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Down by the Bay

Celebrate the Fourth in true North Forker style

Some say that summer truly begins at the Fourth of July. This year, ring in this holiest of summer holidays at the bay, with a party to end all parties. If you’re looking to plan the best bash there is, complete with fun, feasting, and, ok, fireworks, look no further than this North Fork guide to what’s good this July. 

Call in the Brigades

If cooking on the bay is not your bag, there’s no shame in handing the task off to someone more qualified. Luckily, on the North Fork, there are plenty of great options for bespoke bayside catering. Noah Schwartz of noah’s, in Greenport, offers several water-adjacent options, like a catered North Fork seafood boil and a local lobster dinner. Lombardi’s Love Lane Kitchen, in Mattituck, is known for their sprawling off-premise catered affairs, which can range in scope from casual to elegant, depending on preference (chef Lauren Lombardi can make table-long heroes, or grilled meats to feed an army). 

Keep Drinks Plentiful and Cold 

After you pick up a four-pack of locally made Bridge Lane Wines (available in Sauvignon Blanc, rosé, red blend, white Merlot, Chardonnay, and bubbles), you’ll need to keep it cold for the hot afternoon and evening ahead. The new Yeti Tundra Haul is a good choice for this year’s bay bash. This heavy-duty cooler can keep drinks ice-cold for up to five days, has wheels to help you tote it on and off of the beach, and can hold about 45 cans of beer or local wine. Available in three colors (navy, tan, and white), this cooler can be ordered to PC Richard & Sons in Riverhead and Southampton.

Make it Portable 

If you prefer to take the reins on the bayside cooking this year, consider investing in a portable cooking device. Big Green EGG, the ceramic grill company based out of Georgia, makes a grill that can be transported to and from the bay. The MiniMax Big Green EGG comes with a built-in carrier, as well as plenty of room for cooking (you can actually grill a whole chicken or rack of ribs on this petite grill, all while watching the sun slip into the bay). Local retailers, like Shinnecock Hardware, in Hampton Bays, are licensed to carry EGG, and you can call to discuss product availability. If you’re looking for great seafood options to toss on the barbie, both Braun Seafood and Southold Fish Market are one-of-a-kind treasures. 

Knee High by the Fourth of July 

That’s what they say about the cornfields, of course, but the produce is always the star by the time the Fourth of July comes around. It may seem like the easiest party hack in the world, but there may be nothing better, on this hot, ripe holiday, than fresh-from-the-market produce. Stop by any of the Fork’s farm stands (Sang Lee and Wickham’s won’t do you wrong) for whatever fruits and berries are freshest. Then serve them to guests on the beach ice-cold, for a refreshing reminder of summer’s ripest and least-adulterated treats.