A few weeks back I woke up at the ass of dawn to head out to Port Washington, Long Island with my sister, a friend from school, and my buddy Harold Dieterle. We'd been talking about heading out for stipers—as striped bass are called—for years, but it's not always easy for a working chef and a writer-on-too-many-deadlines to find mutual time off to do it. We jumped at the chance when it arose. We were on the water by 5:30, and cooking up a storm by mid-afternoon. Come take a look at the photos.
'Long Island' on Serious Eats
We'd already made up our minds to order a chicken roll (that'd be thin-cut strips of fried chicken rolled up in pizza dough, baked, and served with sauce for dipping). But then we heard one of the girls in front of us—the skinniest one, no less—order a "ravioli pizza please."
Uh... what? Surely she means "ravioli, pizza, please," right?.
Nope. She meant ravioli pizza. As in ricotta ravioli baked on top of pizza. As in cheese-stuffed carbs, placed on top of carbs, covered in more cheese, topped with some extra cheese for good measure. Oh, and then baked.
"I love these salts because they taste like the Northeast," Daniel Humm, executive chef of Eleven Madison Park, says of Amagansett Sea Salt. "I use them as a finishing salt on vegetables, cut meat surfaces—everything." Quite an endorsement for this small-production salt farm, started in 2009 by Steven and Natalie Judelson.
Most oysters have place-referencing names. Island Creeks (after the freshwater outlet in Duxbury Bay, MA); Otter Coves (from the Puget Sound); you get the picture. But the Blue Island Oyster Company on the Long Island Sound chose a New York icon, the naked dude in Times Square, as its oyster namesake. We visited their oyster farm; come take a look!
Claudia Fleming rose to fame as the pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, where she was named Pastry Chef of the Year in 2000. She and her equally talented husband, Chef Gerry Hayden, have since escaped the city and opened The North Fork Table & Inn, now considered to be one of Long Island's best restaurants. We talked with Claudia about her new life out in the country, her favorite sweet treats, and the less-than-desirable side effects of publishing a cookbook.
Gino's is a Great Neck slice staple. In fact, many locals look to it as the benchmark for all things triangular, saucy, and cheesy. Their pink topped slice alone certainly helps this Long Island joint stand out from the pack.
The cold cheese slice is heavy in every sense of the word, but Little V's New York-style pizza is more than sturdy enough to handle the weight. What you get is a pizza with fresh new layers of tangy cheese both hot and cold; a slice that is decidedly not for the lactose intolerant.
You might think that winter wouldn't be an interesting time to visit a winery, but now that the wines are fermented and safely tucked into barrels and tanks, winemakers are busy blending and bottling the wine. A recent trip to the North and South Fork of Long Island gave me the chance to chat with local winemakers, tour the cellars and taste barrel samples, as well as try some wines that have been aging in the cellars for a decade—impressive stuff. In the fields, there's some pruning to do, but most of the excitement is in the wineries these days—at least until the first green buds appear on the vines.
I don't know how much I really have to say about Umberto's Pizzeria and Restaurant, so let's see if I can't just wrap it up with one sentence: The grandma pizza here is phenomenal. That's about all you need to know.
It helps that the Turkey Meatball Sandwich is a manageable size: instead of a hoagie or hero roll, this comes on a soft round seeded bun.
It seems strange to use the term "food court" anywhere in The Hamptons — sad suburban malls have food courts — but that's essentially what you have at 103 Main Street, Pizzetteria Brunetti's location. Teenagers work the ice cream freezers just inside one of the doors; the market sells baked goods, sandwiches, and cheeses; and between the two, tucked into a narrow corridor, is a small stall with a large oven whose familiar glow hints at the possibility of some serious pizza.
Channing Daughters Winery's winemaker, James Christopher Tracy, eschews all the "Long Island is Like Bordeaux" hyperbole, instead styling wines with a distinct Northern Italian influence—and get this—some of them are orange. Yes, orange.
Back in April, Michael Honig reminded us that at the heart, winemakers are farmers. "We don't grow bottles," he said, "we grow grapes." So today I wanted to take a look at how those grapes have been growing around the country. The weather has been somewhat erratic, hotter than usual in New York's wine regions, and cooler in California (with a few scorching days), but winemakers are hopeful about what they're seeing. Will 2010 be a great vintage or a catastrophic one?
[Photo: Kathy YL Chan] Heading out to the Hamptons this weekend? Make sure to stop by Tate's Bake Shop in Southampton for an order of bread pudding ($5.95). The puddings comes in plain or chocolate—opt for the latter, a...
[Photographs: Nick Solares] Today Smashburger announced that they're planning to enter the New York City-area with 20 locations in Long Island, the first location to open near the end of the year. Currently the closest Smashburger to New York...
In this week's edition of Meet Your Farmers, we meet David Falkowski, known to Long Island locals as "Mushroom Dave." He's been growing, foraging, and selling quality mushrooms in Bridgehampton, New York, since 2003. You also may recognize him from an episode of Barefoot Contessa when Ina Garten spotlighted his oyster mushrooms in her lasagna.
[Photographs: Maggie Wood] The North Fork of Long Island may not be as glamorous as its southerly neighbor (the more famous fork, home to the Hamptons and Montauk) but it's an agricultural paradise with rich soil and an ocean-tempered climate that remains largely rural and committed to its agrarian roots. Traditionally potato country, the region is now home to more than 30 vineyards and is teeming with large and small-scale vegetable farms, berry patches, and orchards. In addition to the farmers' markets, CSAs, and roadside farm stands, you'll also find top-notch farm-to-table dining. (like the North Fork Table and Inn). So who's behind the bounty of good food coming out of the North Fork? I recently spoke with the...
Note: Meet Your Farmers is a weekly series where we profile the farmers that mean so much to serious eaters everywhere. This week we introduce you to DeLea Sod Farms, a family-owned business based on the North Fork of Long Island. These folks may be in the sod business, but they also grow amazing produce at rock-bottom prices for the community. They have been my exclusive source for vegetables all summer long. I've never eaten sweeter corn and tomatoes, or more flavorful squash and zucchini. --Chichi [Photographs: Chichi Wang, unless otherwise noted] [Photograph: Frank Beyrodt, Jr.] Names: Vincent Sasso, Rick DeLea, Frank Beyrodt Farm: DeLea Sod Farms How many acres? 40 acres devoted to vegetables and 3,500 to 4,000 acres...
One dude. One acre. 100 varieties. This video features Dan Machin's one-acre farm, dubbed The Lone Acre, in Riverhead, Long Island. Machin focuses on diversity and companion planting—"using different plants to offset different pests and diseases"—and shows that you...