Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day on the North Fork - a Mano, Shinn Estates and Bedell Cellars -2/12/11

Most people reading this will agree that this winter, all over the world, was cold and filled with too much snow.  I am a girl who hardly experiences cabin fever. But, this year I am feeling a bit blue due to the cold and dark Winter.  The sun and the promise of the North Fork Winterfest had started to thaw my heart.  This weekend, I wanted to get out of the house and do something blogworthy. 

When I started blogging in January, I decided that I would write only about my good experiences.  Today, I changed my mind.  Over the past month or so, people have read my blog and actually ask me where they should eat, drink and revel and they share their great experiences.  I realize that I have a responsibility to share more than just the perfect experiences.  I owe it to my readers.

This morning, I pulled out the Winterfest Supplement that came in our Riverhead News Review.  I decided on a Mano for lunch and then Bedell Cellars to hear the band 'Jazz on the Half Shell'.

Lunch at a Mano Osteria & Wine Bar (13550 Main Road, Mattituck, NY).  We arrived at a Mano just in time to witness the huge tour bus - parked completely across the entrance of the restaurant.  We waited for the 60 or so tourists to board.  We made it inside and the hostess told us that they just needed to clean off a table for us.  Fifteen minutes later, there were 6 others waiting and a few who gave up.  We read all of the accolades on the wall and checked out the T-shirt and book selection.  When we were seated, I asked for a paper menu.  I wanted to write on it.  This was promised but never arrived.  After ordering our wine, I took some pictures around the restaurant.
We ordered from the fabulous wine list.  It had the best selection of Long Island Wines that I've ever seen, as well, as other nice wines.  I ordered a glass of 2007 McCall Merlot ($12).  This is a bold yet smooth, wonderful wine.  It is worth trying.  Andrew ordered an Anglianco Italian Rose.  It looked like strawberry juice and smelled like it.  It tasted great!  It was more like a Red Wine than a Rose. Not too sweet and nicely smooth with flavors of chocolate in the background.  I was thrilled until I spilled half of my Merlot all over myself.  This was tragic.  I was thoroughly annoyed and got stubborn and would not even think about ordering another.  Secretly, I wanted the waitress to magically appear and suggest topping up my drink. She did bring me another napkin, though.

We started our lunch with a nice plater of meats and cheeses.  You can choose to order 2, 3 or 4 selections or either cheese or meat.  We decided on Gorgonzola and Catapano's (local) Goat Cheese.  We were served an additional cheese - we think it was the Truffled Pecorino.  We chose Smoked Duck, Copa and Soprasata.  This was served with lovely clear (local?) honey, fig paste and raisin chutney.  This was wonderful.  The presentation was very different and nice, using a round flat-bread (cooked in the pizza oven) as a plate.  The accompaniments were a nice pairing with this platter and it was fun trying different combinations.

We also ordered a pizza and a side of meatballs to share.  They have an option of whole wheat dough, which suits me fine.  We ordered the veal sausage pizza.  Very nice flavors from the sausage, sauce and liberal cheese.  The crust could have been cooked more thoroughly but the flavor was nice and it held up to the cheesy goodness.  The meatballs were covered in lovely ricotta and had a nice spicy taste.  Andrew loved the consistancy.  I prefer a meatball with less bread filler.

Overall, I was expecting perfection and didn't get it.  It was ,however, a nice lunch.

We then shot across from Rte 25 to North of Sound Avenue to Shinn Estate Vineyards to pick up a case of More Red.  This is the wine we enjoyed in our room at Bay View Inn and we decided to keep it stocked at home.  Each bottle was on sale for $10.99 as well as a discount for buying a case.  This is a deal because we really like the flavor.  We also bought a bottle of More Gewurztraminer (2008) for the same price and the discount.  Citrus and pineapply start that smoothes out at the finish.  I was put off by the lychee fruit flavor.  Just a flavor that I can't do. The wonderful staff at Shinn were helpful and friendly and I feel at home there after only two visits.  A current fantasy of mine is to spend a weekend at Shinn's Farmhouse.  They have rooms and it looks like a fabulous experience.

Off we went to Bedell Cellars to experience Winterfest.  It was 3:30pm and we thought we were fashionably late.  We parked in the back of one of the barns.  We were directed by a nice girl in charge of the parking field (partially covered in snow).  She was friendly and was lucky to have a sunny day for her outdoor labors.
We arrived inside to a crowded bar.  We did not know where to go to pay the $10 each to listen to the lively Jazz Band 'Jazz on the Half Shell'.  We ventured up a staircase where there were some nice couches and conversation spaces.  Back down the stairs we found a nice young man with the cash box, who pleasantly and guiltily informed us that the area where the Festival was being held - was over fire law capacity. Fail!  We could check in every 20 minutes or so.  We decided to leave.  When we arrived home and I checked into Facebook I saw that the band was starting at 2pm.  The brochure said 3pm - which explained the many cars arriving even as we were leaving.

Before I started writing this I was upset that I had to be negative about a Mano and Bedell.  But after writing, I can see that it was a nice sunny day with many unique moments.  It was not the perfect day that I was hoping for but it was pleasant and that is enough for me.

1 comment:

  1. I recieved a lovely email from Andrew Mestler - Tasting Room and Hospitality Manager of Bedell Cellars. He apologized for not being able to accomodate us on Saturday. I am looking forward to visiting Bedell again soon - they make fabulous wine! I love their motto "Perfecting the art of wine"!