How to Properly Eat and Drink Your Way Through Long Island Wine Country

Categories: Summer Fridays

Courtesy Claudio's
Seeking seafood? The North Fork has plenty to offer.
The North Fork of Long Island isn't just about bachelorette parties frolicking through the vineyards in search of men. For the connoisseur interested in a pairing that doesn't involve Tinder, the rural region known fondly as "Wine Country" offers so much more than a handful of crushed grapes.

Courtesy Claudio's
Live bands by the waterfront and a juicy clam bar make Claudio's THE place to be in Greenport
You can take the Long Island Railroad all the way out to Orient Point, but hopping aboard the Hampton Jitney's North Fork line may prove to be quickest way to the destination of your choice. Depending on the scene you're looking for, it's the best way to make the most of your time. And if it truly is a scene you're after to capture the spirit of Long Island, there's no better place to spend an entire day than Claudio's (111 Main Street, Greenport; 631-477-0627). The massive waterside complex -- parts of which date back to 1870 -- features distinct dining areas including an outdoor deck where a live band often plays. On the off chance you're traveling by boat from Manhattan, the restaurant even has a marina.

While the main dining room offers an assortment of seafood and steaks, Claudio's Clam Bar (111 Main Street, Greenport; 631-477-1889) is where most patrons choose to saddle up with a Miami Vice and a plate of cherrystones. A sister spot, Crabby Jerry's at Claudio's (111 Main Street, Greenport; 631 477-8252) which is geared more toward families and offers more casual fare -- think popcorn shrimp, sandwiches, and seafood platters.

Courtesy Sunset Beach
Need a drink with a view? Sunset Beach is accessible from the North Fork via ferry.
If you're traveling as far out as Greenport, you might as well chart a course across the water to Sunset Beach (35 Shore Road, Shelter Island Heights; 631-749-2001). A ferry service leaves from Greenport until 1 a.m. and can accommodate bicycles and cars. Grab a drink and proceed to pretend you've landed in the south of France. The hotel and restaurant features an array of activities, including Ping-Pong tables and the occasional petanque tournament, though no matter how busy the place feels it's hard not to feel complete relaxation. You may leave a few bucks poorer, but the ambiance will have you feeling richer on the ride home.

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