I’ve covered Sep’s Farm, Little Creek Oysters, and Lavender by the Bay, but I couldn’t wrap up my trip to the North Fork without sharing some photos of two of my favorite North Fork wineries, Bedell Cellars and Kontokosta Winery. I’ve visited both wineries before and was excited to have them on our press trip itinerary.

bedell cellars Our first winery stop was Bedell Cellars, which had its nicely air conditioned tasting room set up for us, a nice bit of relief from the heat outside. I love the Bedell Cellars building and grounds. More photos can be found on my last blog post about the winery.

Bedell Cellars

North Fork wine country

Bedell Cellars

We were a little behind schedule so took a quick few minutes to wander around inside before tasting. I knew I loved Bedell Cellars wines and was excited to taste the latest Taste Rosé blend which was as delightful as past rosé blends. That 55% Cab Franc makes it! I love a rosé of Cab Franc so much, and the North Fork grows some fantastic Cab Franc.

Bedell Cellars

Before we left, I snuck out to the winery porch for a quick photo. How stunning is this space? I could have sat here all day, but we had more North Fork to explore!

Bedell Cellars

Later in the afternoon, we rolled into Kontokosta Winery. The last time I visited Kontokosta it was pouring rain, so arriving with gorgeous blue skies and bright sunshine made for an entirely different experience. The winery building and interior was as beautiful as I remembered, and I was excited to see General Manager Polly again. This time we were also welcomed by Michael Kontokosta, one of the owners of the winery, who was incredibly warm and hospitable.

Kontokosta WineryNorth Fork vineyardKontokosta Winery Michael tasted us through a number of Kontokosta’s wines, and the Viognier and Cab Franc ended up being my favorites. Viognier is another grape that grows beautifully on Long Island. These two grapes really reflect the North Fork terroir. When I open a bottle at home, it’s like I am right back there!’

Kontokosta Winery   Kontokosta Wine

bluff bar Kontokosta With a glass of the Cab Franc (oh so peppery, with notes of earth and dry leaves and dark berries, amazing) in hand, I raced down to the bluff to soak up some sun and snap photos while I sipped my wine. The wine at Kontokosta is outstanding; the views are unforgettable. For someone who loves the sea and wine as much as I do, this place is pretty much heaven.

Kontokosta Winery

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Thank you to Kontokosta and Bedell for hosting our group! I can’t wait for my next trip to the North Fork.

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Tags: Long Island wine, Long Island wine country, North Fork, press trip, Travel, travel blogger, wine, wine tasting, Wine Wednesday

I wish you could smell it, but for now, photos will have to do. Part of my Cross Sound Ferry trip to the North Fork of Long Island was a visit to the absolutely heavenly Lavender by the Bay. I have always dreamed of visiting a lavender farm, and this lived up to every expectation I had.

Lavender by the Bay grows both English and French lavender and allows visitors to wander along paths in their gorgeous fields. The farm is located near many great North Fork wineries, and across from Sep’s, a farm you also must visit.

Lavender by the Bay

Lavender by the Bay

Lavender by the Bay lavender North Fork of Long Island

lavender fields in Long Island lavender lavender fields lavender lavender drying lavender In addition to the outdoor beauty at Lavender by the Bay, an adorable farm store welcomes visitors and features all sorts of items including dried lavender, baking lavender, soaps, lavender honey (delicious in a gin and tonic), and more.

We were warmly welcomed by the farm’s owner and received our own lavender bunches, complete with instructions for drying, to bring home. Thanks to this excursion, I am typing this blog post surrounded by the beautiful smell of dried lavender, which reminds me completely of my nana. It’s such a good memory to have!

If you are visiting the North Fork of Long Island, definitely add a visit to Lavender by the Bay to your itinerary. Even if the lavender isn’t in bloom, all it leaves behind will still be worth visiting for.

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Tags: lavender, Long Island, Long Island wine country, North Fork, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger, Travel Tuesday

Summer Fridays. The phrase is one of the sweetest in the English language, I think, and I have been trying to take as many as possible this year. My schedule is such that I work Saturday and Sunday mornings and into the night many evenings, so finishing work by 1:00 on Fridays is often my goal.

Recently I enjoyed a summer Friday in town that included lunch AND dinner at Doretta. It all started with lunch plans with a friend who also has summer Fridays. We both wanted to try a restaurant we hadn’t been to yet and wanted somewhere with a patio. Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar fit both of those requirements and was also close the red line, perfect for us.

NV Domaine Spiropoulos Ode Panos Organic Brut, Mantinia Summer Friday patio lunches call for bubbly, and I was absolutely delighted with the wine list at Doretta.  I don’t have a ton of experience with Greek wine but loved this NV Domaine Spiropoulos Ode Panos Organic Brut. It was nice and dry, a rose gold color with brioche, lemon, and green apple notes, a perfect pairing with the feast we shared.

zucchini chips {Crisp Zucchini Chips with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce}

Zucchini chips are pure heaven, light and crunchy, dunked into cold and refreshing yogurt. Our Village Salad felt very traditional; I could picture myself sitting outdoors in Greece, surrounded by whitewashed walls and blue sky. This is definitely one of the most delicious ways to get vegetables.

village salad

{Village Salad}

 

crunchy eggplant { Crunchy Eggplant with Smoky Yogurt, Tomato-Harissa Compote, and Crushed Pistachios}

The Crunchy Eggplant was on the opposite spectrum of the chips and salad. It was warm and hearty, and we dug into the rustic, smoky tomato with abandon.

When lunch was over, we went our separate ways, and I met other friends for coffee and then cocktails, where we started talking about how much I loved Doretta. They work in the neighborhood and insisted we go back and try the Espresso Martini. How can I say no to that?

espresso martini {One of the best Espresso Martinis in Boston. . . my other favorite is at dbar!}

By that time it was dinner, so of course we ate again.

oysters

{Oysters with Cucumber Mignonette}

We ordered a bunch of items, but I only caught photos of two. I absolutely loved the cucumber mignonette with the briny local oysters, and the shrimp were lovely, with a nice hint of dill and great crunch from the bread crumbs.

crispy shrimp

{Warm Shrimp with Lemon, Dill, and Crunchy Bread Crumbs}

Doretta instantly became a Boston favorite and a place that I could definitely enjoy dinner out while still staying somewhat healthy.

Happy Summer Friday!

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Tags: Boston, Food, food blog, food blogger, martinis, oysters, Restaurants, summer

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