With coronavirus restrictions we were very selective about where we went this year, but still got to try a few restaurants, breweries and wineries.
A Lure Chowder House – This was the first restaurant we’d been to since March! Their outdoor seating was nicely spaced, and the view of the marina was great. As a bonus, they allow dogs on the patio too! I got the fish tacos; technically an appetizer, it was enough for dinner. Leandra got the mussels which were good but came with a soggy piece of ‘toasted’ bread. For some reason our waitress completely disappeared after our meal was delivered so it took longer than it should have to fix her bread issue.
Case’s Place – We went twice, both times ordering takeaway (by phone as they didn’t accept orders in person) then eating outside on one of the picnic benches on the grassy lawn. Leandra had the raw oysters to start (both trips) followed by the fish tacos once and the brat sandwich next – all were tasty. I had the chicken fingers as usual. The service is brusque, but the prices and food are good value for the area, and the views and breeze of the water make it worth it.
Barrow Foodhouse – Last summer we tried them right after they opened so we were intrigued by what they would be offering in 2020. Thankfully, it was as good as we remembered. The oven-dried tomatoes on the house salad are really flavorful, and we enjoyed both the breakfast sandwich, burger, and breakfast burrito as well. We had a discount deal from Doordash we used for delivery once but the fries did not last so we recommend picking up in person through their outdoor window.
NorthFork Roadhouse – We ordered take away and it was hit-and-miss. Basically the meat was ok to good, and the sides were poor. For example, the burnt ends were smoky and tasty (though too much sauce, I’d get that on the side next time) and the pork belly was perfectly cooked and crispy. As for the sides, the mac and cheese and coleslaw were very generic, and the fries were a soggy mess (and we got them home in ~5 minutes). Crisping them up in the oven helped some but overall their side game needs improvement.
Goldberg’s Bagels – Great sesame and everything bagels, but their raisin cinnamon bagels are poor (basically no raisins). The line can be long, and service is uneven.
Caruso’s – This unassuming Riverhead pizzeria has one of the best local cheese pizzas. Our go-to for to-go pizza!
Lenny’s – Located in Jamesport, we had a lovely to-go Sicilian pizza and mussels in red sauce with easy in-store pickup.
Hallock’s Cider Mill – Great blueberry crumb pies and chocolate covered key lime pops!
North Fork Brewing Co. – We made a reservation to sit at one of their outdoor tables, but unfortunately we had to cancel due to Pasha’s sickness toward the end of our trip. Instead, we got takeaway-beer — a crowler of Back to the Lacto with Mango and Guava for me (lightly tart, pleasant summer sipper) and Barrel Aged Gaffer’s Hearth with Coffee and Chocolate for Leandra, which she found a bit too woody.
Jamesport Farm Brewery – This brewery has a gigantic outdoor space with loads of outdoor seating, but it can get busy on weekends. We went on a Wednesday afternoon and easily found a seat in their tent area which provided a nice bit of shade, but still allowed for a cooling cross breeze. Pasha enjoyed all the sniffs too! We got the Pineapple Express cider and a Barn Swallow Brown and traded sips of each.
Lenz Winery – All tastings were held outdoors this summer and both times we made a reservation. There is lots of space between tables, at least 20 feet. Combined with a good amount of shade, it made for a pleasant experience.
With our membership were able to taste through all the new releases, but given the setup it was harder to talk in depth with the winery folks. These were our highlights:
- 2014 cuvee is something we’ve loved for a while but is getting a bit old, hopefully they’ll have a new vintage soon.
- 2014 Chardonnay Old Vines is tasting great, we brought a few of these home
- 2019 Firefly – perhaps a little lighter than 2018, but still a fun rose.
- 2017 Estate Cabernet Franc – Leandra’s favorite of the summer.
- 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – Easy drinking pizza wine!
- 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Upgraded tannins and fruit, similar to ’16 Cab.
- Both the Old Vines Merlot (smoky and spice on the nose, smooooth) and Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon are also drinking well right now.
Macari wasn’t open for tastings in July, but they did offer free local delivery so we enjoyed their 2019 rose and the early wine.