Noah Schwartz and his wife, Sunita, opened Noah’s on Front Street in Greenport in 2010, and the restaurant is still packed with diners, especially on spring or summer evenings. As if Schwartz didn’t have enough on his plate, he’s opening two restaurants at the newly renovated Chequit Hotel on Shelter Island this summer. There will be a tavern offering farm-to-table American and Asian cuisine with indoor and patio seating, as well as a small 50-seat sushi and ramen noodle bar inside.
For Schwartz, a native Long Islander, work and play are a family affair. He and his wife met while working at a restaurant in Sonoma, Calif., in 2003, and they moved to the North Fork 15 years ago. At Noah’s, he works the kitchen while she’s the wine director and manages the front-of-house.
“The North Fork is such a great, small town culinary community. In season, I’ll bump into local chefs at the same fish markets in the morning, and then later at the same farm stands,” he said.
When it comes to off-the-beaten-path food finds and family-friendly activities on the North Fork, Schwartz has it wired.
THESE ARE NOAH’S FAVORITE NORTH FORK THINGS AS TOLD TO GINA WAY:
FAVORITE LUNCH SPOT
The best day-off activity is getting on our boat, and we always pick up lunch from Wednesday’s Table in Southold. They make the best banh mi sandwich on the North Fork, that’s for sure. I really like the spicy chicken, but the pork is excellent too, so I go back and forth between the two. I order it extra spicy, loaded with Thai chiles and sriracha mayo, sliced jalapenos, pickled veggies and fresh herbs.
FAVORITE NOFO ROSÉ IN A CAN
We always bring a few beverages on the boat. I like the Bridge Lane dry rosé in a can because it’s delicious and easy to travel with. Bridge Lane Wine is a sister brand of Lieb Cellars, a local winery that’s near my home in Cutchogue. The Lieb tasting room is located off a quiet rural road, and the vineyard has beautiful farm vistas overlooking the Sound. It’s one of my favorite places to watch the sunset because it’s so bucolic.
FAVORITE EARLY MORNING BEACH WALK
I live by the Long Island Sound in Cutchogue, so before work I like to take an early morning beach walk with my dog, looking for beach glass. It’s a great, calming way to start the day. The name of the beach? I think it’s called, “None Ya Business.”
FAVORITE FARM STANDS
Like a lot of local chefs, I’m a fan of Latham’s in Orient. They always give me a call when they have extra stuff that they know we can use. They just delivered me a bunch of fresh duck eggs for my brunch menu. I also source specialty and organic produce, like spicy chiles or multiple varieties of squash, from farms that don’t have stands or sell to the public, like Orient Organics and Ron’s Horticultural. These are the kinds of supplier relationships that I’ve cultivated after being in the business here for so many years.
FAVORITE PRIX FIXE MENU
I appreciate the creativity of the food they put out at 18 Bay on Shelter Island. It’s a small restaurant and the chef/owners Elizabeth Ronzetti and Adam Kopels do a delicious four-course Italian-inspired chef’s tasting menu that changes every week. As a chef, the less I have to think about ordering food when I go out to dinner, the better.
FAVORITE BIKE RIDE (AND QUICK SNACK)
When we have the time, we bike in Orient Beach State Park. It’s about a 2-mile trail along the water to the end and back that’s so scenic with wild sea life, and sea shell beaches, and you can see the lighthouse when you get to the end. Whenever I’m in Orient, I’ll usually stop by Opties & Dinghies on Village Lane for their cold sesame noodles and steamed pork dumplings.
FAVORITE PICNIC LUNCH
A super fun family day is a bike ride to Braun’s Seafood in Cutchogue. It’s a fish market that has a walk-up window where you can order food to go, and there are picnic tables for outside dining. Braun’s Kitchen makes a great local fried flounder sandwich and an equally good fried oyster po’boy, and they also do a really excellent clam chowder. They’re located next door to Peconic Bay Vineyards and they make great seafood-friendly white wines.
FAVORITE SUMMER EVENING PLAN
Miniature golf! Drossos Motel is a renovated, old-timey cool motel that features Drossos Mini-Golf, a classic 18-hole Putt-Putt course, which is open in season. To make this place even better, there’s an amazing snack stand right there, Jennie’s at Drossos, where we always get a bucket of delicious fried chicken. The chef, Jennie Werts, also runs a restaurant in Greenport with her brother Andrew called Ellen’s on Front It’s got outstanding food and an eclectic menu.