A Shellfish and Wine Crawl
Sounds good? It was, and will be good for one more day. This December 7th and 8th Greenport Village, the Greenport Rotary, and SPAT (Southold Project in Aquaculture Training) are hosting Shellabration, a stroll through Greenport Village, visiting up to 13 participating sites offering a variety of delicious scallop, mussel, and clam preparations paired with choice North Fork wines. Yes, that was a mouthful, and so was my trip around Greenport today. Here is what I saw, ate, and drank. By the way, Marian couldn’t make it today, so I was on my own.
Just Got Off the Boat
This trip around town began with a voyage across the waters, from the south fork to the north. I landed in Greenport at about 1:30 pm, appetite ready to go. But that was my first question. Where do you go to start Shellabrating? After parking up First St., I walked into First and South, a restaurant Marian and I have wanted to try. Yes, the one with wine on tap. A friendly hostess, pictured left, armed me with a map of participating restaurants, and sent me on to the Maritime Museum where you buy into the festivities.
First Stop – Maritime Museum and Beer Truck
The Maritime Museum is right by the ferry dock, so this was a bit of a backtrack. Once inside the museum, a Rotarian exchanged my $15.00 for two Shellabration bracelets (one for Saturday, and one for Sunday). Your bracelet identifies you as a celebrant as you visit the various participating food and wine sites. Show the bracelet and you get $3.00 wine pours and $5.00 plates of shellfish, prepared in a variety of delicious ways. It was a great deal. Besides obtaining the bracelet, the museum offered some fresh shellfish, including scallops, clams, and oysters. The Greenport Harbor Beer Truck poured some of the brewery’s finest. Beer in hand, I marched off to find my fortune.
Second Stop – Salamander
Salamander, at 38 Front St, offered a paring of Lenz wines with delicious Peconic Bay scallops cooked in a coconut milk and ginger sauce. Tom Morgan, the Lenz Winery wholesale and export manager was pouring, and I enjoyed a glass of the Lenz 2010 White Label Chardonnay. I first enjoyed this wine in the 1980s at Union Square Cafe. Done mostly in steel, it spends a bit of mellowing time in old french oak barrels. At $15.00 a bottle, you will like this wine. The Lenz worked great with the scallop preparation, but I had to surrender my seat to a swelling crowd and move on. Oh well.
Third Stop – Biere
Marian and I have been interested in trying Biere, but it never seemed to be opened when we were in town. Now I had a chance to see what the buzz was about. Biere, at 218 Main St., was crowded with people who knew Frank the proprietor. This place is popular, with a great spirit. I had to wait for a seat and the wait was worthwhile. Frank paired his seafood offerings with wines from One Woman Winery. We like One Woman, and have blogged about their wines here, and here. Frank served up broiled Peconic Bay scallops with bread crumbs and a tomato pesto, Thai mussels, baked oysters in a spinach and cream sauce, and Japanese-style clams. These were all excellent, and Frank handled the crowd with aplomb.Clearly a man who knows his work.
Frank poured a 2011 One Woman Tribute. This is a dry white blend done in steel, containing a combination of Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Gruner Veltliner. I also managed a taste of the 2011 Gewurz, which I really liked with the Thai Mussels. We will be back here for dinner. The food is great and Frank is cool!
Fourth Stop – Main
At 300 Main St. in Sterling Square, Main was full of Shellabrators enjoying shellfish with wines from Scarola Vineyards. Blog readers know that Marian and I have visited the vineyards and enjoyed their excellent Merlot with some steaks. You can read about it here.
Main offered several seafood selections and I picked the Asian-inspired “Seoul Brothers”. This was a pair of crunchy fried oysters in a spicy red chili sauce, over a bed of creamy Cole slaw. It was delicious, especially paired with the Scarola 2010 “Cappella'” Chardonnay. This $20.00/bottle wine spent its time in stainless, crafted to be enjoyed with shellfish, exactly as I was doing. The combo was perfect. While relaxing in Main I had a great conversation with a couple from nearby East Marion. One of the wonderful aspects of an event like Shellabration is that participants are friendly and like-minded. Conversation flows like the wine, and time flies. Soon enough I had to be on my way to my last Shellabration stop, First and South. No worries, we will be back to Main in the springtime to find our beloved lamborgueza!
Last Stop – First and South
First and South (F&S) is right there at the corner of First and South. Their motto is “Find your way”, which I did, and which you should do too. After so much good seafood, I wondered how I would cap the afternoon. F&S was pouring Lieb Cellar wines and I selected the 2009 Reserve Chardonnay to pair with the F&S South Street Chowder. This is a killer chowder! Littleneck clams, smoked Cod, Applewood bacon, and potatoes. WOW! I think it is the smoked cod that makes the dish, but perhaps it is the bacon. Actually, who cares? The combination is magic and worked great with the Lieb Cellars Chard. This wine has a mild tropical clone that is restrained, as is the French oak. Delicious! My thanks to F&S for a super finish to a great day of wine and shellfish tasting. We will be back for more!
Full indeed, I headed for the ferry dock and my 45 minute trip back to East Hampton. This was a terrific afternoon! If I didn’t have a load of work to do, I would be back tomorrow for more. If you read this in time, December 8th, from noon to 5:00 pm is “your oyster”. Go for it!
With the great food experiences I had today at Biere and First and South, I think you can expect a few restaurant reviews on the blog. Tom Morgan of Lenz was kind enough to offer a complementary tasting at the winery, so I’m sure we will be visiting Lenz soon too. Meanwhile, stay tuned, and enjoy your trip around town!