Sunday, December 04
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North Fork Confidential

slide7One of the secret joys of living in a summer resort year-round is, in a word, winter. On the North Fork, that’s when you can tour the wineries at leisure; enjoy the stretch limo-free-roads; dine at the area’s best restaurants, no need to book ahead; walk the beaches in solitude; ice skate in Greenport’s Mitchell Park; or just take in the moody atmosphere of the seaside. And in off-season, hotel prices drop when the mercury does. Here are our top picks for cold weather getaway spots:
American Beech. Housed in a converted nineteenth century carriage house, this tiny inn in the thick of Greenport, on Stirling Square, has five ultra-modern suites, all located up a flight of stairs. Vibe-wise, think minimalist interiors, posh creature comforts (Frette bed linens, C.O. Bigelow amenities, your own private bicycle). The ground-floor restaurant serves casual impeccably-prepared farm-to-table classics and in winter, there’s often a crackling fire.
americanbeech.com;
300 Main St., Greenport.

The Shinn Estate Farmhouse at Shinn Estate Vineyards is an 1880s homestead overlooking twenty acres of biodynamically-cultivated vineyards. Owned by chef David Page and his wife, viticulturist Barbara Shinn, the estate has a solar and wind-powered operated energy system that is unique among winery and inns on the North Fork. The couple lay it on at breakfast with granola and scones — homemade, of course — and frittatas from the resident hens. If you’re still hungry, you can retreat to your room to eat cookies and wine and cheese is served in the afternoon. You can also taste Shinn Estate’s superb wines in its tasting room and go for a self-guided ramble through the vineyard.
shinnestatevineyards.com;
2000 Oregon Road, Mattituck.

The Chequit. We love this gracious old Shelter Island landmark, which was built in 1872 as a Methodist retreat house. Recently acquired by the Provincetown, Massachusetts-based Salt Hotels, the inn and its appointments have undergone a thorough update to great effect (so much so that The Chequit made the Condé Nast Traveler’s 2016 Hot List). The restaurant, the Red Maple, has a locally-driven menu of standards done right.
thechequit.com;
23 Grand Avenue, Shelter Island.

Previously known as La Maison Blanche, the ultra-chic, Gallic-inflected, ten-room Shelter Island House offers winter deals starting at $150 through December 28. Fancy a game of pétanque? You’ve come to the right place. The francophilia doesn’t extend to the restaurant, however. At The Tavern, it’s New American cuisine all the way. In the evening, you can sit next to the fireplace and have a glass of local wine.
shelterislandhouse.com;
11 Stearns Point Road, Shelter Island.

We’re partial to the Harborfront Inn, in Greenport, if only for its peerless central location overlooking the Peconic Bay. It’s smack in the middle of Greenport’s shopping district, and great restaurants like Noah’s and The Frisky Oyster are mere steps away.
theharborfrontinn.com;
209 Front St., Greenport.