Monday, September 12, 2005

A “Lovely” Day on the North Fork, 9/10/05

I admit, I like Rachael Ray. I know some people think she’s annoying or, frankly, a bad chef, but I am obsessed with her show $40 A Day. So much so that I’ll often find myself at a meal with JB saying in my most RR-like voice, “The way the cheese just blends with everything ….mmmmmm.”

For those of you who are not Food Network junkies, on $40 A Day Rachael goes to a city or region and has only $40 for all of her meals. Typically, she has 3 squares plus a sweet or a specialty cocktail amidst hitting the local tourist spots.

I think that Rachael needs to go to the North Fork of Long Island. We had a very RR day on Saturday. First, we went raspberry picking at Harbes Farm on Sound Avenue. It’s a veritable bargain since you get to eat as many berries as you want while picking and then you only pay for what actually stays in your $3 basket.

Then we headed to Mattituck, Love Lane, specifically. Love Lane has the requisite grocery store and deli, but it also houses a boutique complete with Lacoste and Juicy, a great cheese shop that has delicious fondue and Connie’s Bake Shop.

Connie’s Bake Shop is a gourmet delight. Delicate pastries and ginormous cookies fill the cases. But the sandwiches are the real winners here. JB and I split a chicken, pesto, and mozzarella sandwich on ciabiatta for $10.

It took awhile to come as we sat outside watching the slow pace of Mattituck life, but it was worth the wait. The chicken was super-fresh and who can argue with great mozzarella. We ignored the meager salad with scary pink dressing and focused on each bite in Rachael Ray style.

To finish off our meal and give us fuel for our golf game, we split a big cookie ($1.50). Believe it or not, it wasn’t that great. “Too cakey.” JB declared.

While we didn’t get to spend a full day on the North Fork, Rachael would have had plenty to see, do and eat. All within her budget. You can hit a number of vineyards, see historic Greenport which has expensive and inexpensive foodie restaurants or you can do what we did.

Drive a few miles further east to Cutchogue and play par-3 golf. For $10 you get 9 holes, $1 extra gets you a pull cart. And just off the 6th hole there’s a local kid selling lemonade and golf balls. Now that’s my kind of career.

Until we eat again, KLB

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