We travel out East to Greenport in the cold on a day when most are traveling South to escape the winter’s chill. We pass through the stations that lie in western Suffolk until all we see for miles upon stretches of beautiful miles are the farmland and forests that we are so fortunate to still have protected on the North Shore of the Island. We reach the end of the line and welcome the sun’s reflection beating off of the water of the Peconic as we disembark. I love that the sun still reminds us of the summer even on these cold and wintery days.
There is something magical, however, in witnessing what a bustling summer escape looks like in the cooler months. The town is devoid of crowds and cars and is instead filled with only the hometown flavor that helps to make this place so special. These are the real members of the East End who take a sigh of relief each winter as a welcome reprieve from the summer masses.
We make our way past the beautiful carousel that we so love to ride in season and stop at our favorite coffee house and bakery on the North Fork. We come to D’Latte religiously in the summer to taste their heavenly gelato. We make it a point to eat it sitting at the outdoor tables while watching the people pass us on the street. I usually slide my sunglasses down over my eyes to avoid being caught but admit to being an avid “people watcher” and love every minute of it.
Today, as the cold keeps us inside, we have missed the opportunity for gelato, but are rewarded with a fine selection of pastries and cookies in its place.
The cookies are nestled in a massive old piece of furniture that makes me wish I knew its story and past life. Within its drawers, the cookies lay nestled snuggly together and each drawer is pulled open for the taking. The pastries live behind glass and each looks more delicious than the next. Atop the glass case is a magnificent toy carousel and the lovely woman behind the counter turns it on for the boys’ amusement. Its tiny horses travel up and down to the tinkling of the music from within.
We settle on some cookies — chocolate chip and sugar — because on this cold day we need something simple and delicious to warm us up. We order a vanilla latte for me, and a hot chocolate to share. The boys find their place under a gorgeous photo of Sophia Loren; their taste is already impeccable. The rich flavor and bitterness of the dark chocolate are exactly what we need. My latte is flavored to perfection and we sit happily in the moment surrounded by the warmth and the lazy crooners of yesteryear playing on the radio. The cookies are everything one could hope for in a simple pleasure and the “extra” cookies we had to bring home with us soon find themselves opened and devoured. We, instead, take only ourselves to the door and enter once again onto the quiet streets to take in the charm of D’Latte and all that Greenport is in the lazy winter haven that it is.