In the NoFo: Top 3 North Fork Picnic Spots
For those closest to me, it’s no secret that I have a really hard time fitting lunch into my day. Our tasting room director, Alicia, is on my case about this all the time. “Jul, have you eaten yet? WHY NOT??” She tells me lunch meals can be simple and should be easy to prep and consume. Yet like me, I meet a lot of guests throughout the day who tell me that they’ve gone to at least two or three wineries in a 3 hour time span and haven’t stopped for food or figured out where they should eat. Lunch seems to be an afterthought for them, too. Yet when drinking wine for hours on end, it’s critical!
One factor that makes planning lunch on the North Fork difficult is the fact that many tasting rooms no longer allow outside food. So even if you’re forward-thinking enough to pack a picnic lunch, there are few wineries that will allow you to eat it. Quite a few customers ask me where outside food is allowed on the North Fork, and my answer usually comes in the form of picnic spot suggestions. To make it official, here are my Summer 2017 picnic recommendations:
New Suffolk Waterfront (1st St., New Suffolk)
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I grew up in New Suffolk. It will always be one of my favorite places on the North Fork. The waterfront (located across the street from Legends) is a spot I’ve frequented over the years to catch the Wednesday night sailboat races around Robin’s Island. Situated right on the bay, this tiny beach has a number of picnic tables for the public to utilize. If you find yourself looking for lunch on the water without having to pay an arm and a leg for a view, take your lunch to the New Suffolk waterfront.
South Harbor Park (South Harbor Rd., Southold)
Jul Fun Fact #257: Although I lived in New Suffolk, I graduated from Southold High School. I know, I know – it makes no sense, but New Suffolk kids are required to go to Southold. Needless to say, I am no stranger to Southold and spent plenty of time exploring the various parks and beaches. South Harbor is, in my opinion, incredibly underrated. Another spot located on the bay, South Harbor has tables and grills set in the shade. The park is open from 9am to dusk everyday from May 1st to October 15th. Ride your bike down and make sure you bring some food (along with a beach towel!).
Bridge Lane Tasting Room (35 Cox Neck Rd., Mattituck)
Ah, Bridge Lane. I managed our Bridge Lane tasting room for my first two years at Lieb. Although I’m now the tasting room captain at Oregon Road, my love for that tasting room will always be strong. It was my second home for a while, and it’s the place where I met many of you for the first time. One of the draws of Bridge Lane is the fact that we do allow outside food. We have picnic tables out on the lawn for customers and wine club members to enjoy their lunch while having a flight or a glass. This summer, we’ll be having live music every Saturday from 2-5pm. Bring some snacks, grab a bottle of Bridge Lane Sauvignon Blanc and snag a table!
And thus concludes Jul’s Summer 2017 picnic spots. Before I sign off, I wanted to mention how important it is to clean up after yourselves post-picnic. With the influx of people visiting our parks and beaches, it’s getting that much harder to keep these sites free of litter. On a lighter note, enjoy the start of summer, stock up on all things Lieb and Bridge Lane, and don’t forget to eat lunch!
[Please note that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was consumed during the writing of this blog post (Alicia, I had lunch!)]
Tasting Room Captain