David Taylor


Get Your Fill of Pumpkin Beer at East End Breweries

pumpkin beer
Westhampton Beach Brewing Co.'s Hampton Pumpkin ale (Barbara Lassen)

It’s pumpkin spice season once again, and that should be cause for excitement for more than the coffee drinkers among us. Pumpkin beer has developed into just as big a fall staple and comes in a wide variety of flavor profiles, making each brew unique. If you’re spending the day in the Hamptons or on the North Fork this fall, stop by your local brewery to taste these popular and promising pumpkin ales.

Garden of Even Pumpkin Ale
Garden of Eve Farm Brewery

While families can have a wonderful time picking pumpkins at this local U-Pick farm, the adults can also enjoy pumpkins by the glass. The craft pumpkin ale is refreshing, flavorful and made with homegrown crops. The tasting room is open on weekends through Halloween. (5.7% ABV) 4558 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-722-8777, gardenofevefarm.com/brewery

Leaf Pile and Leaf Pile Pie
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

A seasonal favorite returns, and this year, it’s brought a friend! The annual Leaf Pile pumpkin ale (5.2% ABV) is brewed with a blend of light and medium crystal malts and a hint of hops to form the foundation of allspice, ginger and crushed cinnamon. Following in the footsteps of its successful predecessor, the limited edition Leaf Pile Pie (8.5% ABV) has been brewed in collaboration with fellow Long Island brewery Root + Branch and is a pastry-style take on the classic ale. It’s bursting with the flavors of Madagascar vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, Vietnamese cinnamon, lactose and brown sugar, with more understated notes, including creamy vanilla frosting, smooth cinnamon, graham cracker crust, subtle cocoa and caramel toffee. Grab a can of each at the Peconic or Greenport tasting room. 42155 Main Road, Peconic. 234 Carpenter Street, Greenport. 631-477-1100, greenportharborbrewing.com

Sugar Skull Pumpkin & Whiskey Barrel Aged Sugar Skull Pumpkin
Jamesport Farm Brewery

Don’t let the name fool you, the Sugar Skull Pumpkin (4.7% ABV) is an atypical pumpkin ale that doesn’t taste like candy. The well-balanced brew isn’t too sweet, too spicy or too squashy — it’s juuuuust right. The fourth edition of its extremely limited edition relative, Whiskey Barrel Aged Sugar Skull Pumpkin (4.7% ABV), is an ale aged in Rough Rider barrels from Long Island Spirits, creating a rich and smoky brew teeming with seasonal flavors, plus the inevitable pop of whiskey. Both are available on tap now, and the classic Sugar Skull can be taken to-go in a growler or can four-pack. 5873 Sound Avenue, Northville. 844-532-2337, jfbrewery.com

Long Ireland Pumpkin Ale
Long Ireland Beer Company

The classic ale returns each fall, available through November, offering fall flavors and aromas, plus plenty of pumpkin spice goodness. The added caramel and smoky malts lend to this beautifully balanced favorite. What could make this popular pumpkin ale even better? It’s available as a slushy! (5% ABV) 817 Pulaski Street, Riverhead. 631-403-4303longirelandbrewing.com

Montauk Brewing Co. Montauk Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Montauk Imperial Pumpkin AleCourtesy Montauk Brewing Co.

Pumpkin Ale & Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Montauk Brewing Company

Capturing the essence of autumn in Montauk, the Pumpkin Ale (5.7% ABV) hits the spiciness level just right, blending wonderfully with subtle hop aromas. It’s only available through October, so grab a case and hit the beach while the East End enjoys its short-lived season of being not overcrowded but not freezing either. Even more limited than that is the new Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8% ABV), an Ocean Series brew made in collaboration with Bulleit Bourbon. This revved-up version of the classic seasonal ale is brewed in 10-year Bulleit Bourbon barrels to enhance the flavor. 62 South Erie Avenue, Montauk. 631-668-8471, montaukbrewingco.com

Butternut the Hutt
North Fork Brewing Company

Pumpkins, yams, butternut squashes — Butternut the Hutt (5.7% ABV) is a cornucopia of fall flavors and seasonal spices. The ingredients were locally sourced from Schmitt’s Farm in Riverhead and hand-roasted by the brewers.  Those in search of a sweeter experience should look no further than the Dark Side of the Maple (6% ABV), an American porter flowing with fresh maple syrup. Both are offered on tap and to-go. 24 East 2nd Street, Suite A, Riverhead. 631-591-1191, northforkbrewingco.com

Camp Hero Haunted Pumpkin Ale
Peconic County Brewing

Many know the eerie tales of the mysterious Camp Hero in Montauk, but what they may not know, is that the ghostly essence of the area has been captured and distilled in a medium-bodied pumpkin ale available in Riverhead. It’s brimming with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and possibly ectoplasm. (6.2% ABV) 221 East Main Street, Riverhead. 631-740-9797, peconiccountybrewing.com

Incarnation Pumpkin Spice
Tradewinds Brewing Company

With a can design as enticing as the Incarnation Pumpkin Spice, it appears you can judge a few books by their cover — delicious fall flavors are practically bursting out of the packaging. This is the latest reincarnation of the original John Harvards Pumpkin Spice Ale that was first brewed way back in 1997. Head to the Riverhead tasting room for a cool glass of this refreshing pumpkin/yam ale and grab a case for home. (5.2% ABV) 70 West Main Street, Riverhead. 631-591-3466, tradewindsbrewing.com

Hampton Pumpkin
Westhampton Beach Brewing Co.

Infused with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and seasonal flair, this medium-bodied pumpkin/yam beer makes for a delightful way to enjoy a gorgeous fall day in the Hamptons. For the full experience, head to the tasting room for a glass served with a cinnamon sugar rim — yum! (4.24% ABV) 220 Rogers Way, Suite I, Westhampton Beach. 631-998-0800, whbbrewingco.com

Three Pumpkin Beers Coming Soon
übergeek Brewing Company

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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Hamptons Restaurant Old Stove Pub Reborn in Sagaponack and Now NYC

old stove pub
Old Stove Pub's iconic neon sign.

If it wasn’t clear that Sagaponack’s iconic Old Stove Pub has entered a bright, new era since Joseph DeCristofaro took over the restaurant last year, the announcement that the 54-year-old eatery’s first-ever satellite location is coming to Manhattan should serve as definitive proof.

In the restaurant’s founding years, it struggled to find any identity at all— opening in 1967 as Irish pub Flynn’s Inn, then changing its name to The 19th Hole before being purchased by Vasiliki “Mama Bessie” Johnides and her children in 1969 and being permanently rebranded Old Stove Pub. A Greek family, the Johnides clan switched up the menu to serve what they knew best — exclusively Greek cuisine and wine curated by Coula Johnides. Spanakopitataramosalata and saganaki were popular choices, but none were as well-loved as the Sagaponack steak. It became a weathered but comfortable fixture in the community over the decades, with late-night karaoke accompanied by an out-of-tune piano and A-list clientele — including Billy Joel, Ralph Lauren, Larry Rivers, Andy Warhol and John F. Kennedy Jr. — piling into the rapidly aging farmhouse.

“When I was growing up, my father had a jukebox at the restaurant. I remember going there to change the 45s, and having a great steak,” current owner and Southampton local DeCristofaro recalls. “It was a very popular restaurant frequented by celebrities, socialites and the locals.”

Old Stove Pub tented dining area
Old Stove Pub’s tented dining area

When Coula and the founding Johnides family members retired after decades of ownership, fresh faces took the reins in the years that followed — including Colin Ambrose, Tim Salouros and George Gounelas. However, with frequently changing leadership seeming to have a different visions for the restaurant, Old Stove Pub’s identity and reputation began to shift again. Then, following property owner Coula Johnides’ death in 2018, Old Stove Pub was closed and put up for sale.

“For the last eight to nine years, the restaurant’s reputation was not very good, and it was closed for two years before I took over,” DeCristofaro says. “After the original owners retired, it went downhill sadly, after years of being a great restaurant.”

While there were some who considered the century-old structure’s worn-down aesthetic charming, the new property owner knew it was time for more than a fresh coat of paint. When major renovations were completed in 2020, the owner was so delighted with the results, that he instructed DeCristofaro, the property’s broker, to take Old Stove Pub off the market.

“We have made improvements within the space, making the interior brighter and allowing more light,” DeCristofaro says. “The new sushi bar has been a big success allowing our guests to have more choices. Customers are always ordering from both menus.”

While much of the character was left intact, the kitchen, hardwood floors, bar, fireplace, plumbing, electric and dining areas were updated. And the menu received the biggest update of all.

There are so many delicious dishes to try at Old Stove Pub
There are so many delicious dishes to try at Old Stove Pub

“The original menu was very Greek and had excellent and very expensive steaks. I kept many of the original items but added more Mediterranean dishes,” DeCristofaro explains, adding that the restaurant — which offers scallops, filet mignon, Atlantic salmon and other delicacies — also added separate sushi and dessert menus. “The food is great, the service is excellent, and we have extensive outdoor dining areas and indoor space combined with live music.”

At this point, the name “Old Stove Pub” has become a bit of a misnomer, since the restaurant offers a far more elegant, upscale dining experience than a pub vibe, yet the name remains. “The name is iconic and a Hamptons classic,” DeCristofaro says. “The neon sign on the highway has been seen by millions, and it simply has to stay the way it is.”

The name will soon become a New York City classic, as well, when DeCristofaro opens up its second location after decades of being exclusively found in Sagaponack. “I am opening the Old Stove Pub on the east side Midtown. We have a great menu and excellent following,” he says. “I saw a space and it had ‘Old Stove Pub’ written all over it, so I made a deal. It’s also important to keep everyone employed year-round, and my crew both front and back of house is NY-based.”

While no official date has been released for the opening of the Midtown East location, fans of Old Stove Pub have something to look forward to in Sagaponack in the meantime. Seeking to bring some of that old-school pub vibe back the restaurant, DeCristofaro plans to introduce Pub Nights this fall, featuring a selection of burgers, pub fare, and karaoke may even make a return.

Jimmy Fallon and Alfredo Merat sing "Guantanamera" at Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack
Jimmy Fallon and Alfredo Merat sing “Guantanamera” at Old Stove Pub in SagaponackInstagram/Merat

After a rocky few years, Old Stove Pub has once again cemented itself in the community, with celebrities like Jimmy Fallon among the restaurant’s loyal regulars, some of which return for dinner at least once a week. “Taking something that was literally falling apart and bringing it back to life AND seeing so many happy customers every week has truly been a pleasure for me and the entire team,” DeCristofaro says. “The Old Stove Pub is back, better than ever, and all of the Old Stove Pub team would like to thank everyone for their support and keeping us busy.”

Old Stove Pub is located at 3516 Montauk Highway, Sagaponack. For reservations, call 631-537-3300, and for more information, visit oldstovepub.com.

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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Montauk Brewing Co. Welcomes Fall With Wave of New Brews

montauk brewing
Easy Rider gives off Montauk vibes for days (Courtesy Montauk Brewing Co.)

Summer has come and gone, bring on the fall beers! Yes, for those unaware, beer is akin to fashion in its seasonality, with certain styles becoming more or less popular, affecting the demand and thus, supply created. Refreshing pilsners, fruity and sour beers do well in the summertime, while things get a bit spicier in the fall — pumpkin, maple, amber and Belgian are some classics. Montauk Brewing Company has wasted no time welcoming the change of the seasons, releasing a new beer before Labor Day weekend, with several more planned for the fall.

Montauk Brewing Company’s most recent addition is called the Easy Riser Belgian White, which will join the ranks of their year-round lineup complementing their popular flagship brew Wave Chaser IPA. They have actually brewed many different iterations of Easy Riser over the years, but this particular variation drew especially high praise from the brewery’s fans, so the company is hoping wheat beer lovers across Long Island and in New York City go equally crazy for it. This stale wheat ale, brewed with coriander and orange peel, is described as “mellow and easygoing, like a gently rising wave as it approaches the shore — this brew is the perfect expression of the ‘Montauk vibe’ — embodying the pure, relaxed enjoyment of the no-frills good life.” It will be available in six-pack cans and draft starting in the next couple of weeks and sold through Montauk Brewing Company’s two wholesalers: Boening Brothers Distributors in Nassau and Suffolk counties and SKI Beer in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

Montauk Brewing Co.'s new Cold Day IPA beer 12 pack
The new Cold Day IPA 12 pack (Courtesy Montauk Brewing Co.)

Next up is a special collaboration can release with Bulleit Frontier Whiskey that’s expected to drop at the end of the month. “We partnered with Bulleit for a limited release 16 oz can launch that features an Imperial version of our Montauk Pumpkin Ale,” Montauk Brewing Company co-founder Vaughan Cutillo explains, adding that the beer checks in at 8% ABV and was brewed with 10-year Bulleit Whiskey and oak chips. The result is an ideal fall brew with notes of bourbon, cinnamon and coriander.

The third beer on the horizon is another partnership, though this one is a little different. On October 14, Montauk Brewing Company will release a special Ocean Series beer for charity, with a portion of proceeds benefitting ARF, aka the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons. The adorably named “Pawesome” IPA checks in at 7% ABV and is brewed with Triumph, Idaho 7 and Citra hops. Cutillo credits the beer’s notes of stone fruit and orange citrus to this complimentary blend.

Each can of Montauk Brewing Co.'s "Pawesome" beer helps the animals of ARF
Each can of “Pawesome” helps the animals of ARF (Courtesy Montauk Brewing Co.)

Later in October, the brewery’s “highly popular winter seasonal” Cold Day IPA will finally be available in both six and 12 packs. “Sales of Cold Day more than exceeded our expectations last year, so we are really excited to see what it can do in a larger pack size,” Cutillo adds. Cold Day IPA was brewed with the very limited hop variety called Strata and comes in at 6.7% ABV.

Montauk Brewing Company is located at 62 South Erie Avenue, Montauk. For more information, visit montaukbrewingco.com.

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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Dan’s Rosé Soirée Coming to Nova’s Ark in Water Mill on July 24

rose soiree
Getty Images

Did you miss your chance to purchase tickets to Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork? Or have you attended both the 2021 Chefs of the Hamptons and Chefs of the North Fork events and you’re ready for round three? Either way, we’ve got just the thing for you: Dan’s Rosé Soirée!

Typically our Memorial Day kickoff to summer, Rosé Soirée has moved to the end of July this year, now acting as the epic conclusion to the first wave of Dan’s Taste 2021 events. You read that right; we’ve got another exciting wave of can’t-miss events coming this August and September, but for now, let’s talk Rosé Soirée.

Rosé Soirée takes place Saturday, July 24, at the renowned Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill—the Hamptons’ largest privately owned sculpture park and art center, featuring the works of founder Nova Mihai Popa. The event is hosted by Fox5 Good Day New York anchor Rosanna Scotto and features reserved outdoor seating with a multi-course tasting and pairing menu from the East End’s top chefs, but more on the food later.

Chefs of the event.

As always, Rosé Soirée boasts a wide selection of the Hamptons’ favorite summer drink, rosé wine, as well as other wines from vineyards across the East End and beyond, tons of specialty spirits, cocktails and beers. Featured wineries include local favorites Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Paumanok Vineyards, Palmer Vineyards, RGNY, Pindar Vineyards, Clovis Point Vineyard, Borghese Vineyard & Winery, McCall Wines, Jamesport Vineyards and Chronicle Wines, as well as renowned wines from Monte Xanic, The Expressionist, The Great Oregon Wine Company and Jesse Bongiovi’s Hampton Water. A sommelier will circulate throughout the event providing details and explanations of each wine. (Check DansTaste.com for the latest updates on wine offerings!)

Each course features dishes prepared by the Hamptons and North Fork’s most beloved chefs and perfectly paired with a refreshing rosé. These chefs are masters of bringing the richest flavors out of the freshest ingredients, and they’re sure to impress even food connoisseurs with the most discerning of palettes. And where there’s wine, there’s often chocolate or another sweet to enjoy it with, and Rosé Soirée delivers in a big way—showcasing two innovative North Fork chocolatiers and the queen of the Westhampton Beach ice cream scene.

The 2021 Dan’s Rosé Soirée chef roster includes:

Union Sushi & Steak in Southampton

Calissa in Water Mill

Spiro’s in Rocky Point

Saaz Indian Cuisine in Southampton

Bamboo Restaurant in Southampton

North Fork Chocolate Company in Aquebogue

Disset Chocolate in Cutchogue

Shock Ice Cream in Westhampton Beach

75 Main in Southampton

NAIA Hamptons in Southampton

Ed’s Lobster Bar in Sag Harbor

A portion of Rosé Soirée ticket proceeds will be donated to local nonprofit organizations. These groups include Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York, a charity serving people with developmental disabilities across Long Island and New York City; All For The East End (AFTEE), which raises funds for more than 1,000 East End charity organizations and helps those in need directly through its Feed the Need program; and US Autism Homes, which provides safe, independent and joyful living for autistic adults living in Southampton and beyond.

Once again, Dan’s Rosé Soirée is on Saturday, July 24, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Nova’s Ark Project. Nova’s Ark is located at 60 Millstone Road, Water Mill. Early bird general admission tickets are $150, and VIP tickets, which include lounge seating and an exclusive bar, are $250.

Get tickets at DansTaste.com before you miss out on this unique wine and dining experience. The website also offers a sneak peek of our next wave of events: Dan’s GrillHampton, Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, Dan’s Dinner in the Vines and more! All Dan’s Taste 2021 events are intended only for adults at least 21 years of age.

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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East Hampton High Schooler Debuts Jackson’s Beef Jerky in Sag Harbor

jackson's beef jerky
Jackson Baris holding Jackson's Beef Jerky (Courtesy Barry Gordin)

High school is a time in our lives when many of us begin exploring what we could see ourselves doing as adults—marine biology, musical theater, brand marketing, fashion design, business management and so on. As a freshman at East Hampton High School, Jackson Baris decided: Why wait? Now at age 18, the founder of the months-old Jackson’s Beef Jerky may just be the youngest legal beef jerky entrepreneur in the country, and it all started with a happy accident.

“I was just kind of bored, and I wanted to start a company,” Baris begins. “Freshman year, my parents went vegan, and I had no meat supply.”

As a baseball player with a love of beef jerky, Baris thought he’d try his hand at making the popular snack, but things didn’t go as planned—they went unbelievably better. “I basically made it all on accident, which is kind of like the biggest joke of this entire thing,” he says, explaining his attempt to make his first batch of jerky in an oven, rather than the traditional dehydrator method. “Most jerky is made in a dehydrator where the moisture is taken out, and that’s what makes it so dry, but the difference in this jerky is that it’s like cooked steak. It’s the difference between a three-day-old refrigerated steak and a nice, fresh steak.”

Even in those early days, organic and ethically made ingredients were a no-brainer, though Baris bemoans that they were difficult to get a hold of. “It’s kind of my own goal as a human being to try and start a company that can take the ethical step and offer people the ethical price,” he says. “The ethical step is utilizing regenerative agriculture, which, through moving the cows to separate planes of land in certain seasons, actually saves the soil and regenerates the soil so that we’re not losing the top soil. It’s what a lot of other companies are doing. I paid four times the amount that the normal person pays for their top round.”

Baris began his R&D phase by selling his oven-baked jerky to his friends and high school classmates, testing a few different recipes before finally landing on his ideal flavor: “Forgivingly sweet and unforgivingly spicy.” However, once he realized the risk should someone ever get sick from his homemade creation, he went legal and founded Jackson’s Beef Jerky, LLC using his own savings. “I turned down investors because I thought that they would only be focused on money, which is not what I’m focused on,” Baris, the LLC’s sole proprietor, notes. “A business’s goal is not just to make a profit.”

When Jackson’s Beef Jerky officially launched online earlier this year, the launch came with a limited-edition apparel collection created in collaboration with New York City artists and a social media push that included a TikTok video that quickly went viral, creating a brand following almost instantaneously. “I am really trying to have this clothing component to it, because when I wear brands, I want to wear brands that I represent, not like a lot of the brands that I’m forced to wear just because of what’s available,” he says. The company even recently sponsored a ski/snowboarding team that was eager to wear the apparel to their competitions.

The epic design on a Jackson's Beef Jerky hoodie Barry Gordin
The epic design on a Jackson’s Beef Jerky hoodieBarry Gordin

As for continued social media marketing, or lack thereof, Baris simply keeps the company Instagram and other channels engaging and focused on “rebranding jerky to be artisanal, small batch, expensive but worth the money,” without actually paying social media platforms to spread his posts to the masses. Despite how risky the strategy has proven for other brands, he’s been routinely selling out jerky restocks in under an hour due to the high demand from his loyal customer base. “I’m trying not to spend money on advertisements—I’m trying to grow as genuine as possible,” he says. “I don’t want to have this company be in front of people’s faces who don’t want it, which is why the farmers market is so important.”

On May 22, 2021, Baris debuted Jackson’s Beef Jerky at his first physical pop-up—the Sag Harbor farmers market, a venue he says prides itself on locally and ethically sourced goods. There, he sells his jerky for $20 per 3.5 oz., branded tees for $20 and hoodies for $45. Jerky samples are also available.

After the summer season, he’s considering bringing his jerky to the Union Square farmers market. As for getting his product on store shelves, Baris currently has no plans due to the jerky’s fresh, organic ingredients and expensive, time-consuming creation process. “Keeping it fresh is really important, which is why I’m kind of negligent to get it in stores right now,” he says, emphasizing the jerky’s flavor at its freshest. “I have never had a better beef jerky than my own beef jerky, and I wish that I could say that somebody else’s was better because I would like somebody to learn from. … I guess companies haven’t done it because it can’t be mass-produced easily because of the process—the process is very, very laborious.”

Although Baris’s unique oven-baked jerky was created by accident, the path to creating his high-end, ethically-sourced, fashion-infused brand was forged meticulously and deliberately. “There’s nothing that makes me feel better than putting my head on the pillow and knowing that I’ve worked hard and that everything I’ve worked for is representative of me as a human being,” he says. “At the end of the day, all you want to really be doing is making sure that the decisions that you make that are impacting other people are representative of what you believe.”

The Sag Harbor farmers market is open every Saturday through the summer season, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Visit @jacksonsbeefjerky on Instagram for updates on restocks to

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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The Past, Present, and Future of Raphael Winery in Peconic

raphael winery
Courtesy Raphael Winery

The East End is still home to many family businesses that have stood the test of time, pandemic and online shopping, and one especially shining example among them is Raphael Winery, part of a family of businesses owned and operated by the Petrocelli clan—including Preston House & Hotel, Atlantis Banquets, Long Island Aquarium and J. Petrocelli Construction.

Founded by general contractors John and Joan Petrocelli in the early 1990s, Raphael gets its name from John’s father, an oenophile and home winemaker. After purchasing 50 acres of farmland and agreeing to permanently preserve 40 acres as such, the Italian monastery-esque winery was built on the remaining 10 acres while the soil was allowed to rest after the previous owner had rented it out for the growing of potatoes and other vegetables.

“It gave us time to research and find people to help us create what we wanted to do,” says Raphael Wine Club Manager, Special Events Coordinator and daughter of the founders Julie Petrocelli Vergari. “We worked with Steve Mudd’s father, David, and Steve as well, and we decided that, because of our terroir, we wanted to go with a Bordeaux-style farming plan.”

The Raphael Wine cellar
The Raphael Wine cellar (Courtesy Raphael)

Red varietals chosen included merlot, cabernet franc, petit Verdot, malbec and cabernet sauvignon, and white varietals included sauvignon blanc and Riesling. The initial planting took place in 1996 with two-year-old vines purchased from a nursery upstate. Located in Peconic, the winery’s original winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich helped the family connect with Paul Pontallier from Chateau Margaux in France to consult and help design the winemaking area. The winery design, starting 12 feet underground, utilizes gravity flow and natural temperature regulation for maximum energy efficiency.

By 2006, the Petrocelli family had purchased an additional 20 acres from a neighboring farm and planted their first pinot noir. This sizeable addition made the winery team’s commitment to nurturing and picking grapes by hand an even greater labor of love.

“Where does the wine grow? We want it to grow in a happy place and create nice fruit for us,” Petrocelli Vergari says. “We get the most out of the vineyard as we can, but we also drop some fruit during certain times of the year if it’s too much on the plant. We don’t want to overstress the plant—we’d rather get more quality than quantity.”

In 2012, popular East End vintner Anthony Nappa took the reins of Raphael’s wine production after Olsen-Harbich left, though John Petrocelli initially had slight reservations about the hiring decision. “When Rich decided to leave, Anthony had interviewed for the job, and my father, a stern Italian, was a little upset because he knew that Anthony had his own label,” Petrocelli Vergari explains. “But we liked the fact that he’s a businessman himself and knows that we have to make money at the end of the day. We’re really lucky to have him, plus his [label’s] wines are totally different than our wines.”

By 2016, the team realized they had an overabundance of merlot and, at Nappa’s request, grafted clippings of Steve Mudd’s pinot grigio onto six acres of merlot. The young plants are expected to begin producing the new varietal by 2026.

Throughout Raphael’s history, many Petrocelli family members have contributed to the thriving business—including Petrocelli Vergari’s children, her sister JoAnn, nephew Jerome, nieces Jill and Jennifer and Diandra Petrocelli-Schultz. “We all work together, all listen to each other and all respect each other,” Petrocelli Vergari says of the winemaking and management teams.

“I like a family member here when we’re open. I have great staff and a great team, but I do feel it’s nice for people to see a family member here every time when we’re open,” Petrocelli Vergari says. “I’ve pretty much been involved since day one, because my husband (General Manager Joseph Vergari) is a chef, and I’m a wedding planner, so my father was like, ‘Oh, you can do events here!’”

Raphael Vineyard's Julie and Joe Vergari
Raphael’s Julie Petrocelli Vergari and Joseph Vergari

While her father and mother, now 90 and 88, founded the winery, they “never really had anything to do with” the day-to-day management and winemaking. “My parents drink Johnnie Walker Black—they’re scotch drinkers,” she jokes.

The lineup of recently released wines is as enticing as can be, though it comes after a time of great challenge on Long Island. “The last couple of years have been pretty challenging for the region—the 2017, ’18, ’19—but the 2020 is going to be phenomenal, so we’re really excited about the 2020 vintage,” Petrocelli Vergari shares. “We did an estate malbec with the 2017 vintage; that’s a new release for us that’s so delicious. I did a tasting the other day, and it’s got blueberry, blackberry, such great flavor to it. Our 2020 vintage has just been released, and that’s the cab blanc, pinot grigio and rosé of pinot noir. Those are our three new white releases, and they’re just so delicious and a little different. That’s the beauty of our region, it’s not going to be the same every vintage; there’s always going be a slight little nuance that’s going to change the flavors or the profile.”

Those who visited Raphael during the pandemic may find some of the new procedures still in place, as many of these changes created benefits beyond the realm of health. “We do like the seated tasting,” she says. “It’s been nice to have people sit and enjoy the flight. And we kind of like the reservation thing, because you can manage what we have. Staff is an issue, so we’re better able to control that. (With the old way) you can pack the people in, but can you take care of them?”

Looking forward, Raphael hopes to restart winery tours, host private events year-round and bring back the winter cabin fever series. The team is also striving to add more club members and educate them on the fascinating winemaking process. “Our wine club is so supportive of us,” says Petrocelli Vergari. “They come in and they feel like they’re coming home—that’s the point that we want to make, so that our visitors come back.”

Petrocelli Vergari’s influence in the Long Island wine scene stretches beyond Raphael, however, as she is on the board of the Long Island Wine Council and is working with her fellow members to “rebrand the whole wine region.” She continues,” We’re working on doing regional events with Stony Brook University, and that’s hopefully going to be happening this fall, maybe November. We’re also working on a [program] where if restaurants carry like at least 50% of Long Island wines, they get a special medallion on their wine list and free access to Long Island Wine’s website. In 2023, it’ll be 50 years that we’ve been making wine in the region, so we’re getting ready for a big anniversary.”

Raphael Winery is located at 39390 NY-25, Peconic. To learn more, call 631-765-1100 or visit raphaelwine.com.

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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Celebrity Chefs to Visit Sagaponack This Summer for Event Series at Old Stove Pub

old stove pub
Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Symon, tentatively scheduled to host Old Stove Pub dinners in July.

Prix fixe menus, themed cuisine nights and the like are common restaurant events that attract a bounty of diners to partake in the restaurant’s exquisite cuisine, but when restaurants want to create a truly can’t-miss culinary event, they bring in the celebrity chefs. Sagaponack’s Greek cuisine institution Old Stove Pub is clearly ready to draw in the crowds with its new Tuesday Takeovers with Celebrity Chefs, a dinner series from Pop Up Nation (PUN).

Old Stove Pub
Old Stove Pub

The series began on June 1 with TV food personality Marc Murphy, and continues with an all-star lineup of chefs known across television, magazines and cookbooks. PUN will join each chef of the week in hosting a multi-course dinner for guests to enjoy and brag to al their friends about. The kitchen takeovers will take place every Tuesday through Labor Day 2021.

“To our loyal fans and friends, as we welcome you back for another great season at the Old Stove Pub, we are so excited to announce a new Tuesday Takeover pop-up dinner series with celebrated chefs taking over our kitchen every Tuesday night until Labor Day,” says restaurant owner Joseph DeCristofaro. “This is a first-of-its-kind series where every week provides a new dining experience with one of the nation’s best chefs. Get ready for a summer-long Hamptons dinner party! Our guests will enjoy familiar faces week to week, but each Tuesday they are treated to a unique epicurean experience. We look forward to seeing you at the Old Stove Pub!”

The tentative schedule is as follows, though is also subject to change: Owner of NYC restaurants Mokbar and Ms. Yoo Esther Choi on June 8, Iron Chef Jose Garces on June 15, owner of The Little Owl Joey Campanaro on June 22, pioneer of Californian cuisine Jonathan Waxman on June 29, Iron Chef and Food Network icon Alex Guarnaschelli on July 13, host of ABC’s The Chew Michael Symon on July 20, Rise & Thyme owner Amanda Freitag on July 27, TV personality Josh Capon on August 3, Red Rooster owner Marcus Samuelsson on August 10 and Pig & Khao owner Leah Cohen on August 17. The featured chefs on July 6, August 24 and August 31 have currently not been announced.

Each dinner is $125 per person (excluding drinks and gratuity), and limited subscriptions are available for $3,500. Subscriptions guarantee reservations for two at each and every dinner by using the dedicated reservation line a week in advance. There are three seating times, 7–8 p.m.

Visit popupnations.com, call 917-287-6424 or e-mail srfpun2021@gmail.com to learn more and book a subscription for the season.

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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Riverhead Welcomes Its Newest Brewery übergeek Brewing Company

übergeek Brewing Company
übergeek beers (Courtesy übergeek Brewing Company)

One short month after Moustache Brewing Company closed the doors of its Riverhead tasting room, the space is reopening anew as the home base of Long Island brew master Rob Raffa’s popular, nomadic brewing company übergeek. The grand opening was April 2 with festivities lasting through April 11.

From home brewer to Moustache’s head brewer to founder of übergeek Brewing Company in under a decade, Raffa has quickly cemented himself in the Long Island beer scene, with a loyal fanbase and many connections both up-island and on the East End.

“We [übergeek] were able to build our entire network, so to speak, from word of mouth from selling wholesale,” Raffa says, noting that many of his customers hail from the Islip-Lindenhurst area. “I had a slight reputation myself before even starting just from making quality beer at Moustache, and I have a lot of friends, brewers and beer distributor owners, who were willing to try my product and push it out to market. And it kind of resonated with customers. I feel like I’ve got a good pulse on what the customer wants these days, with respect to craft, and I think that’s kind of being showcased by how quickly the brand has established itself.”

After a year and a half of brewing übergeek at local breweries such as North Fork Brewing Company, Raffa reached out to Matthew and Lauri Spitz, owners of Moustache Brewing Company, where he had worked for six years, in search of a more permanent physical space. With a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed last summer, the Spitzes jumped at the offer, deciding to have their beer crafted elsewhere moving forward, while Raffa takes over the Moustache tasting room.

“It’s a very unique situation, because it’s a turnkey coming in, which is a huge help,” Raffa explains. “But the main thing is that I’ve used that brewing system for years, so I was able to walk in and just immediately start brewing, knowing what I’m doing and not really having to deal with any test batches—with everything coming out the way that I fully expected it to. Not everybody has that—I’m totally cognizant of that—and I think that’s a huge advantage and why we’re able to flip and rebrand the space, get beer brewed and be open in a month.”

While Raffa was eager to redesign the space to fit his highly consistent branding, he acknowledges that it was somewhat difficult to say goodbye to the relics from his time at Moustache. “It’s definitely bittersweet. There were so many things on the wall—memories, since Moustache had a lot of photos up,” he says. “It was sad to see them go, but I’m excited to start a new chapter. The brand for what I’m trying to do in this space is to make it very evocative, very cathartic and feel like the space itself is moving and providing entertainment for everyone.”

As for the beer itself, Raffa has long had a passion for experimentation, and his new business model allows for much more of that than the wholesale market ever could.

übergeek Brewing Company
Rob Raffa, owner of übergeek Brewing Company (Courtesy übergeek Brewing Company)

“When we were doing wholesale, we kind of had to stick to higher ABV beers, since those tend to sell better out in the wholesale market, so we couldn’t just jump out there and give people a blonde or a pilsner because it’s a bit more risky. Now we get to stretch our legs a little bit and try less hypey styles and do them well, he says. “I find the most rewarding thing about brewing is the experimentation and also trying to find a way to bridge the gap between brewing something that is a full-on liquid and culinary, where you can actually sculpt on it and make it into a three-dimensional shape. So I tend to pull a lot of influence from food in order to give beer a little bit more depth of flavor and just to kind of break the mold a little bit. And brewing in this space definitely gives me a huge opportunity to experiment a lot more and get a little more eccentric. It’s fun—I wouldn’t want any other job!”

For the week-and-a-half-long grand opening of the übergeek tasting room, Raffa has prepared a new 4.1% pilsner, a new IPA, a new tart, and he’s working on his first Cohort of Eccentric Misfits members-only tap, an exclusive brew inspired by Moustache’s Society of Fine Liquid Provisions. The tasting room will offer a total of 10 beers on tap in its opening week, cans of the brewery’s popular portfolio, as well as mead, cider and wine from fellow Long Island businesses. The Eat Me, Drink Me Food Truck will also be on the premises every day except Easter, offering incredible food to be enjoyed in the indoor or outdoor seating areas.

Raffa expresses a great deal of excitement at the thought of connecting with his community in Riverhead—from the up-island übergeek fans of his nomadic days to the East Enders who remember his Moustache days fondly and to the new friends who are sure to fall in love with his unique, eccentric brews.

“What I like is that when we open, we’re probably going to have a mixing of communities,” he says. “I finally get to bring my beer to the locals who I’ve known for years, through Moustache, and a lot of them have already come behind me and are excited to call this their new home, so I think that it’s only going to strengthen the brand…. Even if you did go to Moustache back in the day, coming to the space is definitely going to be a new experience!”

To learn more about übergeek Brewing Company, visit ubergeekbrewing.com.

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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Long Island Spirits Releases LiV Cocktails Nationwide

long island spirits
Long Island Spirits' canned cocktails. (Courtesy PRNewswire)

Baiting Hollow-based Long Island Spirits has gone national with its new line of LiV craft vodka canned cocktails.

Distributed to stores by Winebow this month, these libations are made with sparkling water, all-natural juices and LiV standard edition vodka crafted from locally grown corn in authentic pot and column stills. The result is four flavors of sugar-free, gluten-free cocktails with 100 calories and 5% ABV in each 12-ounce can. Each can displays the letters “LIV” in international maritime signal flag symbols, color-coded to each flavor.

Sure to be a local favorite, Southampton lemonade is a pure flavor that tastes fresh and sultry. The last summer lime fizz flavor comprises incredibly sweet aromatics and flavors that feature an elegant balance between sweet and sour. Long Island cold brew tea is a thirst-quenching delight coupled with light sweetness and a hint of eureka lemon. Finally, watermelon crush offers a lusciously sweet vine-ripened melon flavor that’s stunningly bright and crisp.

“We spent several years developing these special cocktails, and they have dramatically exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said Long Island Spirits founder Rich Stabile in a statement. “Having Winebow’s support for this launch is extraordinary and will no doubt help ensure its success. Together we believe this will be a true game changer in the canned cocktail category.”

The North Fork distillery, touted as Long Island’s first craft distillery, also announced that LiV standard edition vodka, which launched in 2007, is being relaunched with a new look and feel that is patterned after the LiV craft vodka cocktail cans.

For more information, visit lispirits.com.

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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Baron’s Cove Executive Chef Nicholas Vogel Touts Dock-to-Dish Style

L. to R.: Chef Nicholas Vogel and his seared scallops.

Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor recently appointed Chef Nicholas Vogel as the resort and restaurant’s new executive chef.

With a focus on local ingredients, seasonality and sustainability, Vogel’s newly launched menus feature contemporary American fare with an emphasis on dock-to-dish dining. He plans to change up the dishes offered seasonally at least three or four times per year while featuring daily specials, homemade pastas, scrumptious desserts and fresh in-house baked goods.

“I think the downtime is going to allow for experimenting and recipe development as we head into my first fall and winter here in Sag Harbor,” Vogel says. “I cannot wait to share my food with everyone that calls the East End home and highlight Baron’s Cove as a premiere restaurant in the Hamptons.”

Get to know the Restaurant at Baron’s Cove Executive Chef Nicholas Vogel!

Tell us about your culinary background and how those experiences prepared you for your role as Executive Chef of Baron’s Cove.

My culinary background is very tied into my own personal background. I grew up in this industry! My mother worked in restaurants, and I also worked at a family owned bar/restaurant as one of my first jobs. From dishwasher, to bussing tables, cooking, waiting tables, bartending and front of house management—I have done it all.

Most recently I was the executive chef at Alta Strada in D.C. That was my most recent position with the Schlow Restaurant Group, and previously I was a sous chef within that same restaurant group. I went to college for business/finance as a way out of the “industry” when I was 18, however I could not shake the hospitality itch. Finding myself wanting to be back in the kitchen after college, I dedicated the last six years of my life to trying to become the best chef and businessman I can be—working and training to be an executive chef in various restaurants and hotels.

Is there anything that sets Baron’s Cove apart from the restaurants you’ve worked at previously?

I would have to say the location and seasonality is what sets Baron’s Cove apart from the last restaurant I was executive chef at. It is certainly a change for me coming from Washington D.C. However, I grew up vacationing in and around Cape May, New Jersey, and previously worked at Cape Resorts properties (The Ebbitt Room and Beach Plum Farm Kitchen) about four years ago. Understanding the nature of a resort destination is something I am familiar with and have previously worked in before.

How have you developed your relationships with East End farms, vineyards, seafood purveyors, etc.? And who are some you’re currently working with at Baron’s Cove?

Developing is the key word. I am a few months into reopening the restaurant and starting the new culinary program from scratch here while trying to source the best local products and produce I can. One of the reasons I came here was to take advantage of the local bounty, and be more connected to farmers, fishers, and be an active member of the East End community. I am currently working with Braun Seafood, Haskell Seafood, Foster Farms and Treiber Farms, to name a few… Captain Peter Haskell will text me early in the morning to fill me in on his catch and hours later you will find that fresh seafood on your plate. I can tell you the boat that the fish came off of.

Are the Baron’s Cove menus the first Hamptons restaurant menus you’ve developed, and what were some of your goals or your overall vision for them?

The new menu for summer 2020 was the first “Hamptons” menu I have developed. My goal and vision for any menu is to bring bright, bold and clean flavors with exciting plating for the guest’s eyes. I look forward to continuing to make the Restaurant at Baron’s Cove a destination and for it to be able to stand apart while still offering a great amenity to the hotel guests staying with us.

Have you always been a proponent of dock-to-dish dining, or is this something new you’ve begun utilizing at Baron’s Cove? How does the freshly caught seafood affect the quality or taste of the dishes prepared with it?

I have always enjoyed fishing from a young age, and I think my ideas and morals of sustainability apply to my mission here at Baron’s Cove. I try to use the freshest local product available, by using my partnerships with local captains and vendors to use in-shore species native to this part of Long Island. Dock-to-dish is the equivalent of farm-to-table, and it affects the quality and taste immensely. The average hands that a single fish or product passes through from the sea to the guest is 16. I am trying to cut that down to two—the fisherman and myself. Doing whole fish butchery and minimizing the amount of time that a fish is caught until it is cooked helps us deliver a product that I am really proud of serving to our guests.

To learn more about Baron’s Cove, view Vogel’s menus and place a reservation, visit baronscove.com.

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com

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