Turkuaz and Riverhead Farmer’s Market Add Sunshine to a Rainy Day
OK, every winter day on the East End of Long Island is not bright, crisp, and sunny. Some are rainy and dreary. Such was Sunday during this year’s MLK weekend. It was strangely warm, exceeding 50 F, but the warm wind failed to inspire. We took off early, to do some shopping. All done by noon, we were hungry and ready for food.
Nearby Riverhead, NY offers many dining choices, and we opted for Turkuaz, a friendly Turkish restaurant that looks out at the Peconic river, and sits between the Long Island Aquarium and the winter home of the Riverhead Farmer’s Market. We’ve written about Turkuaz before, having enjoyed it. There is loads of parking, and on this Sunday, no waiting.
Turkuaz is a Turkish gem. Their food is delicious with Mediterranean-style offerings. Having spent time in Turkey, we found familiar friends on the menu. We enjoyed two appetizers, smoked eggplant and green lentils in a mild vinaigrette. Portions are generous, so we shared the a main course of Adana Kebab. This is ground lamb, accompanied by Bulgar wheat, rice, and beet salad. See for yourself, in the photo.
No, those two glasses do not contain wine. In an unusual move, we ordered some tea with lunch. The tea was a Turkish variety, Caykur Filiz Cayi, or black tea. This tea has nothing to do with Lipton’s. We liked it so much that on the way home, we stopped into Williams-Sonoma for a tea pot and some tea strainers. Tea is now a regular on the menu. Don’t worry, Turkuaz has plenty of Turkish wine, if tea is not your thing.
Riverhead Farmer’s Market
We visited the market last year and enjoyed the outpouring of East End treasures. This year, the market has moved down the street, and is opened Saturday and Sunday. Note that the vendors vary by day, and Saturday is the busier day.
What did we discover this time? Some neat stuff, indeed. Here is what we found, in visit order…
- PNut Punch – a delicious snack made from nuts and oats. I thought they tasted like halva. We took some home and enjoyed them for dessert.
- Merken Fisheries (631-871-8812) – Fresh fish and seafood on offer in the market. We took home some bay scallops that were sweet and delicious. The monkfish looked terrific, as did the wild-caught salmon, so you will have to make some choices.
- Mecox Bay Dairy – Mecox produces some delicious cheese, and also offer their farm-raised beef and pork for sale. We took home some Shawandasee, and enjoyed it as an appetizer.
- North Fork Smoked Fish – These folks smoke some excellent fish and seafood. Bluefish, an oily fish, smokes wonderfully, and we took some home. Along with the cheese, it made a fine appetizer. An Alsatian Pinot Blanc worked well for the cheese and the fish.
- Mazi – We had a great conversation with John Mantzopoulous, owner and chef of the late Athens Grill in Riverhead. A fire destroyed the Athens Grill, and John is about to open Mazi, the evolution of Athens Grill. John is an engaging gentleman. We took home some of his eggplant spread, and anticipate the opening of Mazi in the next month or two.
So, you get the idea. At the Riverhead Farmer’s Market you will find friendly vendors with much to offer. You will make new friends and enjoy some taste treats. Remember that the vendors differ on Saturday and Sunday, and there are more of them participating on Saturday.
Who knows? We have several weeks until the 2015 Music Fest begins, so we will be doing some exploring. Stay tuned, and enjoy your trip around town.