Local winemakers and restaurateurs are poised to come together this weekend to celebrate Greenport Village and the seafood so bountiful in North Fork waters.
It’s called the Shellabration and participants can treat their taste buds to tapas-sized culinary masterpieces from 11 of Greenport’s leading chefs, several of whom will serve more than one dish. They’ll also offer wine pairings from local vineyards to accompany their dishes. All proceeds will go to charity.
This inaugural Shellabration will benefit both Greenport’s roller rink restoration project and SPAT (Southold Project in Aquaculture Training), a donation-reliant arm of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Marine Program.
Participants must purchase a $10 wristband, available at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, where they can enjoy a free beer and raw bar tasting and get a map of participating village restaurants. Food and wine will be served from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 9.
“This is a great sort of morale booster because the restaurants had to reach out and partner with a vineyard,” said Deborah Pittorino of Cuvée Wine Bar on Front Street. “It’s helping strengthen relationships between our businesses to work in a collaborative manner to get people out there to explore the village in the wintertime.”
Ms. Pittorino said another plus is the benefit will help support “two very worthy causes.”
“SPAT is really an amazing program,” she said. “For many years our shellfish were disappearing and Cornell developed this program to teach people how to cultivate their own oysters. It’s a grass roots movement teaching people how to care for all nature, land and aquatic.”
Cuvée will serve two dishes, perhaps three, that will be paired with wines from Raphael Vineyards in Peconic.
“We’re going to be serving cups of New England clam chowder with local clams paired with Raphael’s Chardeaux, a chardonnay blend, and our signature dish, oysters cuvée, flash-fried oysters on a bed of spinach with truffled beurre blanc, which will be paired with Raphael’s sauvignon blanc,” said Ms. Pittorino.
Getting creative with his dish, chef Scott Bollman at Bruce’s Cheese Emporium said his shop is literally pairing with Osprey’s Dominion. His dish, a Peconic Bay scallop salad to be served with the winery’s unwooded 2010 chardonnay, which is fermented in steel barrels, will resemble an osprey’s nest.
“The marriage of local ingredients is what makes this such a great event,” Mr. Bollman said. “Hopefully it will bring a good amount of people out to Greenport.”
Winemaker Kareem Massoud at Paumanok Vineyards said matching local seafood dishes with local wines is a “natural fit” for an aquaculture festival.
“Light crisp wines with good acidity is the perfect description for what you want to have with shellfish,” Mr. Massoud said. “I think everyone wants to see the Peconic Bay scallop return to its glory days, so we’re happy to help support that effort and if it also helps support the local economy in a slow time, it’s a win-win situation.”
Chef and co-owner Noah Schwartz of Noah’s, also on Front Street, said restaurateurs all support the restoration of the roller rink in the American Legion building on lower Third Street.
“We’re all for the skating rink getting back in action,” Mr. Schwartz said.
At presstime, other restaurants taking part in Shellabration were Biere, Butta Cakes, First and South, Frisky Oyster, Front Street Station, North Fork Oyster Company. Scrimshaw and Vines & Branches. Other wines will be provided by Castello di Borghese, Lieb, Macari, One Woman, Peconic Bay, Shinn and Sparkling Pointe.
American Legion post commander Craig Richter said the group is excited to put the incoming donations from the Shellabration to use at the rink.
“We’ve just about completed the exterior of the building and over the winter we’re going to put in all-new Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant bathrooms, a kitchen and a new floor,” Mr. Richter said. “It’s going to take us a while, but we’re getting closer all the time.”
Kim Tetrault, the aquaculture specialist who heads up the SPAT program, said the program is always thankful for donations and the event is important to reaching one of the group’s goals.
“Our organization promotes the roles that both environmental groups and aquaculture play in the bays and our local community and we want people to come on board with what’s special about the North and South forks,” Mr. Tetrault said. “The Shellabration is exactly that; it’s celebrating everyone coming together to celebrate the fare that is offered here. All of these groups coming together to celebrate, raise awareness and keep our heritage and way of life going. That’s almost more important than the donation.”
For more information, visit shellabration.li.