Judging by the weather, September will be a bonus summer month, so get out and enjoy it with the tastes that will keep autumn at bay.
Restaurateur extraordinaire Frederick H. Terry Sr. has conceptualized an additional facility to his successful Lobster Roll Restaurant Northside in Riverhead—the North Fork Tasting Room (631) 727-9513. Located in the Big Red Barn, the Tasting Room is just that, an informal tasting and retail space open year-round providing tasty lobster and seafood salads (of course!), artisanal cheese, tons of local wine, craft beer and more. In the same vein is Vines & Branches in Greenport Village (631) 477-6800 and Westhampton Beach (631) 288-2100. They stock and conduct tastings of some of the world’s finest olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and serve tasty charcuterie, cheeses, soups, salads and paninis.
North Fork Oyster Company Restaurant & Bar in Greenport (631) 477-6840 is farm to table (and sea to table!) with an upscale vibe nestled in scenic, historic environs. Executive Chef Alex Algieri has kept the emphasis on LI, seen in such entrées as local striped bass with smoked eggplant purée, tomato and bacon relish and Crescent duck confit with crispy polenta cake, chicory and tangerine honey. To go the more traditional route, get a group together for the $100 Seafood Plateau for Four, a smorgasbord of oysters, clams, shrimp, crab salad and a whole Maine lobster. Then there’s Canal Cafe in Hampton Bays (631) 723-2155. Conceived by Barefoot Contessa alums and brothers Parker and Paul Hodges, the vibe is “70s Cape Cod” and every trace of pretension that might accompany such high-octane fare has been stripped away, giving way to paper plates and plastic utensils. Seafood is the heavy hitter on the normal menu, but check out the specials for some interesting culinary melding. Depending on the day, such Tex-Mex creations as mahi mahi tostadas, lobster quesadillas and sweet chili-glazed duck drumettes may be available, and the mixed drinks have been getting raves.