Intimate Inn with Fine-Dining Restaurant
Rows of white gables punctuate the hotel's roof-like oversize carets, jutting skyward beneath brick-colored shingles. Set on 4 acres of lush lawns and gardens just a short walk from Long Island Sound, The Portly Grape offers a quiet escape from the city or a weekend of outdoor pursuits. Selecting a suite is akin to browsing the shelves of a wine cellar, with guestrooms named for varietals such as the Cabernet, a dwelling swathed in intoxicating, deep red drapery, or the Chardonnay, whose wood paneling recalls the rich, buttery notes imparted by an oak barrel. Guests have their pick of six uniquely oenophilic king rooms, each with lofty 14-foot ceilings, a fireplace, and a 10-foot corkscrew.
Chef Mark Serrantino prepares upscale Italian-inspired American cuisine in the on-site Sim-pah-ti-koh, serving coastal cuisine including baked littleneck clams oreganata and more earthly fare such as lamb-shank ossobuco. Exotic salads and fresh vegetables mingle with expertly prepared entrees atop the formal dining room's white tablecloths. Come dessert time, a parade of fruit beignets, flourless chocolate cake, and limoncello tiramisu teams up with reislings and other sweet libations.
Greenport: North Fork's Wine Country
Greenport, named one of America's Prettiest Towns by Forbes, lures city dwellers with the fermented grape's siren song. More than a dozen wineries surround this former whaling village, many of which offer tastings and vineyard tours. Harvest season, marked by a spate of wine festivals, runs from late September through October, but drinking season runs 365 days per year.
North Fork's town beaches offer a sandy sanctuary for swimmers and sunbathers, and the area's golf courses deliver scenic island views. Greenport's dining options include everything from seafood to Texas barbecue and locally brewed craft beer.