It’s hard to believe that apple picking season is upon us. There are many great orchards to choose from, and why not make a day of it by going out to eat afterwards? Here are five orchards and nearby restaurants you can visit for a fun family day.
After walking the orchards and picking your own apples at Lewin Farm on Fresh Pond Avenue, head on over to the Cooperage for their annual Fall Festival. Fire-roasted corn, bratwurst with slow-braised German sauerkraut, chicken pot pie, pulled-bbq-pork sandwiches, potato pancakes, autumn harvest clam chowder, crab cake sandwiches, baby back ribs and roasted bbq chicken are just a few of the items you can enjoy while sitting outside and listening to live music. Craft and seasonal beers go great with their famous bratwurst, and be sure to try the pumpkin ale. A children’s menu is also available, and family friendly activities such as pony rides, pumpkin painting and face painting round out a perfect day on the North Fork.
If you have teenagers who are still willing to go apple picking, make a trip out to Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue, and definitely stop for dinner at aMano in nearby Mattituck. While you’re at Wickham’s be sure to pick up a half gallon of apple cider which they press themselves in a 1902 cider press, the oldest on Long Island. AMano, a chef Tom Schaudel restaurant, is located just up Main Road and serves rustic Italian food, delicious wood-fired pizza, and local wines. Pizza ranges from traditional tomato, basil mozzarella, to figs, prosciutto, fontina and arugula with balsamic. For the adventurous food lover, try the duck sausage pizza or the raw tuna and avocado pizza with wasabi aioli, soy sauce and a scallion crust. For entrees try Tom’s Carbonara made with smoked duck, or the house made gnocchi with lobster, mushrooms, fava and truffle cream.
Located on Horsemill Lane in Water Mill, Milk Pail Orchards has been in the same family for twelve generations. The Halsey family are happy to carry on the family tradition of growing apple trees where families can come and pick their own. About ten minutes away is LT Burger, a sleek, quick-serve eatery perfect for taking the family after a day in the orchards. Known for their 8-ounce angus beef burgers, LT Burger offers a Mexican burger with chili, guacamole, pickled jalapeno, Monterey jack cheese and sour cream—or why not try the Route 27, a burger topped with caramelized onions, peppered bacon, smoky ketchup and Mecox Bay Dairy cheddar cheese. For the more health conscious, try the ground turkey burger with yogurt, fresh herbs and avocado, or the Dirty Chicken, a chicken burger with smoked Gouda, slaw, frizzled onions and barbecue mayo. The kids will love to choose from a variety of shakes and sundaes. You can even get fried Oreos!
#TheGreatNYSummer: I love the North Fork. Farm fresh produce, the open road & lots of wine… What more could you need? Daniela & I stumbled into this little gem called Farm Country Kitchen where we noshed on this incredible lavender-goat cheese, berry & balsamic crostini. Gorgeous flavor. 👌🙌 #TheGrubfather #LongIsland #NorthFork
Harbes Farm, located on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, is situated on 15 acres and offers 27 varieties of apples. Not too far away on West Main Street is Farm Country Kitchen, which serves delicious homemade soups, sandwiches, paninis, wraps, salads and entrée specials in a historic late-1800’s colonial home. As they state on their website, “Country Kitchen is the essence of rural North Fork living.” Start off with lobster cakes with lemon aioli, or goat cheese bruschetta – creamy lavender goat cheese on garlic crostini with berries and a tasty glaze. There are so many gourmet sandwiches to choose from that it’s hard to pick just one. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, get one of their pasta dishes such as the broiled salmon with an oreganato crust and roasted pepper aioli served over angel hair pasta with roasted garlic, broccoli rabe and oven dried yellow tomatoes. Crescent duck breast, filet mignon and grilled strip steak with an imported gorgonzola crust is also on the menu. There is definitely something here for everyone.
CHICKEN + WAFFLES 💯 💯💯 Golden fried chicken cutlet covered in our sawmill sausage gravy with mozzarella cheese sandwiched between a belgian waffle. Served with sweet potato fries & coleslaw. 🐥🍗🧀🍟. Available on our weekly brunch specials until this Thursday. . . . . . #chickenandwaffles #southernfood #comfortfood #cheatdayeats #waffles
If you don’t want to travel all the way out east to go apple picking, then head over to Fort Salonga Farm in Northport, located on Meadow Glen Road not far from the Sunken Meadow Parkway. This boutique orchard features “dwarfed” trees which are perfect for small children. It’s a good idea to get there earlier in the season, because once the fruit is gone, the orchard closes. Your family will love Sweet Mama’s which is located on Alsace Place just off Route 25A. The restaurant is decorated with 1950’s kitchen accessories, and is a fun place to dine before or after apple picking. Come in the morning for country fried steak and eggs with buttered grits, or granola encrusted French toast, or eggs benedict. If coming for dinner, be sure to try Papa’s Pot Roast, the shepherd’s pie or apple pork tenderloin. Other comfort food entrees include creamy mac and cheese, homemade meatloaf and fish and chips.
The orchards are open weekends in September and October. Wickham Farm is open Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays. Be sure to check out each website for hours of operation and pricing.