What a year 2016 was! I had the pleasure of dining at the best restaurants in the Hamptons and North Fork as well as some notable restaurants in Manhattan, Connecticut and Washington D.C. It proved to be very tough to narrow it down to ten favorite dishes, but after careful consideration, I am thrilled to present the ten best things I ate this past year. I could only imagine what delectable plates 2017 will bring!
This year was filled with many great sips throughout both forks. I visited several new vineyards this year and had the opportunity to try many new, luscious beverages. Many of these bottled beauties are now enjoyed by me and my family on a regular basis. From a refreshing, floral lemonade to a sparkling ‘royal’ champagne, below I feature my top ten favorite things I drank in 2016.
If you admire the comforting taste of chai with its powerful essence of fresh spices, Dona Chai would surely become a staple in your kitchen. I first discovered Dona Chai just over a month ago. It was love at first sip, I just had to have more. It took quite a feat of strength to resist enjoying the chai, either iced or hot, on a daily basis. I prefer an iced chai during the mid afternoon anytime of year, but always appreciate a piping hot cup of chai in the morning.
I am pleased to be hosting a giveaway for a VIP Package for two to the 5th Annual Greenport Shellabration the first weekend of December. This unique culinary experience will take place from 12-4 p.m. December 3 & 4, 2016. Wristbands will gain participants access to Greenport’s finest restaurants to enjoy local shellfish, wine, and beer offerings during a weekend long restaurant walk, in support of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s shellfish restoration and community stewardship projects-specifically the Back to the Bays Initiative, and SPAT (Suffolk Project in Aquaculture Training) Program. The giveaway will end on Wednesday, November 30th at 11 p.m. EST and one winner will be drawn randomly soon after.
I had the pleasure of dining for lunch at Greenport‘s landmark eatery, Claudio’s Restaurant. Claudio’s is celebrating their 146th season and has been owned and operated by the same family all of these years. In fact, did you know that Claudio’s is America’s oldest same-family owned restaurant?
I admire the nostalgia each time I visit Claudio’s: the old-world nautical interior, grand bar, and wooden table seating in their side room with excellent views of Greenport Harbor. Whether visiting Claudio’s for a drink and appetizer at the bar, or for a full-course seafood lunch or dinner, I am always reminded of my visits to Greenport and touring the quaint seaside community ever since I was very young. It has become a family tradition to visit the restaurant at least once during the early autumn months.