The fresh, mild morning air is filled with the welcoming sounds of chirping birds. Nature is waking up to a new season on the North Fork.
Here are a handful of signs that spring has begun on the NoFo.
Hallock’s Cider Mill in Laurel is now open, serving up homemade pies, cookies, jams, chowder, honey, cheese, gift baskets and local produce (in season). If you visit, be sure to check out the super cool gnome tree next door. They are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hallock’s Cider Mill, 1960 Main Road, Laurel.
The ospreys have returned. Feeding almost exclusively on fish, ospreys are commonly referred to as fish hawks or sea hawks. Their very specific diet requires that they live within close proximity to open waters such as rivers, lakes, bays or the ocean. They typically make their first appearance on the North Fork around mid-March.
Modern Snack Bar will open April 18. The Aquebogue restaurant famous for roast Long Island duck, lobster salad and lemon merengue pie is back for its 67th season. They will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays, noon until 9 p.m. This year they announced they have doubled their beer tap capacity to six and are offering a new wine selection available by the glass and bottle, including local selections. They will also bring back mid-week specials.
Editor’s note: An ad displayed in this week’s edition of the Riverhead News-Review erroneously stated the restaurant’s opening date. As stated above, it is April 18.
Modern Snack Bar, 628 Main Road, Aquebogue.
Porto Bello Restaurant in Greenport opens for the season on Friday, April 14. For the spring season, they will serve dinner on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 10 p.m. This week they will feature an Easter Sunday dinner menu from noon until 8 p.m. The restaurant is now accepting reservations.
Porto Bello, 1410 Manhanset Avenue, Greenport
McCall Wines’ tasting room will open its barn doors on April 22, featuring the new 2016 vintage of the popular Marjorie’s Rosé for tastings and purchase.
McCall Wines, 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue
The second annual Dandelion Festival is set or April 23. Though many people think of the dandelion as a weed, there are plenty who extol the medicinal and digestive benefits of the yellow flower. KK’s The Farm in Southold will once again celebrate it during the second annual Dandelion Festival on Sunday, April 23 (rain date, April 30). The event, which drew about 400 people in its first year, will feature educational speakers, wreath making, face painting, food made with dandelion for purchase, hooping, drumming and more. The festival runs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is free to attend.
KK’s The Farm, 59945 Main Road, Southold
Bay View Farms and Market is open and they have spinach and horseradish available.
The Aquebogue farm stand is carrying spinach and horseradish, among other types of food and gift products that they sell. They are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days per week.
Bay View Farms and Market, 891 Main Road, Aquebogue
Schmitt’s Family Farm in Riverhead has opened, selling their famous horseradish, along with items such as pickled beets, salad dressing, pickles, jams, fresh made pies and pansies. The farm stand is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for spring. They will be closed Easter Sunday.
Schmitt’s Family Farm, 3355 Sound Avenue, Riverhead
Know of other North Fork businesses opening for spring? Tell us in the comments.