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Pindar Vineyards

This past Saturday, March 11, I ventured over to the North Fork with my husband to attend a wine and chocolate pairing at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic. The wine pairing was in partnership with North Fork Chocolate Company located in Aquebogue, one of my favorite spots to stop at while I am in the area for great gifts from talented local businesses. Their chocolates are also out of this world! Pindar Vineyards and North Fork Chocolate Company are open year round.

Pindar Vineyards was quite busy that Saturday. We saw a few bridal parties celebrating, some birthday bashes, family and friend gatherings, and more. We were delighted to listen to live music and enjoy a cheese plate (sold in their refrigerator) during our tasting. Pindar is always a lively spot and the staff is consistently accommodating. If you happen to purchase a cheese plate or a selection of cheeses, complimentary crackers are provided at the wine bars. We also could not get enough of their Irish Soda Bread, seriously one of the best soda breads I have tried: so moist and fresh!

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Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. Whether you are celebrating with that special someone, close friends, family, or perhaps a long lost connection, I have curated a list of some of my favorite sweets to enjoy on Cupid’s Day and even all winter, from local sweet treat to a specialty food favorite.

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Midtown Oyster Bar

Located on Thames, Street in the heart of Newport’s harbor, Midtown Oyster boosts a warm, friendly atmosphere for dining for lunch and dinner year round. Ever since joining Newport’s bustling social scene in June of 2013, this tavern and restaurant has been a popular spot for their impressive raw bar selection, fresh seafood, and non-seafood selections such as steaks, burgers, and sandwiches for locals and visitors to the region.

Once we arrived on a Saturday afternoon at 12:30, the downstairs tavern had a significant amount of activity, with all of the bar stools occupied and the majority of the nearby tables filled with guests. The restaurant is a two story building with two bar areas, with the second floor as a Burgee Bar. There is a generous amount of dining space upstairs with plenty of room between tables, allowing for a private and relaxing dining experience.

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Cliffside Inn

A romantic escape set in the historic, seaside town of Newport, The Cliffside Inn is a couple’s ideal luxurious destination with the comforts and senses of home. The Inn also serves as a perfect getaway for small groups,, families, and friends. This was my husband’s first visit to Newport and my second. The last time I explored Newport was nine years ago while on a holiday bus trip from Hartford, CT where I visited several of the mansions during the holidays. I had longed to come back for several years and was delighted that I had the opportunity to stay for the weekend.

We arrived to The Cliffside Inn late on Friday night. We were so pleased with the communication with the staff prior to our arrival, regarding where we could pick up our key and where to park. My husband and I stayed in The Carriage House, which has its own private entrance, its own parking space, and is just steps away from the main house.

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Spinach Goat Cheese Quiche

Quiche has been one of my favorite brunch dishes for many years. My favorite types of quiche include quiche Lorraine, broccoli and mushroom, three cheese, and almost any quiche made with red peppers and cheddar cheese. For a healthier twist, I decided to experiment with creating my own quiche with some of the vegetables I had already in the house including leeks and artichokes.

Quiche is a breakfast and brunch dish you could easily enjoy at least three times a week. After making my own quiche at home, I would find it almost impossible to eat a store-bought quiche. This is a very fun, and easy dish to make that everyone will love. Gentleman take note! This would be a lovely breakfast surprise for Valentine’s Day! The prep time is less than ten minutes and you can experiment with a variety of vegetable, meat, and cheese combinations, just like a homemade pizza!

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