05/12/13 12:00pm
05/12/2013 12:00 PM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Jimmy Lin at Sakura, his new sushi restaurant, on Front Street in Greenport.

Greenport has a new sushi and hibachi restaurant.

Jimmy Lin, owner of Sakura Japanese Restaurant on Route 58 in Riverhead, has opened a second location on Front Street, across from the post office. Sakura, which opened April 28, took over the space formerly occupied by Andy’s Unbelievable Burgers and Seafood.

“I’ve lived in Greenport for 15 years and wanted to bring a professional Japanese restaurant here,” Mr. Lin said. Sakura opened its Riverhead location in 2010.

The menu at Greenport’s Sakura includes a variety of lunch and dinner specials as well as sushi and hibachi meals. Unlike the Riverhead location, hibachi grills have not been integrated into the dining room and all food is cooked in Sakura’s kitchen, said Mr. Lin, who also owns New China restaurant on Front Street.

He said that if business goes well at the new Sakura, then he’ll consider expanding the restaurant to add a second dining room that can accommodate hibachi grills so customers can watch their food being prepared in front of them.

“We’ll see how the summer goes,” Mr. Lin said. “We had plenty of customers last week.”

Sakura Japanese Restaurant is located at 204 Front Street in Greenport and offers dine-in, catering and takeout. It does not make deliveries. Call 477-3888 for more information.

ryoung@timesreview.com

04/06/13 10:00am
04/06/2013 10:00 AM
Greenport Temple

JULIE LANE PHOTO | The Congregation Tifereth Israel building in Greenport.

Did you know that the Beatles were not Catholic? It was a shock to learn that fact, which, as I recall, a sibling shared with 10-year-old yours truly on the way home from a trip to the barber shop one Saturday morning. Given that the old man served in the Army Air Corps in World War II and never gave up his GI style, our hair was about as long as the grass on a putting green and Earnie, the one-legged Austrian (I’m not making that up) was done with us in no time flat. Buzz, buzz, buzz. Next!

I secretly longed for long hair just like the Fab Four, who I had assumed were Catholic. Since we were Catholic, wasn’t everybody?

They’re not? Really? Wow! Well, obviously they’re not going to heaven. It’s as simple as that.

A few years later my hairstyle, if you could call it that, remained crew cut, which was just as well given that my Boy Scout cap just fit and a new one appeared as unlikely as my becoming an Eagle Scout. Our troop met in the Methodist church hall and you should have seen the look on Ma’s face when I passed along the good reverend’s invite to attend an ecumenical service.

Oh, no, you can’t go, said she. Why not? I asked, not at all unhappy at avoiding another hour in uncomfortable clothes sitting in a butt-numbing wooden pew. Why? Because they’re not Catholic. To be fair, Ma loosened up considerably over the years and without losing her faith became quite critical of the many blatant examples of hierarchical hypocrisy.

But if the reverend invited the Beatles? They could go.

I offer this slice of personal history to give an idea of my state of mind when attending a recent Passover Seder — my first — at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Greenport. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased and honored to take part in the Seder, the service commemorating the Jewish people’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. But I’m always nervous at religious observances, especially one totally foreign to me.

I think I knew one Jewish kid growing up. That number wouldn’t have been so ridiculously low had my folks never left Yonkers, but that’s how it was out in the sticks.

My apprehension was fed by the knowledge that a Seder is an interactive affair, parts of which date back thousands of years, so the prime directive coming from either the emotional or rational part of the brain was simple: Don’t screw up, don’t screw up.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Buddy, you’re not 10 anymore. Shouldn’t you be beyond that? Well, I’m not, OK? So sue me, whydoncha.

Fortunately, everyone at the Seder table received a copy of the Haggadah, the book read on the first night of Passover. (Haggadah means “telling.”) It covered everything. Ah, this is a piece of cake. During Mass we all had missals, the books with all the text and instructions, so with a Seder guidebook I had nothing to fear.

I perused the Haggadah before Rabbi Gadi Capela, a very energetic young man in his first year with the congregation, got things going. But just a few pages in, right on top of the page, it said, “Our Seder now has ended” and several lines below that, “La-shana haba’ah birushalayim,” meaning, Next year in Jerusalem!

Uh, OK, where’s the rest of the text? Good lord, I’m in trouble. It wasn’t until just before the start that it hit me. Dummy, like Hebrew, the book is read from right to left, not the other way around. Whew!

With the unjustifiable panic in remission, I could finally enjoy the not-unfamiliar trip through what some call a crash course in Jewish history. Indeed, the rabbi noted that to forget or forgo the story of slavery under Pharaoh or the freedom through Exodus is to lose faith and an identity maintained, often at great cost, since antiquity.

So I happily did the reading when my turn came around, even though my silent practicing went for naught when the Rabbi skipped some pages. I shared in the matzoh, tried the horseradish, the “bitter herb” recalling the bitterness of slavery and drank the four cups of wine representing the four promises of redemption. OK, it wasn’t really four cups, because at that point I might have decided I could sing in Hebrew as well as the rabbi. It was more like four small portions.

As a recovering Catholic who’s about as religious as the Kremlin, it was humbling to witness a community of faithful folk who embrace tradition in an active, endless effort to fend off the dark powers of mindless modernism. And who were kind enough to let a big Irisher share the special evening.

Did I mention the real, not ceremonial, food available in abundance at the Haggadah’s end? Incred-i-ble.

Could not have been a better evening, even if the Beatles had showed.

Tim Kelly is the editor of The Suffolk Times. He can be reached at tkelly@timesreview.com   or 631-298-3200, ext. 238.

 

02/18/13 8:00am
02/18/2013 8:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Grana Wood Fired Pizza owner and chef David Plath was back at work last Thursday after closing since the end of December.

Last week’s blizzard was hefty enough to close down the Long Island Expressway throughout all of Suffolk, so it’s easy to imagine why some local restaurants find it prudent to shut their doors for a period of time during the colder season.

“Last week was an example of why so many businesses close during winter,” said Dianne Delaney, general manager at Comtesse Thérèse Bistro in Aquebogue. “We live in such an unpredictable climate. We closed for January. The first weekend we were open was a wild success. Then we didn’t even open this past weekend because of the snow.”

Snow or not, Comtesse Thérèse executive chef Arie Pavlou said there are other, non-fi nancial benefits to closing shop for a time.

“It gives you a chance to recharge your batteries,” Mr. Pavlou said. “It can get very monotonous out here without a break.”

Chef and co-owner Noah Schwartz of Noah’s in Greenport said it’s customary for him to close his business during the first two weeks of January.

“Typically we’ve found January to be the slowest time, especially in Greenport,” Mr. Schwartz said. “It helps labor costs because we don’t have staff to not earn any money, but we try to give our staff as many hours as possible. Closing can be hard on the staff who rely on us for year-round income, so we try not to stay closed for too long.”

Business owners often use the downtime to complete renovation projects or even travel to fi nd culinary inspiration.

“Last year we closed for two weeks and this year we took five weeks to put in some bench seating, paint the entire place and finish the bar,” said owner David Plath of Grana in Jamesport. “It was an ideal time to freshen up and to travel around Italy getting ideas for ingredients and dishes.”

Mr. Plath said he got the idea to serve truffled fondue during his most recent trip abroad in January, along with other appetizers that he’ll begin rolling out in the coming weeks.

“One is a lightly fried cod and the other is a chi-chi bean puree that is like an Italian version of hummus,” he said. “I got some great ideas and also got to check out a supplier I’m interested in while I was there.

He also said he’s now feeling refreshed as he gathers momentum to get Grana back up and running.

“Sometimes getting up and going again is like trying to move a thousand-pound elephant,” he said with a laugh.

Instead of just taking a few weeks off, it’s financially necessary for some restaurants to be strictly seasonal, said local restaurateur Adam Lovett of Greenport’s A Lure.

“We’ve tried to stay open during the winter but it just doesn’t make sense with the location and the size of the building and kitchen,” Mr. Lovett said. “It’s not in downtown Southold or Greenport so there’s no foot traffic. It’s out in the middle of a marina that’s closed and the fact of the matter is people don’t always think to have dinner at a waterfront seafood restaurant in February.”

Though he said closing for the season is important for A Lure’s financial survival, Mr. Lovett said the opposite is true for A Mano, his smaller, high-end Italian eatery in Mattituck.

Mr. Lovett said when other area businesses close for the winter, A Mano begins to pick up speed.

“A Mano has a comfortable, wintery feel and when other people close down, we remain pretty busy,” he said. “Ben Suglia at Mattituck Laundry tells me restaurants that stay open during the winter do better in the summer — and who am I to argue? He does a lot of restaurants’ linens in the area and the guy that does your linens knows exactly what business you’re doing.”

gvolpe@timesreview.com

02/11/13 7:00pm
02/11/2013 7:00 PM

The major snowstorm that wrecked havoc with high school sports schedules in Suffolk County has delayed the completion of the boys and girls basketball regular seasons. All that snow, however, didn’t prevent Section XI from going about the business of preparing for the playoffs for those sports. Section XI, the governing body for interscholastic sports in Suffolk, released the boys and girls basketball playoff brackets on Monday.

As expected, Riverhead’s boys team earned a rare home playoff game. The Blue Waves (15-3), received the No. 5 seed in the Suffolk Class AA Tournament and will host No. 12 Longwood (11-6) of League I in a first-round contest on Friday. Riverhead, which last week captured the League III championship, will carry a six-game win streak into the postseason. In the only meeting between the two teams during the regular-season, however, Longwood beat Riverhead, 60-41, in a non-league game on Dec. 8.

The Greenport boys (10-7), who have one regular-season game remaining, will play a familiar opponent in a Suffolk Class C outbracket game Tuesday: Pierson (11-7). The winner of that game will advance to a county final against the top-seeded League VIII champion, Stony Brook (14-3), on Wednesday. Greenport and Pierson split the two regular-season games they played against each other.

Bishop McGann-Mercy (8-10) and Shoreham-Wading River (9-9) failed to qualify for the playoffs.

In girls basketball, No. 7 Riverhead (11-7) will host No. 10 Half Hollow Hills East (11-6) in a Suffolk Class AA first-round matchup on Thursday. While the Blue Waves have dropped their last two games, Hills East had won three of its last four.

Shoreham-Wading River (14-4) not only won its first league championship in 11 years last Thursday when it defeated Elwood/John Glenn in a double-overtime thriller, but it also secured the No. 2 seed in the Suffolk Class A Tournament. The Wildcats will play in a semifinal at home next Tuesday against the winner of Friday’s outbracket game between No. 3 Elwood/John Glenn (16-2) and No. 6 Sayville (11-7).

If No. 3 Mattituck (11-7) is to win a Suffolk Class B title, it will have to get past No. 2 Center Moriches (11-4), something the Tuckers weren’t able to do during the regular season. The two League VII teams will play in a Suffolk Class B outbracket game on Friday night in Center Moriches. The Red Devils defeated Mattituck by 8 and 20 points during the regular season. The reward for the winner of Friday night’s game will be a place in next Tuesday night’s county Class B final against Southampton (14-3), the League VII champion.

No. 3 Southold (9-6) will face No. 2 Port Jefferson (10-7) in a Suffolk Class C semifinal on Wednesday. Those teams beat each other once earlier this season.

02/04/13 4:00pm
02/04/2013 4:00 PM

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | TV producers and home remediators wrapping up an October shoot in Greenport for the television show ‘Hoarders.’

A team of professional cleaners and TV producers descended on Greenport last October to help a local woman manage her compulsive hoarding habit as part of a popular television show.

The episode of “Hoarders,” a documentary series on A&E that highlights the struggles of people who cannot part with their belongings and helps to find them treatment,  aired last week. It was filmed on Carpenter Street.

Part of the episode features a woman from Oklahoma. The local story begins at the seven-minute mark of the episode.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE EPISODE

 

02/03/13 9:07am
02/03/2013 9:07 AM

A Riverhead man, wanted on a warrant, was arrested in Greenport Friday morning after he was caught driving without a license, Southold Town Police said in a press release issued Sunday morning.

Sean Nethercott, 31, was stopped at the corner of First and South streets shortly after 11 a.m. Friday, when police learned he has a suspended license and the registration on his vehicle was also suspended for not having insurance, police said.

After running his name through a computer, officers learned Mr. Nethercott was wanted on a warrant from the Riverhead Police Department, police said.

He was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and turned over to Riverhead Police to face warrant charges, according to police. No additional information about the warrant was available Sunday morning.

01/25/13 2:30pm
01/25/2013 2:30 PM

Firefighter-floating-fire-museum

The retired New York City fireboat “Firefighter” will likely be making its way from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Greenport in the upcoming weeks. The Greenport Village Board approved a contract Jan. 22 allowing the boat to stay in the Mitchell Park Marina through June 15.

The 120-foot ship is now a non-profit floating museum. It is expected to berth at Greenport’s commercial dock near the East End Seaport Museum in time for the summer season.

“Firefighter” was one of the first boats designed by famed naval architect William F. Gibbs. It served the NYFD from 1938 to 2010, said Jeffrey Jonap, the museum’s director of operations, in a recent email.

Mr. Jonap said she was retired due to the need to upgrade to newer, faster and more fuel efficient boats after Sept. 11, 2001.

The ship requires a professional crew to make the 10-hour trip from Brooklyn to Greenport. Volunteers for the museum were initially planning to make the trip Saturday, but have now postponed their trip until “next week or later,” according to their Facebook page.

byoung@timesreview.com

01/09/13 3:00pm
01/09/2013 3:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Peconic Bay Water Jitney that had a trial run between Greenport and Sag Harbor last summer is unlikely to return this summer.

Hampton Jitney president Geoff Lynch, a partner with Mattituck businessman Jim Ryan in last summer’s Peconic Bay Water Jitney pilot program, reportedly told the Sag Harbor Village Board Tuesday night he doesn’t expect the water taxi that ran between Greenport Village and Sag Harbor to float a second season.

It would take an infusion of money from the federal government for the partners to continue the service, Mr. Lynch reportedly told the Sag Harbor Village Board.

He said while the ferry service was a huge hit with riders last summer, financially it was “a bust.”

It wasn’t the first time that Mr. Lynch made the comments about the unlikelihood of resuming water taxi service next summer. In September, he told the East End Transportation Council he didn’t envision a second season. Despite running five trips a day and carrying more than 15,000 passengers since it launched the passenger service in June, he said then, “It’s not a moneymaker.”

Barring investors showing an interest in underwriting the service, he said it wouldn’t be running again. The East End Transportation Council has been charged with exploring mass transit alternatives for the region and has representatives from the five East End towns.

At the time, Mr. Ryan denied that the ferry service wouldn’t resume in 2013. He was unavailable for comment today.

Greenport Village Board member Mary Bess Phillips said Mr. Lynch has asked to make a presentation to that group at either at its January 21 work session or January 28 regular meeting. But she had no information on the content of that presentation.

j.lane@sireporter.com