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Bedell Cellars has some of the oldest vines on the North Fork.

continued from page 166 anywhere) or the fried flounder, and I pray that someone at my table orders the butter-poached lobster roll so that I can have a bite. 468 West Lake Dr., Montauk, 668-9190;

Tutto Il Giorno
On a warm summer night, I love to book a table at Tutto il Giorno. While dining here I adopt a no-carb-left-behind policy, often ordering several pastas to share, like the rigatoni with homemade sausage and peas or the linguine with clams. One thing I always get is the pane carasau, a thin, crisp flatbread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh rosemary and flaky sea salt, paired with a bottle of Wlffer Estate Vineyard ros. 6 Bay St., Sag Harbor, 725-7009; 56 Nugent St., Southampton, 377-3611

Estias Little Kitchen

Estias is a hidden gem on the Sag Harbor Turnpike. It is so small you could blink and miss it save for all of the cars parked out front. Many of my favorites on the menu have a Mexican influence, such as the fish tacos and the Mexican sweet corn soup, both great options for lunch. Estias dishes are made with local ingredients, and the restaurant has an extensive list of Long Island wines as well. 1615 Sag HarborBridgehampton Tpk., Sag Harbor, 725-1045;


Vine Street Caf

On the ferry ride to Shelter Island, my mouth starts to water just thinking about whats to come at Vine Street Caf. Dining here is truly a special experience. Its hard to choose because the menu all sounds so good. I often get salads to share, and since Im a Southern girl at heart, the chicken-fried chicken with wilted red kale. After dinner, I like to stop in the cafs market and take home locally made goodies. 41 South Ferry Road, Shelter Island, 749-3210; H
Local sorrel, crisp leaks, and caperduck dressing at The 1770 House.

Suki Zuki
I dine at Suki Zuki at least once a week for its incredibly fresh sushi and sashimi. The atmosphere is casual and laid-back, and the staff is warm and friendly, making it a perfect end to a day spent on the beach. The mussels steamed in sake are a must. 688 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 726-4600

Whether youre planning a beachside picnic or sipping at sunset, the North Fork has served as the Hamptons de facto destination for wines for any occasion. Its no surprise, then, that the regions wineries are releasing an ample bounty of new bottlings for the start of another summer season. Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot sold out immediately upon news that it would be served at President Barack Obamas second inauguration in January, the first time a New York wine has been served at the historic event. But dont despair: the 2010 vintagefrom a historic harvest that many feel has produced Long Islands greatest grapes will be available this summer. The 2010 Merlot also commemorates Bedells 30th anniversary and features a special label created by local artist Eric Fischl. Merlot is what helped put Long Island wines on the map in the 1980s and 90s, says Bedell CEO Trent Preszler. It has been an important variety for us, and this wine is from some of our oldest vinesin fact, some of the oldest vines on the North Fork. Meanwhile, The Lenz Winerycelebrating its 35th anniversary this yearwill bring out its new 2010 malbec this summer. 2010 was a stellar year for Long Island wines, echoes tasting room manager Jerol Bailey. Lenzs offering is perfect for pairing with steaks grilled on the patioa meaty malbec with deep, dark-berry flavors that can handle the heft of any cut. On the white side, the winery is releasing its first-ever white blend, a 50-50 mix of 2011 vintage Pinot Gris and Gewrztraminer grapes that customers were given the opportunity to name. The winning entry? Tte--Tte. Finally, keep an eye out for Lieb Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc ros, which, according to winery marketing director Logan Kingston, is drinking beautifully. Its vibrant and fresh, with flavors of white peach and an herbaceous quality as it opens, she boasts. The ros will be available under Liebs Bridge Lane label and can also be found on the wine list at Topping Rose Houses restaurant. Bedell Cellars, 36225 Rt. 25, Cutchogue, 734-7537;; The Lenz Winery, 38355 Rt. 25, Peconic, 734-6010;; Lieb Cellars, 35 Cox Neck Road, Mattituck, 298-1942;




North Fork wineries are producing an esteemed collection of unique bottlings perfect for summer.