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Gualala, California is a small ocean-side town in California, northwest of Napa. It’s home to the Surf Market, the coolest community grocery store in the country. And while the locals love it, it convinces tourists to make the drive from Napa Valley. “Perhaps the closest thing to the perfect small town store,” is how Seth Olney describes it. Olney is the owner of the Olney Place on Keuka Lake, and he knows something about what makes a store special. At the age of 34, Olney has developed his community store into the beating heart of the Finger Lakes. He’s traveled…

hops2

Originally, this post was going to be about locally grown hops, and what Long Island breweries were doing with them. But after talking with a handful of people in the industry — mainly brewers and hop farmers — I was left with more questions than answers. The craft beer industry is growing at a rapid rate, that’s no secret, but can New York farmers keep up with the demand for local ingredients? You may wonder why it matters. If you are a microbrewery it might not at all. Hops and grain will always be available from sources around the world, sources…

peconic-escargot

Kickstarter campaigns aren’t new to the North Fork, but I have yet to see one like this one started by local chef Taylor Knapp and his business partner Sean Nethercott. Knapp and Nethercott are looking to launch Peconic Escargot on the North Fork — providing both chefs and home cooks fresh, never-frozen-or-canned snails to use in their kitchens. Check out the video and their page — and donate to the cause if you’re so inclined!

evan-yelp

If the Internet has made everyone a critic, then most critics handing out one star on Yelp are idiots. This is not to say that some restaurants don’t deserve one star. The problem is that this country seems addicted to portion size, and large portion size, and it’s filtered into our assessment of whether a restaurant is offering a quality meal. How many times have you had a conversation with a friend that went something like this: “How was such-and-such restaurant?” “Amazing. The portions were HUGE!” We’re learning nothing about the food, the creativity of the kitchen, the thoughtfulness of…

21club

  21 Club, a legendary Manhattan establishment, is famous for two things: a succulent burger and the three martini lunch. A classic place to drink your meal, three Long Island wineries will be in good company as they showcase some of their best on this hollowed ground of Prohibition-style imbibing. On select Mondays this summer, the restaurant will host wine and hors d’oeuvre pairings for Bedell Cellars, Onabay Vineyards and Pellegrini Vineyards. Sample new bites from Chef Greeley selected to compliment each vintage and varietal, while sipping local wine and picking the brains of experts from each winery.  Canapés, good…

front-summer-dinner

When Summer in a Glass was published, I wondered if there could ever be a dinner event that brought together all the wines from the book. It seemed like a wonderful idea, but I figured it would remain only an idea. The work of pulling together such an event would be overbearing. But now it’s actually happening. On Monday, July 22, the Hole in the Wall Restaurant in Perry is hosting the Summer in a Glass-themed dinner. Tickets are still available for $150 apiece. If that price seems high, consider this: the restaurant is still probably going to lose money on…

Margie #1

Having lived in the Hudson Valley for a number of years, I always keep an eye on the events and releases from Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie, NY. I have tasted and reviewed several of their cheeses, finding some of them to be good and tasty, to others that left me wanting more. Sprout Creek is an interesting find  as it is rather unexpected to maintain a working farm, educational center, market, and full-time cheese farm, right in the middle of a historic town. Maybe it is because I lived there for so long, but finding any sort of locavore culture…

blackbert

A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of conducting a beer and cheese pairing workshop at Empire State Cellars.  This occasion marked a fresh start back in the cheese world as my past year was a chaotic whirlwind of buying a house and becoming a father.  Although I had certainly consumed plenty of cheese during my time off from NYCR and other cheese-related activities, this was my first opportunity in a while to lead a group of people through a guided cheese and beer tasting with New York cheeses and Port Jeff Brewing Company. After tasting the beers and making my pairing selections, the supplier…

LoveLaneKitchen-Brooklyn-Brewery

If you are around the East End of Long Island tonight, be sure to stop by Love Lane Kitchen for “The Quarterly Carousal” from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Presented by Edible East End, and Brooklyn Brewery, the event is described as “A Celebration of beer, food, and stories.”  Brooklyn Brewery is showcasing their Silver Anniversary Lager, a Doppelbock version of its’ well known “Brooklyn Lager,” crafted to celebrate 25 years of brewing.  The bottle-conditioned 750ml bottle, complete with Brooklyn artist-rendered labels, will be served alongside creations by several local food vendors. For a complete list of who’s participating check out Love Lane…

coffeepotcellars

  Coffee Pot Cellars, winemaker Adam Suprenant’s private label, will open a tasting room at 31855 Main Road in Cutchogue, just east of Peconic Bay Winery on the opposite side of the road. Suprenant, who is also winemaker at Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards, launched the brand in 2011. “The Coffee Pot Cellars business model has always included plans for a tasting room. Together with my fiancee Laura Klahre, the owner/beekeeper of Blossom Meadow, we have been looking to open a retail outlet to market my wine as well as her honey, beeswax candles crayons and lip balm for the past two years,”…