Fred Terry is ready to try something new.
The restaurateur, who runs the Lobster Roll Northside and the nearby Gingerbread Factory in Baiting Hollow, said his latest project, the upcoming North Fork Tasting Room, will be as much about tasting family recipes and baked goods as it is about sampling all that the North Fork’s wineries and breweries have to offer.
But most important, Mr. Terry said, the food and drink shop will be a “labor of love.”
“It’s something that I wanted to do since the inception of this [restaurant],” he said, “and that’s more culinary arts, more food. The tasting room is as much food tasting as it is beverage tasting, for me.”
The North Fork Tasting Room, located in the same shopping area as the Lobster Roll Northside, will use the existing restaurant’s kitchens to make a variety of Mr. Terry’s family recipes, from huckleberry pies and other baked goods to smoked meats and fish.
Mr. Terry said he hopes to roll out a brand for selling some of these family recipes, some of which date back hundreds of years to Mr. Terry’s ancestors, who were among the first settlers on the North Fork.
He also wants to run small “beer and wine education” classes in the tasting room to teach people about the differences among local wines while offering them “every Long Island wine.”
Mr. Terry said the tasting room will not sell wines by the bottle but will instead refer tourists to some of the smaller wineries.
“Customers will have the opportunity to taste some of the differences,” he said. “This will be particularly a conduit for wineries and future breweries that are off the beaten track, because we are on the beaten track.”
Mr. Terry, who had been “semi-retired” from the restaurant business, said he was pulled back in after the unexpected death in 2010 of his oldest son, Frederick Terry II, who had been general manager of Lobster Roll Northside.
“I’m reminded of the picture ‘Cat Ballou,’ where the gunslinger had to do push-ups to get back in shape to be a gunslinger,” he said. “That’s where I am now. I’m doing push-ups.”
Mr. Terry said his stepdaughter, Dana, and son Sean will manage the retail shop year-round and added that he’s looking forward to dusting off old recipes to mix and match with local drinks.
“It’s more play than work,” he said. “If I felt it was going to be a huge amount of work, I probably wouldn’t be doing it.”
The North Fork Tasting Room is expected to open by mid-July.