Last Saturday was rainy. So was Sunday. So we hurried for nothing, slept late, ate a late breakfast, some facebooking. What lingered in the conversation was the visit to Lavender by the Bay farm, which is open only week ends now in May. The full bloom starts late June. I needed some new plants as one huge one just cracked in two, and one was suffering. I just love lavender. Period.
On the way to the destination we decided to have lunch at Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck. We have eaten there some times before, and loved the food. The place is small, outside tables were out of question due to the rain, and the wait for tables was about 20 minutes. We opted for the counter service, classic diner setting. Lobster rolls of course! The portion was huge, it was accompanied with garlic french fries and a few slices of pickles. And Boylan Bottle Company coke. The only not so great thing this time was the too moist lobster. Moist is good, watery is not. I struck a conversation with the hostess and found out where the lobster comes at this time of the year. I mentioned, that it could have benefitted with a little bit more of dapping to reduce the wetness as it seemed to suck away the sweetness of the lobster. This is not a complaint by no means I assured her, nowhere do you get a lobster rolls this size! A little more small talk, we all were happy. The place is wonderful, great service, great smiley personnel, great atmosphere. And a great place to stop halfway to North Fork.
The first vineyard stop was my very favorite, Martha Clara in Riverhead. The barn is large, the selection is good and they have the best wine for me, Riesling. Beautiful German berry, delicious flavors of honey and fruit, peaches, apricots, lemon. Great wine to sip or with a meal. Some years the availability has been so scarce that we actually had to talk to someone to get a bottle from under the table. This Sunday the place was packed, a band was playing loud in the large tasting room, people swaying to it, enjoying a rainy day outside with all doors wide open to the fresh air. We did not stop to linger, did not look thru their plentiful gift items, had to get to the lavender farm before it closed at five pm. Next time.
The farm has been one of our favorite destination for a drive on the island. It’s seasonal. Early years they had a stand on the edge of the field, now for a few years there is a barn that with large open doors harbors the selection of anything-lavender. The smell is unbelievable! The owners were sitting behind the counter reading their iPads, there were no customers. I sent my husband out to pick up four plants for me while I went searching the merchandise; what’s new, what can I get for my daughter-in-law for her birthday. The owner, a French man leisurely got up to help my husband to pick up the plants. His wife offered to gift wrap my purchase. The men struck up a lively conversation and found out they had some things in common. Surprising! Both had stayed in the same kibbutz in Israel in the late 1960’s. Both were the same religion and I reminded him that we actually had sat at their picnic table during their lunch many, many years ago at this farm. Fellow Europeans! So we got four big pots of lavender (two for me, one for my neighbor and one for my friend, whom we are visiting today. She will love it!) As a surprise gift I got two little ones from the owner to go home with me. Made my day!
Several vineyards edge the two roads running parallel, and many of them open. Parking lots were full, so you knew it was a day for music in the vineyards. What a way to spend a rainy day! We needed, well, needed some more wine to take home and stopped at Duck Walk, where prices stretched from $10 to $50. Great case buys also, but we stayed around $15 for these sipping wines for next friends to come to visit. Who will they be?
There are maybe more nurseries than wineries and they have the best and freshest plants on the island! Stop! Stop! I was commanding but our car only selected one; Trimbles at Corchaug. We have never stopped there before. Huge! It had a great theme going for them, a funky junk yard garden welcomed us by the parking lot and oldies station’s 60’s music was blasting in the air. Street signs and old wheel barrows, headless ladies, skis, bowling balls decorated the lush garden. Funny! We toured the flatbeds and greenhouse, nobody was there, it rained and rained. I snapped a couple of pictures and swore we’ll come back. I liked the old hippie vibe, Bob Dylan, singing in the rain.
Did you know that all this just in my backyard, within one to two hours drive!