Along with the Long Island Winterfest change from “Jazz on the Vine” to “Live on the Vine” to reflect a more eclectic line up of music at the participating vineyards, this year “Dine on the Vine” debuted at several North Fork restaurants.
Cheese and crackers while vineyard hopping “Live on the Vine” venues is always fun, but if you are looking for more substantial dining options while sipping great Long Island wines and listening to live music, “Dine on the Vine” is the way to go. Long time Winterfest supporter Rob Salvatico of Hotel Indigo East End has enlisted fellow restaurateurs like Adam Lovett and Chef Tom Schaudel of Alure Chowder House & Oysteria and aMano Osteria & Wine Bar among others to create a dining dimension to Winterfest that is fabulous and, frankly, long overdue.
For example, I stopped into Alure this weekend to experience my first “Dine on the Vine” venue and found the melodious duet of Divello & Anderson perched in the middle of the lovely and busy dining room entertaining guests with rock and folk classics in perfect harmony that had feet tapping and hands clapping. The fireplace was blazing and the bar was two deep at this beautiful waterside restaurant at the Port of Egypt Marina on Main Road in Southold where the view is spectacular and the food is extraordinary.
The 3-course Winterfest Prix Fixe menu is priced at only $45 per person with a choice of six appetizers including New Island Clam Chowder, a huge bowl of Prince Edward Island Mussels with Thai red curry, coconut and lime and Country Fried Oysters with creamy cheddar grits. Among the six entrée choices were Homemade Lobster Ravioli, Berkshire Pork Porterhouse, Chocolate Braised Lamb, Herb Crusted Salmon, Coconut Macadamia Crusted Flounder and Seared Scallops, all plated with absolutely spectacular sides. Featured desserts included Flourless Chocolate Cake, Coconut Crème Brulee or Warm Apple Crisp.
Alure, as well as aMano, is committed to fresh farm to table local sustainability and that goes for their wine list as well, which features Long Island wine exclusively. (At aMano Long Island wines are joined by a large selection of Italian wines as well.) The wines chosen for this Alure Winterfest menu were Sparkling Point NV Cuvee Carnaval, Peconic Bay Vineyard NV Esprit de Blanc Nautique and Raphael Vineyard 2010 Cabernet Franc.
Next weekend Alure will feature singer/songwriter George Tebbit on Saturday, March 1, 5-8 p.m. with an encore performance at aMano on Sunday, March 2, 4-7 p.m. Divello & Anderson will be returning to Alure the last two Saturdays of the festival, March 8th and 15th, 5-8 p.m.
Another “Dine on the Vine” partner is the aforementioned Bistro 72 at the award winning boutique Hotel Indigo East End in Riverhead. They too are offering a special Winterfest Prix Fixe for the duration of the festival with a $52 per person Long Island wine pairing menu, along with their remarkable regular seasonal menu and a small tasting menu.
“Live on the Vine” performances take place in Bistro 72 on Friday evenings from 7-10 p.m. with upcoming acts Dave March on the 28th, Jesse Barnes on March 7th, and Jeff LaBlanc on March 14th. Without a doubt the most glamorous Winterfest evenings occur in the stunning Hotel Indigo Ballroom on Saturdays, featuring the $52 per person 3-course Prix Fixe and a small tasting menu, along with dancing in an atmosphere that is pure Manhattan supper club. March 1st features fabulous jazz with Morris Goldberg & Ajoyo, March 8th features the Billy Joel tribute band Cold Spring Harbor, and rock & roll finishes out the regular schedule on March 15th with the Dinny Keg Band..
Due to the recent inclement weather Winterfest has been extended an extra weekend with a limited number of replacement performances scheduled for the vineyards that had to cancel because of the snow. Bistro 72 has actually added performances to enhance that additional weekend and what a line-up this “Dine on the Vine” partner has put together. Friday, March 21st features legendary Paul Simon bassist Bikithi Kumalo and his band and Saturday, March 22nd the uber-popular and creative Miles To Dayton Band will perform, with both the Friday and Saturday night performances in the beautiful Hotel Indigo Ballroom.
Other “Dine on the Vine” partners featuring live music and special Winterfest menus include The RiverheadProject with chef extraordinaire Lia Fallon featuring J.K. Hodge (3/2), Alex Alexander (3/9) and the Earthtones (3/15). Desmond’s Restaurant & Pub at the fabulous Inn & Spa at East Wind in Wading River, which like Hotel Indigo East End is offering Winterfest overnight accommodation specials, will be presenting Gail Storm (3/1), Rob Europe (3/8) and Tommy Keyes Jazz (3/16). “Dine on the Vine” partners are not charging a cover charge to their events and Winterfest tickets are not necessary to make reservations. Click below for a link to all the “Dine on the Vine” partner websites.
Hamptons.com continues to be a proud Participating Sponsor of the festival and applauds its seven-year success in supporting East End arts, attractions, small businesses, vineyards, restaurants and hospitality venues. With its 2014 debut, the “Dine on the Vine” concept has without a doubt enhanced the extraordinary experience that is Long Island Winterfest/Live on the Vine and we look forward to more participating partners in the festivals to come.