As you may already know, “Spring Watch 2015” is in full effect here at northforker, where we’re eagerly documenting the return of the area’s seasonal businesses. This week, April showers had us feeling gloomy — but we’re uplifted by the reopening of the following wineries and restaurants.
First on our list is Diliberto Winery in Jamesport, which officially welcomed the season on April 10. Plan on heading to the Manor Lane establishment to try its newly released 2014 rosé ($17/bottle).
“I’m hoping for a very busy season,” winery co-owner Maryanne Diliberto told northforker. “I’m very gung-ho.”
It’s quiet there now, but Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue, which reopens Tuesday, April 14, will soon be bustling with activity. Owner Otto Wittmeier told us customers can expect to see all their favorites menu items, like lobster salad, roast duck, fresh flounder and meatloaf. Things don’t really change at the Main Road restaurant, Wittmeier said, and he sees no reason to start now.
“That’s worked for us, so why change it?” he said.
Change is in the air at Porto Bello Restaurant in Greenport, which reopens Thursday, April 16, at 4 p.m.
Owner Diane DiVello said she and her crew are “very excited to start out the season with our newly refurbished waterfront dining patio.” Beginning Memorial Day weekend, they’ll also start serving lunch on the weekends for the first time.
Their dinner menu will change weekly to “take advantage of fresh local farm goods and seafood,” DiVello said, but Porto Bello’s signature stuffed veal chop will always be on the menu. And if you like craft beer, you’re in luck: they’re now going to be serving it on tap and in flights.
Farther west on the North Fork, Russell McCall is preparing for the release of two new vintages at McCall Wines in Cutchogue. When the Main Road tasting room opens Friday, May 1 customers will be able to taste its 2014 Marjorie Rosé ($18/bottle) and 2013 Estate Pinot Noir ($39/bottle).
“It has a nice, delicate freshness,” McCall said of the Marjorie Rosé, which he named after his mother. “This is a wine you can have with fresh seafood or oysters. It’s great for the North Fork.”
Just as tasty is McCall’s 2013 Estate Pinot Noir, which was made using the grapes in a three-acre portion of the vineyard. Only 400 cases are available.
“It’s plump and velvety,” McCall said. “It doesn’t fight with your mouth.”
There’s even more going on at McCall, too: the winery is in the process of renovating its tasting room to include a dedicated “beef room” for the sale of grass-fed, organic cuts from its charolais cattle.
Brewster McCall, Russell’s son, said the winery will begin selling ground beef, roasts and steaks beginning in mid-June. Check out their cows in Whole Foods Market’s new ad campaign.
Is all this talk about food making you thirsty? Southold Farm + Cellar, which opens today, Saturday, April 11, has the remedy. Arrive there early to get your hands on their new 2014 petillant sparkling wine, “Weather to Fly,” or “Minor Threat,” a 2014 carbonic cabernet franc.