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Eye on Mattituck

slide2By Ruth Thomas

Mattituck, most likely named after the Native American word for “Great Creek,” was established in 1678. Mattituck Creek stretches along two miles from its entrance at Mattituck Inlet on Long Island Sound to Rte. 48. Mattituck is also home to several of the nearly 50 vineyards on the North Fork. Most notably, Mattituck is famous for its “Strawberry Festival” held each year on Father’s Day weekend in June.
Mattituck is a great fishing town. In the late nineteenth century, Mattituck Creek was known for its superb oysters served in New York City restaurants. But in the 1980s and ’90s, Mattituck Creek was often closed to baymen due to pollution. In 2000, thanks to Trustee Jim King who worked with the town to put in a drainage system and improve water quality, the DEC reopened it and since 2014 commercial and recreational fishermen can now legally harvest shellfish from Mattituck Creek. Marratooka Pond is an excellent fishing spot for largemouth bass, bluegill, and yellow and white perch.

Mattituck is also known for its beautiful beaches. The Mattituck Park District for residents of Mattituck and Laurel features Breakwater Beach on Long Island Sound. It has beach volleyball courts and fishing off the jetty. You can also enjoy watching the boats come out of Mattituck Inlet. Veterans Memorial Park on the sandy Peconic Bay features a shaded picnic area with BBQ grills, shuffleboard, and a Community Room.

In the heart of wine country, Mattituck has several wonderful vineyards. Among them are Macari Vineyards on Bergen Avenue, Lieb Cellars (The Tasting Group) on Cox Neck Road, and Shinn Estate Vineyards on Oregon Road. Each features live music and entertainment, wine tastings, and other interesting events. Bountiful farms also surround Mattituck. Harbes Family Farm with its three fabulous farms on the North Fork includes The Family Farm & Vineyard on Sound Avenue in Mattituck. Featuring fresh corn, tomatoes, and pumpkins in season at their farmstand, you can also enjoy live music and wine tasting at the Wine Barn. There are also plenty of fun activities for the kids, including Barnyard Adventure presenting farm animals, a pig race, a musical hayride, and the adorable Bunnyville!

Enjoy a stay at a Bed & Breakfast while sightseeing in Mattituck. Cedar House on Sound is on Sound Avenue, owned by the Perrin and Scarola families. They purchased the original potato packing barn built in the 1930’s and in 2006 rebuilt it on the same footprint. This “rustic chic” Bed & Breakfast is a great getaway. There is also a small vineyard, Scarola Vineyards on the property. Shinn Estate Vineyards on Oregon Road is not only a winery but also includes Shinn Estate Farmhouse, the first inn on a vineyard site on Long Island. A historic homestead from the 1880s, breakfasts include local produce, duck eggs, and baked sweet breads.

There are many fine restaurants in Mattituck, including aMano Osteria & Wine Bar, located on Main Road. Co-owned by Adam Lovett and chef Tom Schaudel, it opened in 2008. Highlighting Italian cuisine in a cozy atmosphere, their specialties include wood oven fired pizza, slow simmered meatballs, and pasta dishes, using mostly locally sourced farm produce. In the spring, watch the ospreys from The Old Mill Inn on West Mill Road, overlooking Mattituck Inlet. Formerly a gristmill built in 1820, it became a popular tavern in 1902, then a restaurant and bar in 1939. Run by Mr. and Mrs. Holmes from 1958-1975, Bia Lowe has owned and managed it since 2006. Feast on a Mattituck Lobster Roll, sip a glass of local wine, and listen to live music at this historic restaurant and pub. Closed for the winter.

Stroll down romantic Love Lane, where in the 1800’s young lovers would ride in horse-drawn carriages to Mattituck Creek in the evenings on what was then Railroad Avenue. In the 1920s it was renamed Love Lane. This laid-back enchanting road features cute shops with exquisite gifts, delicious chocolates, fine cheeses, and delicious eateries. Visit charming Bauer’s Love Lane Shoppe, featuring bags, scarves, soaps, candles, and jewelry. Enjoy scrumptious chocolates from Love Lane Sweet Shoppe. Take pleasure in the great assortment of cheeses at The Village Cheese Shop. Browse through the wonderful selection of books at BookHampton. Enjoy a tasty meal at Love Lane Kitchen. And save the date for The 38th Annual Mattituck Street Fair, sponsored by The Mattituck Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, July 11, 2015. There will be food, entertainment and many unique arts and crafts for sale.

on the North Road (Rte. 48) hosted by The Mattituck Lions Club, will be held June 18-21, 2015. This fantastic fair held at the peak of strawberry season has strawberries for everyone, including strawberry shortcake, luscious strawberries dipped in chocolate, and fresh strawberries just picked. Listen to live music and view the arts and crafts. Kids can enjoy fun rides, and fireworks will light up the night sky!

Mattituck is surrounded by water from Long Island Sound to the Peconic Bay with beautiful Mattituck Inlet flowing through its center. It is a scenic landscape of pastoral farms and vineyards featuring Love Lane and its charming shops. Mattituck offers fishing, boating, beaches, fine dining, and wine tasting, but above all strawberries galore!