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Harvest East End – Your Guide to the Best Hamptons Restaurants and Vineyards

Submitted by on August 28, 2012 – 10:55 amNo Comment

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By Heather Buchanan

Greetings at the third annual Harvest East End Food and Wine Classic went something like this:

“Orlmmm, yermm, hold on a sec and let me get a napkin.”  With so many delectable edibles and fine wines, it was literally hard to get a word in edgewise. Organized by Merliance and the Long Island Wine Council and presented by Wine Spectator, Harvest East End was the epicurean destination, held this year at the regal Hampton Classic show grounds.

Lieb Wines

Benefitting the East End Hospice, Group For The East End, and Peconic Land Trust, the event was a huge success and testament to the talented chefs and winemakers who magically turn the best local grapes and produce into unforgettable edible offerings.  The farms and vines are crucial not only to the scenic vistas of the Hamptons but sustainable agriculture.

Wolffer Estate Vineyards

Wolffer Estate Vineyards

Like children (if you happened to have thirty) it’s hard to pick favorites of the offerings but there were a few standouts.

Chef the Fifth Season

Chef John Urbinati of The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season, Chefs Erik Orlowski and John Urbinati, Porf Jefferson

Corn Infused Ricotta Cheese With Roasted Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes on Multigrain Crostini

We learned if you take fresh corn off the cobb, puree it and pass it through a fine sieve the sugar and starch make it like a fine pastry cream you can fold into the ricotta.  Let’s just say it’s worth the effort in this wonderful dish.

Chef Joe Isidor of Southfork Kitchen

Chef Joe Isidori of Southfork Kitchen

Southfork Kitchen, Chef Joe Isidori, Sagaponack

Sea Scallop Sashimi

Sustainable seafood is a Southfork Kitchen specialty.  This was an early and often destination for tasters.  The Wolffer Verjus with sweet chili sauce gave it just the right flavor.

Chef Robert Beaver of The Frisky Oyster

Chef Robert Beaver of The Frisky Oyster

Frisky Oyster, Chef Robert Beaver, Greenport

Pipes Cove Oysters Friskafella

Once I found this station I was done, done, and done.  The garlic-scented spinach, chipotle, and parmigiano aoli with Greenport oysters was a warm, wonderful sensation.  Any fella in my frisky path after that had to look out.

The Riverhead Project Lobster Pierogies

The Riverhead Project Lobster Pierogies

The Riverhead Project, Chef Gregory Ling, Riverhead

Polish Town Lobster Pierogies

I’ve been hearing amazing things about this new restaurant.  Patience was definitely a virtue to wait for them to sauté up this amazing bite and pair it with a red wine-onion marmalade.  It made lobster rolls look absolutely pedestrian.

Heather Buchanan and Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave

Heather Buchanan and Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave

A girl couldn’t ask for a better friend and guide than Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave who writes expertly about wine and spirits for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.  She pointed out some of her favorites.

Leo and Tom Rosicki of Sparkling Pointe Vineyard

Leo and Tom Rosicki of Sparkling Pointe Vineyard

Sparkling Pointe

If you haven’t tried this Southold winery’s sparkling wine you are missing beautiful bubbly from wine maker Gilles Martin, created with the méthode champenoise.  We were a little in love with the Blanc de Blancs but when vineyard owners Cynthia and Tom Rosicki pulled out a reserve Blanc de Noirs with the tiniest hint of salmon color we were truly in heaven. At a $75 retail price this stands up to its French champagne cousins.  And as their motto goes, “If it’s not sparkling – what’s the point?”

Gramercy Vineyard's Carol Sullivan and Laruen DePalo

Gramercy Vineyard's Carol Sullivan and Laruen DePalo

Gramercy Vineyards

You can claim to be truly hands on as a vineyard owner when you have a bent finger from a tractor injury.  Carol Sullivan literally bought the farm to create Gramercy Vineyards in Mattituck.  Even since the fine wines from winemaker Roman Roth have been receiving rave reviews.  The 2011 rosé was crisp and refreshing but the 2008 Merlot Reserve proved the gravitas of these fine wines.  With every grape hand picked and hand sorted, quality assurance is high.

Sherwood House Vineyards

A member of the Long Island Merlot Alliance, Merliance, Sherwood House Vineyards in Jamesport consistently puts out delicious wines.  At an $18 price point the Unoaked Chardonnay is one of our favorites.  When you reach up to the $45 Sherwood Manor, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot you have hit the big leagues with a smooth and rich flavor.

After perusing the amazing silent auction and raffle with prizes like a trip to Barbados, 20 magnums of Long Island Wine, and a Grand Tour with Wine Spectator you had to enter early and often.

In the end the biggest problem of the event was simply too many good choices.  Congrats to everyone for an amazing evening and when I start eating again next week I’m going to hit all my favorite restaurants and vineyards again.

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