Famous Food Festival in Riverhead 2019

Festivals and food are two of the most anticipated aspects of summertime on Long Island. So naturally, Famous Food Festival held at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead on August 10th and 11th was an ideal setting for an enjoyable weekend. Over both days, attendees were able to experience food from more than fifty vendors, live music from multiple performers, a Grucci Fireworks show, and even a fire department cook-off. Tents and chairs were provided so guests could relax while eating and socializing. For kids, face painting, rock wall climbing, and an art tent were available.

This year’s Famous Food Festival boasted a variety of traditional and experimental dining options. Savory fare had the largest presence among vendors. The food truck for restaurant Katie’s of Smithtown offered their signature build-your-own Mac Daddy ’n Cheese which features different toppings and comes served in either a cone or a bowl. Golden Jalapeños Cafe, located in Calverton, had tex-mex items available including burritos, quesadillas, and speciality tacos. And MELTology of Mt. Sinai served up made-to-order gourmet grilled cheese with ingredients like pure clover honey and parmesan-crusted sourdough bread.

Desserts were a popular item among vendors as well. The Crazy Crepe Cafe—with four locations across Long Island—provided made-to-order sweet crepes such as Apple Pie and Samoa. New York City’s Spoonable Spirits offered several types their famous boozy pudding shots including Nutella Latte and Whisky Rolo. And, from upstate New York, Goodway Bakery featured fresh rum cakes in a variety of flavors such as coconut, chocolate, and black raspberry.

The highlight of the weekend occurred on Saturday when the Riverhead and Manorville fire departments faced off in Round 2 of Famous Food Festival’s Battle of the Fire Departments. Each company was given a list of summer-inspired ingredients and had a limited amount of time to prepare an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. Professional chefs judged the dishes and voted on their favorites. After a very close competition, Riverhead Fire Department won the round and the chance to compete in October for a cash prize.

Two perfect summer days for the festival gave vendors ample business and left guests with an unforgettable dining experience. Famous Food Festival was a welcome event that added one more highlight to an already ideal summer. The Festival will return in the fall at Tanger Outlets in Deer Park on October 12th and 13th to further celebrate Long Island and New York eateries.

East End Taste was a media sponsor of Famous Food Festival.


Greenport & Southold Rotary Clubs Present 28th Annual Lobsterfest

Cars lined the roads leading to Founders Landing Park in Southold on the evening of Saturday, July 27th for the Southold and Greenport Rotary Clubs’ 28th Annual Lobsterfest. Held outdoors overlooking the radiant Peconic Bay, Lobsterfest attracted hundreds of guests for a lovely night of dining, socializing, and relaxing. The Lobsterfest menu offered plentiful options for every palette. Lobster, of course, was the star of the show, accompanied by a hearty serving of melted butter. Full, bright red portions of the crustacean decorated plates and filled the air with a distinct savory scent. For diners seeking some additional fishy fare, fresh mussels were available as well. Seafood was provided by Southold Fish Market.

Additional main course offerings included burgers, steaks, and hot dogs all prepared onsite. Sides featured fresh corn, potatoes, and coleslaw. The meal ended on a sweet and summery note with a dessert of freshly-sliced watermelon.

Drinks served at the event included local wines and beer. Kontokosta Winery, located in Greenport, serviced the on-site bar and offered several of their wines by the glass or bottle. Glasses and pitchers of beer courtesy of Greenport Brewery were available as well.

The Southold and Greenport Rotary Clubs’ Lobsterfest wasn’t just a success as a dining experience but as a community gathering as well. Attendees lingered long after their meals to partake in good conversation and company. Parents had the chance for a memorable family meal with their kids, and children got to enjoy the breezy summer night playing in the park and running along the beach. Throughout Lobsterfest and afterwards, local band The Mangoes played live music so diners could listen and dance as night fell over the park.

The number of attendees at the 28th Annual Lobsterfest demonstrated an impressive amount of support for the event. Even more impressive though was the hard work put in by members of the Southold and Greenport Rotary Clubs. Volunteers greeted ticket holders, sold raffle tickets, cleaned food trays, and of course cooked. Their tireless efforts helped the evening run smoothly to the satisfaction of guests.

The Southold and Greenport Rotary Clubs’ Annual Lobsterfest turned out to be an impressive event for the North Fork. The night was an ideal celebration of summertime that the entire East End will look forward to attending next year.


Mattituck’s 42nd Annual Street Fair

An anticipated North Fork tradition took place Fourth of July weekend as the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce hosted the 42nd Annual Old-Fashioned Street Fair. Held Saturday July 6th on Old Sound Avenue in Mattituck, the event featured booths from local vendors, a variety of food trucks, and live music on stage. Adjacent to the fair, Love Lane businesses were also open to patrons seeking further shopping and dining experiences.

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North Brewing Company Celebrates One Year Anniversary

A cornerstone of the East End’s charm is how much local businesses are valued and encouraged to thrive. Keeping with that tradition, North Fork Brewing Company proudly celebrated its one-year anniversary on June 29th with a day-long party at their location in the heart of downtown Riverhead. The event featured live music, specialty brews, and a variety of food courtesy of the brewery as well as food trucks on site.

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Pizza Friday with Pizza Rita and Moustache Brewing Co.

A favorite summer pastime on the East End is an evening spent sipping and socializing at a local vineyard or brewery. Of course, with the popularity of local beverages, some establishments can become overcrowded and overwhelming. Patrons seeking a different experience though need look no further than Moustache Brewing Co. in Riverhead. And patrons will find an especially satisfying dining experience with Moustache’s monthly seasonal event, Pizza Friday with Pizza Rita.

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Mattituck’s 65th Annual Strawberry Festival

Sunny weather returned just in time to provide a bright and warm four days for Mattituck’s 65th Annual Strawberry Festival hosted by the Mattituck Lions Club. Held over Father’s Day weekend, the event attracted thousands of locals and tourists alike to enjoy fun rides, live music, local vendors, and of course fresh strawberries. Lion’s members, assisted by their youth branch the Mattituck Leo’s, worked tirelessly to make the multi-day spectacle another rousing success.

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North Meets South Farms, Food, and Drink Festival

A new Long Island summer tradition kicked off this month as the first bi-annual North Meets South Festival took place on June 8th and 9th at the Long Island Sports Park in Calverton. Hosted by North Fork Event Co., the festival featured over a hundred vendors from the north and south forks displaying the full abundance of the East End. Crowds were able to wander through the 80-acre venue to patronize creators of local food, drink, and crafts. Raffles, games, and live music likewise contributed to providing two fun-filled days for adults and children alike.

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Taste the East End 2019

Elegance met aquatic at Taste the East End 2019 held at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead on Friday, June 7th. This year’s event brought together tastings and food pairings from dozens of local vendors. The venue—which boasts a terrace, ballroom, and courtyard along with the aquarium facilities—allowed guests ample opportunity to mingle, dance, and engage with the beautiful marine creatures on display.

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Riverhead Rotary’s 13th Annual Rotary Uncorked

Folks seeking a chance to wine and dine for a good cause gathered on Wednesday May 22nd for Riverhead Rotary’s 13th Annual Rotary Uncorked. Hosted at Martha Clara Vineyards (now RGNY), the event featured dishes and drinks from dozens of Long Island businesses. Guests were able to sample the local faire and mingle freely indoors and outdoors while a live DJ played music to add to the festivities.

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First Annual Furry Fashion Show

The sunny season began in style thanks to The North Fork Animal Welfare League which hosted its First Annual Furry Fashion Show on Saturday May 18th in Cutchogue.

Held at the private estate of NFAWL Steering Committee member Jessica Lee, the event gathered residents and animal companions for an afternoon of mingling, dining, playing, and fundraising. Several local businesses—including fellow non-profit The Old Town Arts & Crafts Guild—donated items for a Chinese Auction to add to the proceeds benefitting the Riverhead and Southold animal shelters. A fifty-fifty raffle allowed guests to donate generously to the NFAWL as well.

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Ram’s Head Inn Launches the 2019 Summer Season

Courtesy of Madison Fender Photography

A favorite of many locals and summer sightseers, the Ram’s Head Inn is a classic hotel, restaurant, and event venue on Shelter Island. This is where my family and I escape to during the summer season, and we couldn’t think of a better destination for endless hours of play, great food, live music during select evenings, and the most peaceful and secluded setting.

The Ram’s Head Inn, known for its historic charm, is home to an acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, led by Executive Chef Joe Smith. Open 7 days a week during the summer months for brunch, lunch and dinner, Smith’s seasonally focused New American menu boasts fresh local produce, game, and seafood, accoutered with herbs from the Inn’s own garden.

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East End Garden Festival 2019

Planting season is upon us! As the final damp days of spring give way to the warmth of summer, it’s time to set this year’s gardening goals into motion. Whether looking for just a few annuals to add to the yard or seeking the makings of an entirely new landscaping design, the 24th Annual East End Garden Festival is the event to attend.

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Poetry Street at Riverhead’s Blue Duck Bakery

Anyone seeking an afternoon of culture and creativity on the East End is in luck thanks to the monthly Poetry Street event at Riverhead’s Blue Duck Bakery on East Main Street. Held on the fourth Sunday of each month from 2pm-4pm (excluding December), Poetry Street provides a relaxed and supportive atmosphere for amateur and professional poets alike to share their work with a live audience. Meanwhile, attendees can take advantage of the Blue Duck Bakery venue by purchasing delicious baked goods throughout the afternoon.

According to co-founder Susan Dingle, Poetry Street—now in its fifth year—began as an East End Arts JumpstART program back in 2014. Dingle says she and co-founder Bubbie Brown wanted to, “create an open mic that brings together the diversity of the community”. Each Poetry Street event includes two to four featured poets as well as an open mic portion where attendees can sign up to read as much as three minutes of an original or favorite poem. Donations are accepted, both to participate in the open mic and for the featured poets.

April’s Poetry Street, hosted by Dingle and her co-host Maggie Bloomfield, included four featured poets associated with the Stony Brook Southampton MFA program. Tyler Allen Penny—a recipient of the Joseph Kelly Prize in Creative Writing from Stony Brook Southampton—opened the afternoon with several poems inspired by his life on Long Island over the last five years. Poet, editor, and community organizer Caroline DeLuca came up next to read several poems about women’s experiences and political observations as well as excerpts from her graduate thesis. Next, Miranda Beeson recited some of her poetry as well including pieces from her upcoming work entitled ‘The Horizontal Project’. Finally, MFA student Claudia Acevedo-Quinones read several of her poems along with an excerpt from her thesis exploring Puerto Rican mythology.

The open mic portion followed, which allowed multiple local writers to read for the crowd. Each poet’s efforts introduced new perspectives and stories which added to the camaraderie of the afternoon. Dingle closed out the event by thanking everyone for their participation and encouraging new attendees to consider reading at upcoming events.

The next Poetry Street will be held on Sunday May 26th with featured poets Matt Coonan, Kathy Donnelly, and Cornelius Eady. Open mic sign-ups occur the day of the event a half hour before start time. During Poetry Street, Blue Duck Bakery remains open to the public who will be treated to some beautiful live readings as they make purchases. More information on Poetry Street can be found on Blue Duck Bakery’s Facebook page.