Cars whizzing down the North Wading River road could easily miss Michael Anthony's Food Bar, a handsome restaurant nestled amid leafy trees and residential homes at the threshold of wine country. The lucky patrons who do find the eatery, however, are rewarded with the dazzling site of pristine white tablecloths set with sapphire glasses, colorful hot-air balloons dangling from lofty white rafters, and bright walls speckled with vivid decor. Diners can then take a seat upon one of the soft cushions to nibble on oysters and toast their great discovery with a glass of fine wine.
Meanwhile, in the restaurant's kitchen, Chef Michael Anthony is hard at work folding fresh seafood, premium meats, and imaginative sauces into a variety of small plates, pastas, and seasonal specialties such as the pumpkin chicken with balsamic-rosemary butter or the duck breast with apricot-apple chutney. Michael has spent the last 25 years perfecting his signature "New American Cuisine" recipes, favoring inventive ingredients such as toasted-sage olive oil.
Daniel Carmody's Restaurant & Public House treats patrons to ice-cold beers paired with a spread of hearty plates home-made with fresh ingredients, from beer-battered fish and chips to rib eye steaks and spicy chicken wings. As they laugh with friends and sip frosty brews, guests watch sports on an arsenal of 25 televisions, or dance and sing along to live music each Friday and Saturday night.
When the founders of Clovis Point Winery first laid eyes on the 10-acre plot of North Fork farmland, they knew they had found the perfect spot to transform their vision of a boutique winery into a reality. The plot hit everything on their checklist?sun-swept fields, accessibility, and a picturesque 1920s potato barn that would later be transformed into a tasting room complete with mahogany doors, bluestone floors, and a heated patio overlooking the vineyards. The barn isn't Clovis Point Winery's only nod to the past. According to the New York Times, which lauds the winery as ?emblematic of the versatility of some East End boutiques,? the name stems from stone spear tips believed to originate from the Clovis people, a tribe of Indians who inhabited North Fork during the Paleolithic Age.
Today, the winery has grown to span 15 acres of merlot, cabernet franc, and chardonnay vines, which winemaker John Leo ferments into award-winning wines. He also maintains the founders' original vision of keeping production on a smaller scale, producing only 2,000 cases per year to ensure that each bottle has the interesting flavors and easy-going personality reflective of its small-town upbringing.
Harbes Family Farm & Vineyard started in 1978, when newlyweds Ed and Monica Harbes bought some land and began growing potatoes and cabbages to support their family. Ed, a 13th-generation farmer, worked with his father to get the business up and running. As the years passed, the couple's children started to work on the farm as well. Eventually, all the family's tomatoes, sweet corn, and growing brood of scarecrows outgrew their original plot of land, and the family expanded into three separate locations—which Ed and Monica's eight children still operate. As the Harbes plow and harvest the fields, visitors at each location can stock up on fresh produce and participate in seasonal activities. An 6-acre Wild West corn maze draws visitors to Jamesport farm, whereas at Riverhead farm, the fall season brings opportunities to pick apples and pumpkins. Another 5-acre Robin Hood-themed corn maze entertains the masses while a spooky moonlight corn maze cast spells of fall splendor. Visitors to the Mattituck location—the largest farm—can shop for fresh produce in the market or relax in the wine-tasting barn. Amid its warming and inviting wood walls, servers pour selections from Harbes Family Farm & Vineyard's award-winning wines, which Winemaker Ed Harbes IV creates using his vineyard's vinifera clones. But as much as the Harbes family loves food and wine, it also devotes a large portion of time to environmental preservation. The farmers use locally sourced compost to reduce to need for commercial fertilizer, and as of 2012, they have placed more than 50 acres into conservation easement, ensuring that the land is never developed or used to grow an army of giant brussels sprouts.
Just outside of Naples, Italy in a town called Dugenta, Salvatore Diliberto's family crafts its own wine each year and stores it in the cellar of the castle next door. Though miles away from the vineyard and the old stone building, Diliberto carries on the Old World techniques at his Jamesport winery, where he tends to several acres of vines including franc and chardonnay. He presses the grapes, barrel ages the wine, and bottles it with Diliberto labels?some of which bear an artistic rendering of the castle in Dugenta.
In his tasting room, Diliberto presents his specialty wines to guests during a tasting experience designed to transport them to his ancestral home. He forgoes the bar experience in favor of the small table settings that one finds staggered outside an Italian caf?. A mural on one end of the room further heightens the sense of travel, trading the North Fork for the bustling streets and sentient traffic lights of a Tuscan mountain town.
Established in 1997, the vines at Jason's Vineyard are now a fully mature 17 years of age, producing a wide variety of wines that includes two chardonnays, two merlots, sauvignon blanc, and many others. Their perfected roster of wines also includes a Golden Fleece blend, a clean, fruity wine whose grapes are guarded by dragons. Each wine can be sampled at the winery, built in 2009, where visitors may also purchase bottles, snack on cheeses, or enjoy time at a main bar shaped like a Greek trireme.