A list: 11 of my favorite French things in honor of Bastille Day

In honor of Bastille Day on July 14th, I give you a rundown of my favorite French things.  Take a thing or two and find a way to bring out your inner Frenchie on Monday.  How will you be celebrate French Independence Day?

11.  Escargots in garlic-herb butter

Americans need to be more open-minded to try these little tasty snails.

Photo credit: Saveur.com

Photo credit: Saveur.com

10.  Berets!

Just kidding, there’s no reason for anyone to wear these…ever. (especially hot guys).

Photo credit: TimeXUS

Photo credit: TimeXUS

9.  Foie gras

Flavors abound with preparations ranging from pan-fried to cold from a can.  At the end of the day, it still came from a delicious duck.

8.  The best along the Southwest coast of France

Refer here and book your next flight to glory.

7.  Armagnac

Courtesy of Uncle Edouard

6.  Jardin du Luxembourg

It’s a beauty.

5.  Daniel NYC

Where everything from this world-renowned Boulud establishment is exquisitely French and artfully prepared.

4.  Berthillon ice cream

It’s the best ice cream I’ve had so far in my life.

3.  Lots and lots of FROMAGE

Stinky, soft, cow, sheep.  Cheese: my favorite food group.

2.  French wine

Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, Provence.  The French kill it.

1.  Ma famille 🙂

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A love letter to North Fork (and wine)

I like wine.  Okay, I love wine.  And much as I love my city of Manhattan and state of New York, I must admit I didn’t know too much of anything about New York wine.  So I was excited to celebrate the Saturday summer solstice in North Fork vineyards combining a couple of my favorite activities – biking, drinking and eating.  I haven’t “cycled the wine lands” since Stellenbosch during Semester at Sea.  My parents and I drove the car from Stamford, CT (approximately 2-2 1/2 hour drive), strapped two of the bikes on the back of the car and rented one from a super nice guy named Dan in Greenport.

Our first pit stop was Duck Walk Vineyards.  As you enter the building, it opens up to a beautiful, massive event space suitable for 400 guests with high vaulted ceilings, two tasting bars and an outside scenery that includes an expansive outdoor patio and vines stretching acres across the residence.  At 11am sharp, tourist buses, limos filled with bachelorette parties and other walks of life storm through.  Some vineyards like Duck Walk can accommodate huge crowds, but others like to keep the intimate feel of the vineyard, and prohibit tourist buses and large parties.  The talk of the vineyard isn’t the red, white, or sparkling wine but its distinctive Blueberry Port crafted from wild Maine blueberries.  They serve it with a little piece of dark chocolate and recommend you sip, bite and sip again to really bring out the bright, fruity flavors of the port.  I was also a fan of the 2012 Chardonnay that received a New York Times Best Buy, and was a nicely balanced, crisp dry white wine.

 My mom and I were researching lunch spots in the car and came across my friend Charlotte Savino’s post in Travel + Leisure about the delicious scallop BLT at Southold Fish Market and it sounded too delicious to pass up.  It was about a 10-15 minute bike ride from the vineyards.  Sadly, the scallop BLT was not on the menu, but my mom ordered the fried scallops which were deliciously fresh and battered to perfection, while I stuck with a classic lobster roll and few raw oysters to start.

After lunch, our second stop was Croteaux Vineyards, where I was surprised to learn that it’s the only vineyard in the United States dedicated exclusively to producing Rosé wines.   In terms of ambiance and setting, this colorful, hip, European-style vineyard definitely took the cake.  Buses, limos, drop-offs and parties larger than eight are prohibited, keeping the backyard tasting area low-key with a killer view.  Unfortunately, none of the wines blew me away, but naturally I’d think the rosés should be left to the French. 🙂

 

Our next and last stop was Sannino Bella Vita Vineyardone of the newest wineries on North Fork with beautiful outdoor seating overlooking the vines.  I picked up a bottle of their ” 2nd Bottle Red”, a blend of red grape varieties that produced a high tannic and peppery wine with a subtle hint of berries.

So, that was three vineyards out of the many beautiful estates spread across the region.  You can bet I’ll be back to visit a handful more this summer, where I’ll continue to profess my love and raise my wine glass to New York’s North Fork vineyards.

Gros bisous,

Krystina