January on the North Fork: A time to lean into the quiet and get a very welcome fresh start. It’s also a great month to resolve to visit some of the local spots you’ve always meant to see. Here are a few of our suggestions of things to try as we kick off 2022.
A dessert fit for a king
Start the New Year the French way with the delicious tradition of galette des rois at Demarchelier Bistro in Greenport. Indulge in delicious galettes made by Blue Duck Bakery during the Jan. 6 edition of French Thursdays, Demarchelier Bistro’s weekly conversationevenings. “The King’s Cake,” galette des rois is a mouth-watering puff pastry confection with almond-flavored frangipane filling. Each cake contains a small, porcelain charm, or fève. Find the fève and you’ll be crowned king or queen for the day and win a prize. The celebration begins at 5:30 p.m.
Kick off the new year with a hike
First Day Hikes have become a trend across the country as state parks programs encourage residents to get out and catch some fresh air on New Year’s Day. The North Fork is home to a pair of state parks, including the incomparable Orient Beach State Park in Orient. They’ll host a guided tour there from 10 a.m. to noon. Call 631-323-2440 to make a reservation.
Enjoy a PawPaw pop up
PawPaw, the twice-a-month pop-up dinner from Taylor and Katelyn Knapp of Peconic Escargot, is back at the Lin Beach House in Greenport for delicious sit-down, five-course tasting dinners on Jan. 8 and 22. The meals are $85 and wines are available to purchase. Prefer to stay home this month, then check PawPaw out on Jan. 28, when it once again hosts the Roasted Fowl Feast. The meal includes bone broth, North Fork Sea Salt biscuits with hot honey and Hal’s butter, half a roasted chicken from Miloski’s Poultry Farm in Calverton, two locally grown veggie sides and dessert for $45 per person. Add on seared foie gras with brioche and apple butter! Dine-in option is also available on that date.
Friday night music at Lieb Cellars
Lieb Cellars’ Friday night music series runs each week from January to March with a great lineup of local musicians. On Friday nights from 5 to 7 p.m. sip wine and listen to tunes from Jeff Leblanc (Jan. 7), Jon Divello (Jan. 14), Robin Sidor (Jan. 21) and Julia King (Jan. 28) this month. Table reservations are recommended and can be made via the vineyard’s website liebcellars.com.
Sip North Fork wine on the South Fork
OK, so this Jan. 13 event isn’t a thing to do on the North Fork, but it’s close enough. Experience an amazing wine dinner that happens only a few times each year at Cowfish in Hampton Bays. Featuring five-courses crafted by Cowfish chefs, each off-menu course is paired with a wine that celebrates Long Island’s Wine Country. On Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. they’ll feature Macari Vineyards of Mattituck. Reservations are $90 per person
Get up close and personal with your favorite sea animals
Happily for stir-crazy families, the Long Island Aquarium is open year-round and the facilities are socially distanced and partially outdoors. Make a memory that will last with the aquarium’s Penguin Encounter, a 30-minute private tour of the penguin habitat and up-close experience with these lovable birds. Tickets are available Thursdays – Sundays at 11:15 a.m. and cost $65 for non-members. (Kids under 12 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult.) Yes, photos are permitted; no, you may not pet the penguins.
See how the grand folks once lived
The architecture, beauty and grandeur of estates around Long Island will be featured in Beyond the Gates: Long Island’s Grand Estates of Yesteryear at the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead beginning later this month and running through June. Check out the Gatsby era estates of the 1920s Gold Coast to the grand homes. An opening reception Jan. 29, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Go ice skating in Mitchell Park
Though the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shutdown last year, Greenport’s ice rink at Mitchell Park is a North Fork staple during the winter and they’re hoping to reopen toward the middle of January. Weather permitting, the rink is open to the public every day, Monday-Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission ranges from $3 to $10 and skate rentals are $5 per person. We recommend family night Fridays which are from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and are $7 per person, including rentals. More details at villageofgreenport.org.
Make wine at Sannino
Sannino Vineyard co-owner and winemaker Anthony Sannino is taking guests on a tour of his vineyard and teaching them the winemaking process next Sunday, Jan. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All throughout the tour you taste their current wine lineup to better understand the various methods of making unique styles of wine. After the tour, a light lunch is served. Then you learn how to blend your own custom bottle of wine. Each guest will be able to blend their own wine and take home a bottle. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased at sanninovineyard.com.
Stargaze at Custer Institute & Observatory
Established in 1927, Custer Institute, located on Main Bayview Road in Southold, is Long Island’s oldest public observatory and is open to the public every Saturday evening from 7 p.m. until midnight. Enjoy a tour of the facilities and view the winter night sky through the institute’s telescopes. A donation of $5 per adult and $3 per child is suggested. For more information visit, custerobservatory.org.