Calling all foodies. Beginning this weekend, celebrate the bounty of summer with six drinking and eating (hello, garlic lovers!) day trips near NYC—from a Grand Tasting in Greenport to a culinary walking tour in New Haven—that are sure to entice even the most refined palate.
1. Greenport, Long Island | 1st Annual Long Island Wine & Food Festival
When: June 25-27
What: The First Annual Long Island Wine & Food Festival celebrates this world-class wine region. Come and enjoy the local wines that have put the North Fork on the oenophile’s map. This three-day event is gearing up to be memorable, culminating with Sunday’s highly anticipated Grand Tasting. The Grand Tasting allows you the opportunity to sample wines from 40 local vineyards. Held in the quaint Mitchell Park, in the heart of Greenport’s renovated waterfront, the event takes place from 2-6 pm, and costs $50 per person, $90 per couple, so grab a sweetheart.
How to get there: Hampton Jitney has convenient service to the North Fork from various New York City locations for $40 round-trip, dropping you off a stones throw from Mitchell Park.
2. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY | The Edible Garden
When: Daily until mid-October
What: There’s a lot more than violets and roses in this bucolic corner of the Bronx. This summer, the garden is celebrating the growing and preparing of food. Environmental, nutritional, and economic concerns converge to explore themes related to healthy eating in today’s hectic world. Daily cooking demonstrations by Chefs such as Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Bill Telepan will promote the use of fresh, locally grown ingredients. Summer weekends will find Garden-to-Table demonstrations, featuring a fresh, seasonal ingredient, like raspberries and summer squash when they are at their peak of freshness and bounty. All cooking demos are included in the admission fee. Wednesday’s demonstrations include produce purchased from the on-site, weekly Farmers Market.
How to get there: Take the Metro-North Harlem local line to Botanical Garden Station. Walk across Kazimiroff Boulevard to the Garden’s Mosholu Gate entrance. It takes 20 minutes from Grand Central Station. By subway, take the B, D, or 4 train to Bedford Park Blvd Station. From the station exit, take the Bx 26 bus east to the Garden’s Mosholu Gate entrance. Or walk eight blocks down the hill on Bedford Park Blvd to the end (approximately 20 minutes). Turn left onto Kazimiroff Blvd and walk one block to the Mosholu Gate entrance.
3. Garlic Weekend, Pocantico Hills, New York | Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
When: July 3 and 4th
What: Helping urban folk make the farm-to-table connection is a mission at this center, which offers year-round, hands-on opportunities to think about the food you eat, how it’s grown, and how this affects our health, our environment and our community. The Education Center offers an array of programs for adults and children, including cooking classes, workshops, lectures, and get-down-and-dirty farm experiences. Six acres of fertile farmland are used to grow veggies, employing ecologically sound practices. Garlic Weekend at Stone Barns is sure to be a winner, just don’t forget the breath mints. Featured events include a Garlic Tasting and a Pesto workshop, where you’ll gather the ingredients from the farm, prepare and sample fresh pesto. Taste the fruits of the land with a dining experience at Blue Hill, the property’s much-lauded farm-to-table restaurant.
How to get there: Take the Metro North Hudson line to Tarrytown. Taxis are available at the station, which is a quick ride away from the center. (Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, Westchester, NY, 914.366.620)
4. Saugerties, NY | Murray’s Cheese Shop Whey-cation
When: Saturday, July 10, 7:30 am-9 pm
What: Murray’s, Manhattan’s venerable demi-god of the frommage-loving set, is offering a yummy and informative daytrip to the Hudson Valley. It will be worth getting up early, as the day includes a brunch of locally-sourced delectables at New World Home Cooking restaurant, followed by a visit to Nettle Meadow Goat Farm, just outside of Warrensburg. You will get up close and personal with the cheese-making process, to better appreciate and understand what you will be sampling. Make nice with the resident goats, sheep and cows, whose milk constitutes the main ingredient for the prized farmhouse cheeses that are produced here.
How to get there: The $150 cost includes transportation to and from Murray’s (254 Bleecker Street).
5. New Haven, CT | Connecticut Culinary Walking Tour
When: July 10, August 14, and various Saturdays throughout the year
What: If you think that the New Haven food scene stops and starts with the pizza rivalry between the two great pizzerias in town, Sally’s and Frank Pepe, get ready to be proven wrong. Yes, generations of Yale Grads do make regularly pilgrimages back to town to scratch their New-Haven style pizza itch. Yes, the animosity between the two pizza giants is fierce (think Mets and Yankees). But New Haven is home to a melting pot of gourmet delights that you will discover on this culinary walking adventure. Join Stephen Fries, New Haven Register food columnist and Professor of Hospitality Management, as he leads hungry foodies around New Haven. He will introduce you to the most famous, the newest and the off-the-beaten-path dining establishments and food shops.
How to get there: The tour departs form the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale at 10:45 a.m. The tour costs $59 per person.
6. Atlantic City, New Jersey | Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival
When: July 25-July 28
What: The sinful pleasures of Atlantic City will now address your taste buds, too. The restaurant scene is a real up and comer in this seaside gambling Mecca, and while it has not yet reached the stratospheric heights of Las Vegas’ food scene, it is on its way. This is the 2nd edition of the festival, which is co-hosted by the Food Network, and many of the network’s stars will be in attendance during the four-day extravaganza. 40 lavish events include cooking demonstrations and a Sommelier Showdown, where three well-regarded sommeliers will go head-to-head in a blind wine tasting.
How to get there: Take Megabus.