and blanket, stretch out, and enjoy the show.

July 30. The Delta Aquarid. Best viewing Predawn in the southern sky.

This is the one to watch! With 50 meteors per hour
August 11-13. The Perseid. Best viewing Predawn in the northeastern sky.

If you're looking for an authentic, informative, stargazing experience then head to the Custer Institute, our very own Observatory located in Southold.