Posts Written ByDave Seel

Turning Beer Into Bread: Greenport Harbor Brewing’s Spent Grain Takes a Tasty Turn

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The North Fork food community is a practical, inventive bunch. From creating chicken coops from wine barrels to using local beer for cheesemaking, members show how a local food economy should be – small, integrated and sustainable. Often, one person’s waste is another’s treasure. So I was not surprised to hear recently that Greenport Harbor Brewing is doing some pretty cool things with their spent grain. For those unaccustomed to brewing, malted grain is the key ingredient used as the starch in beer. That grain is soaked and put through a series of steps to break down its sugars for…

Sparkling Pointe and Pork Belly Benedict Take Over at Wading River’s La Plage

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By Dave Seel, Long Island Food Correspondent It seems every time I decide to eat at La Plage, I can’t remember how to get there. It’s somewhere near Wading River by the beach, hence the name “La Plage,” but the exact route I take always seems to allude me. Eventually though, I do happen upon Sound Road that winds me to the small restaurant. For years now, Chef Wayne Wadington has been making waves across the North Shore with his eclectic, French-inspired cuisine. Clean, straightforward and always delicious, Wadington’s food is based upon fresh, seasonal ingredients. Recently, my wife and…

Tasting The Season’s Harvest: Peconic Bay Scallops & the Southold Fish Market`

By Dave Seel, Long Island Food Correspondent It was a mild grey New Year’s Eve when our car pulled into the dirt parking lot of the Southold Fish Market. Out past the fish market’s docks, the water of Southold Bay was calm and glassy as several gulls and a snowy egret flapped across the pristine surface. We had come to sample a local seafood favorite harvested from those very waters: Peconic Bay Scallops. There are few places to get them as fresh as The Southold Fish Market. Stepping into the small market, there were locals lined up to grab all…

A NYCR Photo Essay: On Butchering A Local Pig & Making Head Cheese

By Dave Seel, Long Island Food Correspondent. Recently, I had the opportunity to get a pig-butchering lesson at Benner's Farm in Setauket, NY, an educational farm for kids and adults. Benner's Farm is a working farm and the slaughtering of a pig around November is an annual occurence. They don't sell meat to the public, so it is solely used by the family. Because I'm is a self-proclaimed food dork and was intrigued with the whole process, I was lucky enough to come home with the pig's head and two pork chops after my lesson was complete. From there, I…

Makinajian Poultry Farms: Three Generations of Organic Farming in Huntington, NY

By Dave Seel, Long Island Food Correspondent “We’ve always been organic and never use pesticides. My grandfather was talking about it back in the 50s even before it was popular,” said Michael Makinajian as he gestured towards an article written about his grandfather, Joseph, in 1964 for the Suffolk Farming Times. “We’ve just always been committed to doing things naturally.” Situated just south of Huntington, NY, Makinajian Poultry Farm is the definition of family farming and is one of few farms remaining this far west on Long Island. “When I was younger my grandfather would drive around and point out different…

WineBar at The Portly Grape: Well Worth the Drive for Good Food and Local Wine

By Dave Seel, Long Island Food Correspondent My recent trip to WineBar was certainly a drive — it's out in Greenport after all — but checking out the new hybrid wine bar and tasting room inside the Portly Grape had been on my to-do list for a while. Managed by former Bedell Cellars tasting room manager, Andrew Mestler, the WineBar occupies a large backyard tent in the summer months and the bar and lounge of the Portly Grape in the winter. After working at Bedell and seeing the growth of the North Fork wine industry, he jumped at the chance…

Local Food and Wine Celebrated at 2011 HARVEST East End

By Dave Seel, Long Island Food Correspondent Saturday night was a cool one. Fall was definitely in the air for the 2011 HARVEST East End Fall Tasting. White tents gleamed against a slightly overcast sky on the fields next to Mecox Bay Dairy. The event, presented by Food & Wine and organized by the Long Island Merlot Alliance and the Long Island Wine Council, raised over $30,000 for East End Hospice, Group For The East End, and The Peconic Land Trust. It also offered those attending to taste some of the wine and food from the region's growing wineries and…

Charolais Cattle Join the Vines at McCall Wines

By Dave Seel, Long Island Food Correspondent Driving through Cutchogue on Rt. 25, you have to keep a keen look out for the sign at McCall Wines or you might miss it. The tasting room, an old potato barn, is nothing like the large structures of other wineries, but is a relic of what the land has been and what it is now. Russ McCall, who spent summers on Long Island as a boy and is now a veteran of the wine industry, bought the property with The Peconic Bay Land Trust in 1996 to save Down’s Woods, Fort Corchaug…