There is no denying the North Fork’s rising reputation as a serious regional producer of all things farm-to-table. From chefs that conjure creative dishes sourced from nearby farms practicing innovative sustainable growing practices to the bevy of 90-point wines that are defining Long Island as a heavy hitter in the viticulture industry.
Yes, there is no doubt that North Fork producers of all kinds take their crafts seriously, but not themselves. The North Fork is after all the un-Hamptons — more laid-back with air of accessibility our neighbors to the South Fork lack.
The evidence is in the signs. Literally. I always get a chuckle out of North Fork signs that deliver on a pun. From the “gluten-free” firewood for sale at Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm in Mattituck to Cliff’s Elbow Room humorously cautioning travelers that “driving by would be a missed steak” on sidewalk board outside the Jamesport restaurant. Mattitaco also has a good play on words with their “whaley good tacos,”a nod to their sombrero-wearing whale logo.
Residents get in on the fun too. One of my highlights on the way to work is a clever for sale sign advertising a sailboat “for sail.” Ba dum cha.
The writing on the wall has spelled out loud and clear that the North Fork has remained true to its humble roots. The lesson learned is there is always room for some fun on the way to notoriety. You can’t take yourself too seriously.
- Speaking of down home happenings… The new Suffolk Waterfront Fund is hosting its annual Art, Oysters & Champagne fundraiser Sunday. Add it to your calendar with these nine other can’t-miss events this September.
- Labor Day weekend is upon us. The end of the summer is near and there’s more than a few signs people are ready to embrace the fall. Hate it or love it, Starbucks announced the return of the pumpkin spice latte Tuesday. There are apples at back at Wickham’s farm stand and pumpkin spice empanadas are coming to Lucharitos.
- If you have seen it yet, our special September Working Waterfront issue is out on newsstands. Content Director Grant Parpan told the story of local fisherman and photographer Chris Hamilton, who is capturing life at sea with his popular Instagram page, @northforkfisherman. Hamilton is also a member of the North Fork Art Collective. He will be signing magazines this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Greenport gallery space. It is also a chance to meet some of the other artists and enjoy light refreshments.
- There is a new wine to try. Vintage Mattituck Wine & Spirits in Mattituck teamed up with Jamesport Vineyards to create their own Beach Blanc wine. The white blend is 100 percent Long Island made and is on sale now.
- In fond farewells, Four & Twenty Blackbirds announced on Instagram Labor Day weekend would be its last in Orient stating, “I am very sad to see this wonderful place come to an end but beyond excited to move on to an exciting adventure with my family.” We’ll miss the pie.
Cyndi Murray is the associate content director for Times Review Media Group, covering all things fun and engaging about our area for northforker.com and northforker magazine. Send her your feedback and story ideas at [email protected].