Landing a spot on Forbes magazine’s list of the most beautiful towns in America could be a bit of mixed blessing. How to deal with all that attention? If you’re a locale like Greenport, which was among the chosen few in 2011, careful stewardship combined with an influsion of youthful energy means you continue to flourish. This month marks the run-up to the start of the summer season when the port town reawakens from its winter slumber and breaks into blossom. Here are five fresh reasons to pay a visit before the summer season begins: Superb Wood-Fired Pizza To the delight of residents on both sides of the Peconic, caterer Matt Michel—the pizzaiola with the converted fire truck– plans to open Rolling in Dough Pizza Shop on Stirling Square this spring. No longer will his legion of fans have to crash a wedding whenever they’re in the mood for his goat cheese and fig jam pizza. The new place will feature local ingredients like clams from the Southold Fish Market and farmstand produce. Rolling in Dough Pizza Shop, 300 Main St., www.rollingindough.com (May)
Acoustic Music And Italian Small Plates At the Rolling in Dough Lounge, also on Stirling Square, you can drink local wine and sample chef-owner Matt Michel’s excellent handmade charcuterie while listening to live acts. The underground space has rustic tile floors, exposed stone walls, and, behind the bar, a secret Prohibition-era passageway that runs all the way to Claudio’s. Rolling in Dough Lounge, 300 Main St., www.rollingindough.com (May)
RARE VINTAGE Clothing and furniture, that is, at the recently-opened The Times Vintage. Housed in the old Suffolk Times building, this 1600-square-foot boutique is packed to its pressed tin ceiling with finds from the 1920’s to the 1970’s and is co-owned by Elizabeth Sweigart, an artist, and her father, Michael, a geologist. Sweigart père has an eye for art deco and Sixties’ modern furniture and Elizabeth handles shoes, dresses, handbags, and antique ephemera. Stop by in early spring, when the younger Sweigart will be just back from a buying trip to Europe.
The Times Vintage, (631) 477-6455, 429 Main St. (March) A PROPER CUP OF TEA Filling the void left by the now-shuttered Greenport Tea Company is The Sunset Room, a small tea garden under the pergola at the rear of the Times Vintage (entry is through the shop). On the menu: Fine whole leaf teas, sweet things produced in small batches by a local baker, and birdsong.
The Sunset Room at the Vintage Times, (631) 477-6455, 429 Main St. (April) SUBLIME LOCAL GREENS At Noah’s, the first of the new season’s produce– asparagus, sweet peas, tender young fava beans, and pea shoots, all from neighboring farms–will come together in a gorgeous risotto enriched with Catapano Farm goat cheese that whispers ‘Spring.’ Noah’s, (631) 477-6720, 136 Front St. (May)
By Justine Eyre