Food & Drink

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea officially opened its first location on Long Island with a grand opening at 200 W. Main St., Smithtown on Nov. 9. The 1,400-square-foot cafe with a drive-thru offers a globally inspired menu featuring coffees, teas, pastries and more.

“We are excited to bring Sweetwaters to our local community,” said Jeffery Wong, owner and director of operations, in a press release. “The cafe will offer indoor and outdoor seating and a drive-thru for customer convenience. Located on West Main Street, Sweetwaters is a perfect fit for Long Island.”

Hours are Mondays to Thursdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 631-360-0276.

Stock photo

By Bob Lipinski

Bob Lipinski

Italy is one vast vineyard, stretching from Piedmont in the north to Sicily in the south. It is divided into 20 grape-growing regions and over 8,100 villages. There are over 2,000 varieties of Italian wines and more than 1,000 different grape varieties.

At a recent private luncheon and tasting, I sampled over a dozen Italian wines while speaking with the winemakers and representatives.

The KIN Winery from Piedmont makes only one wine:

2015 Erbaluce di Caluso. Flavor of green apple, pear, citrus, figs, almonds and wildflowers. Stellar!

Wines from Tenuta Cavalier Pepe Winery of Irpinia, Campania were:

2018 Vela Veneto Vulcano Rosato. 100% Aglianico grapes. Floral and off-dry with strawberry and red cherry flavor.

2016 “Grancare” Greco di Tufo. Green apple, toasted almond, citrus and melon; young and vibrant.

2017 Falanghina. Drier than most with a fruity aroma of apple, banana and peach. Lingering aftertaste of citrus and minerals.

Wines from Cerulli Spinozzi Winery of Abruzzo were:

2018 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Superiore. Blush-colored, made from Montepulciano grapes. Flavors of watermelon, strawberry and bitter orange.

2018 Pecorino Colli Aprutini. Green olive and brine, brioche and green figs with a bitter almond aftertaste.

2010 Torre Migliori Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Deeply colored and full-bodied with flavors of dark chocolate, black plums and spices. Wow! What a wine.

Wines from Corte Quiaira Winery of Veneto were:

2018 Corte Pinot Grigio Ramato. “Ramato” means copper-colored because of skin-contact which provides considerable flavor of tangerine, nectarine, citrus and hazelnuts.

2016 “Campo al Salice” Garganega. Flavors of almonds, apples, honeydew and pears. Long, lingering aftertaste.

2013 Monte delle Saette Goldtraminer. Goldtraminer is a white grape variety made from a cross of Gewürztraminer and Trebbiano Toscano. Clean and crisp with hints of honey, jasmine and marzipan. It has the illusion of sweetness, but it is dry.

2016 Pinot Noir. Huge red and black-berried bouquet with spices, oak and a touch of vanilla.

Wines from Giusti Winery of Veneto were:

2018 Chardonnay delle Venezie. Clean and crisp, reminds me a very good premier cru Chablis.

NV (nonvintage) Rosalia Prosecco. Extra-dry. 100 percent Glera grapes. Fruity and easy to drink.

NV (nonvintage) Spumante Rosé. Blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and Recantina grapes. Bouquet of peaches, strawberry and pomegranate. Dry and very refreshing.

2016 Valpolicella Ripasso. Bouquet and flavor of black cherries, figs, raisins and spices with a bitter aftertaste. In a word … delicious!

2014 Amarone della Valpolicella. Lush, spicy bouquet, almost portlike. Complex flavor of dried fruit, chestnuts and cherry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and quite dry. A rustic Amarone at its best!

Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need to Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on He conducts training seminars on wine, spirits and food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at OR

From left, Leg. Tom Muratore; partners Nick Haviaras, Peter Dilis, Corey Catechis, Gus Catechis and George Dilis of MVC Properties; and Councilman Kevin LaValle. Photo by Heidi Sutton

By Heidi Sutton

Local officials, members of the Centereach Civic Association, Middle Country Chamber of Commerce, family and friends were on hand to celebrate the grand opening ribbon cutting of MVC Properties’ latest venture − New Village Plaza in Centereach − on Nov. 2.

Above, Gus Catechis, center, accepts Certificates of Congratulations from Councilman LaValle on behalf of the Town of Brookhaven and Legislature Muratore on behalf of Suffolk County. Photo by Heidi Sutton

Located at 1707-1759 Middle Country Road across from McDonald’s, the shopping center will have over 75,000 square feet of space when the project is completed over two phases. Tenants include an Arby’s, Wingstop, an AT&T store, Swolehouse, Brownstones Coffee and Pacfe Nail & Spa. Cabo Fresh, Voodoo Crab and ProHealth are soon to follow. 

Gus Catechis of MVC Properties thanked the community, Councilman Kevin LaValle, Legislator Tom Muratore and Diane Caudullo of the Centereach Civic Association before cutting the ribbon. “I just want you to know how grateful I am for all the support you gave me from the very beginning and to everyone who made this a reality,” he said.

“This special project has been a long time coming. We took something that was a blight in our area and Gus put the time in, put the money in, really giving back to the community to build this great shopping center that we have here with great brand names. It’s really going to be something we are proud of here in Centereach,” said Councilman LaValle, adding “This grand opening shows once again that Brookhaven is open for business.”

“I am always happy to support new businesses in our community, and an entire shopping center is a home run for the local economy,” said Leg. Muratore. “Congratulations to the owners, MVC Properties. We are happy to welcome them to our business community.”

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette

By Barbara Beltrami

Autumn brings with it a plethora of veggies that we too often think we have to cook to death in soups, stews and casseroles. But greens like kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower make a nice base for a salad. Root veggies like beets and carrots add color while nuts and seeds give a whole new dimension to salad dressings. Add autumn fruits with or without your favorite lettuces and you’ve got a great main or side dish. Add some protein like chicken, beans, salmon, shrimp or cheese and you’ve got a healthful one-dish meal, if you want. And there’s no reason you can’t try them with the dressing of your choice instead of the ones here.

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


Nonstick cooking spray

3 to 4 medium beets, washed, trimmed, peeled and cut into quarters

12 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 tablespoon minced red onion

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 cups baby arugula

2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

½ cup chopped toasted walnuts


Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; add beets, garlic, thyme and 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil; toss to coat thoroughly, then roast, turning once or twice, until beets are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. When beets reach room temperature, dice them. In medium bowl, whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, orange juice, zest, onion, mustard, and salt and pepper; add beet mixture; toss to thoroughly coat. Line salad plates with arugula; heap beet mixture evenly on top; sprinkle with goat cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately at room temperature with meat, poultry or a hearty soup.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Baby Spinach and Apple Cider Dressing

YIELD: Makes 8 servings


3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1½ cups apple cider

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup minced shallot

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

½ pound baby spinach, washed and patted dry

3 sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored, diced and tossed with freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 F. In a very large bowl toss the squash cubes with the quarter cup of olive oil, brown sugar and salt and pepper. Spread evenly on baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until squash is tender. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine the cider, vinegar, shallot, and salt and pepper and bring to a boil; cook for about 6 minutes until liquid is reduced by half. Let cool a little, then add mustard and cup of olive oil. Let cool completely. Line a platter or large bowl with spinach; add squash; drain apples and place on top of squash; sprinkle with almonds and cheese, if using. Serve at room temperature with a meat, poultry, soup or pasta.

Brussels Sprout, Pear and Kale Salad with Mustard-Honey Vinaigrette

YIELD: Makes 8 to 10 servings


3 firm Anjou pears, peeled, cored and sliced into half-inch wedges

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 large bunches lacinato kale, center stem removed and leaves cut into thin strips

12 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 cups dried cranberries

1 garlic clove

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

¼ cup white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl toss the pear slices with the lemon juice; remove pears and reserve lemon juice for another use, if desired. In a large bowl toss together the pears, kale, Brussels sprouts and cranberries. Cover with plastic wrap and chill to up to 4 hours until ready to serve, then remove from fridge and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile in small bowl whisk together the garlic, oil, mustard, honey, vinegar and salt and pepper; let sit at least an hour, then remove garlic and toss dressing with salad. Serve at room temperature with poultry, meat or casserole.

Photo from Leg. Anker's office

Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker joined Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner, the Miller Place–Mount Sinai Chamber of Commerce and the community in celebrating the grand reopening of Vincenzo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, 343 Route 25A, in Miller Place on Oct. 19.

 “I am pleased to welcome Vincenzo’s to the Miller Place community,” said Anker. “I encourage residents to try its delicious food and inviting atmosphere!”

 Vincenzo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant is a family-owned Italian restaurant originally established in Port Jefferson. In 2017, the business had the opportunity to relocate to a larger space in Miller Place, while also expanding its menu and offerings. For more information, visit

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon

By Barbara Beltrami

From William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale,” Act IV, Scene IV, comes a quote: “For you there’s rosemary and rue; these keep seeming and savor all the winter long.” Rosemary is an herb that gives its best aromatic and savory gifts in the cold weather. It’s a strong herb; you need only brush it with your fingertips or sleeve to keep its pungent scent a good while after. An evergreen plant in the mint family along with thyme, basil, oregano and lavender, it has many medicinal as well as culinary uses. Try roasting a chicken and poking rosemary sprigs in the cavity or under the skin. Put rosemary leaves in a bean and cabbage soup or use it with pears in a cake. Fresh rosemary is best, but it freezes well. Grow some on your window sill and savor it all winter long.

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon

YIELD: Serves 4 to 6


One 3- to 3½-pound roasting chicken, cleaned, rinsed and dried

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 whole lemon, quartered

1 medium onion quartered

4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise

4 to 6 rosemary sprigs + more for garnish

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup water


Preheat oven to 425 F. Rub cavity of chicken with salt and pepper and juice from lemon quarters; place onion quarters inside cavity. Tuck wings under neck and tie legs together; tuck garlic and rosemary sprigs under skin; rub outside of chicken with juiced lemon wedges, then smear all over with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast chicken until it is just done, about one hour. Remove from oven and let rest; remove from roasting pan and transfer to warm platter. Set roasting pan over medium heat on stove top; add wine to pan juices and scrape bits and pieces from bottom of pan; add water, boil liquid, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and reduced by half. Serve chicken with pan juices and roasted potatoes. 

Chick Pea and Veggie Soup with Rosemary

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


¼ cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves

One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

2 cups finely shredded fresh cabbage

2 cups diced zucchini

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

One 28-ounce can chick peas


Heat oil in a large heavy sauce pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until garlic starts to brown and onion is transparent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and discard garlic; add rosemary, tomatoes and their juice, cabbage, zucchini, stock, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat 20 to 25 minutes, until cabbage and zucchini are tender. Add chick peas, stir and cook another 5 to 10 minutes until they are heated through. Serve hot with fried bread cubes and a spinach salad.

Pear-Rosemary Upside Down Cake

Pear-Rosemary Upside Down Cake

YIELD: Makes 8 to 10 servings


Nonstick cooking spray

4 large pears, peeled and cored

1½ cups sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 large eggs

1 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest

1½ cups flour

¾ cup stone ground yellow cornmeal

½ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray inside and bottom of 9-inch springform pan, then wrap outside bottom and sides with heavy duty aluminum foil. In large bowl gently toss pear slices with two tablespoons of the sugar and all the rosemary; arrange pear slices in bottom of pan. In large bowl with mixer on medium speed beat eggs with remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Add oil, orange juice and zest; continue beating just until blended. Add flour, cornmeal and salt; beat on low speed until blended. Pour batter over pears in pan; bake until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1¼ hours. Cool completely in pan; run knife around edges of cake, invert cake plate over cake and turn cake plate and pan over; carefully remove ring. Serve with creme fraiche and pear brandy.


Wild Flours Bake Shop, 11 New St. in Huntington, recently announced they are closing on Nov. 9. The shop is known for its gluten-free products, many of them made without dairy products or refined sugars. Owners Carolyn Arcario and Mary Mucci made the announcement on Oct. 5. “After 10 years, Wild Flours will be baking our last cakes. Our lease is winding down and we will not be renewing. We have truly enjoyed baking for you and your families,” reads a post on the bakery’s Facebook page. 

Show Thankfulness by Feeding Those in Need

Bryant Funeral Home, located at 411 Old Town Road, E. Setauket hosts a Thanksgiving Food Drive through Nov. 23. Please drop off nonperishable food at the funeral home from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Every five items you bring in will earn you a chance to win one of three raffle prizes. All food collected will be donated to the Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry located at the St. James R.C. Church in Setauket. For further information, please call 631-473-0082.

Updated on Nov. 8.


Traditional Apple Pie. Stock photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Election Day is next Tuesday and it brings with it political polarity the likes of which we’ve never seen until recently. Nobody seems to agree about anything anymore, and most people dare not bring up the subject of politics, lest it bring a shouting match, a détente among friends or family members or worse, the end of a formerly close relationship. Red or blue, Democrat or Republican, we are fortunate enough to have Election Day, an institution as American as, well, apple pie. In its honor I’ve decided to present three different apple pie candidates. You choose the one you think will be best.

Basic Pie Crust 

YIELD: Makes two 8- or 9-inch pie crusts.


21/4 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup solid shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water


In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the flour and salt. With two table knives or a pastry cutter, work the shortening into the flour mixture until flour-coated particles are the size of peas. Sprinkle ice water, one tablespoon at a time, into mixture until it is completely moistened and all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Divide dough in half; shape each half into a disc; lay between two large sheets of waxed paper on a floured surface, and with a rolling pin, roll out a crust approximately 10 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer to pie plate by inverting waxed paper and peeling it off. Use any torn parts to patch irregularities in crust.

Traditional Apple Pie

Traditional Apple Pie

YIELD: Makes one 9-inch pie.


Two 9-inch pie crusts, each crust rolled out to 10-12 inches

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1½ tablespoons cornstarch

7 cups pared sliced firm tart apples such as Granny Smith, Winesap or Jonathan

1½ tablespoons unsalted butter

2 to 3 tablespoons milk 


Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large bowl combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch; add apples and toss to coat evenly with dry mixture. Letting edge drape over rim of 9-inch pie plate, line it with one crust. Heap apple mixture evenly over crust; dot with butter. Top with second crust; seal crusts by pinching edges of both crusts together and pressing them down on pie plate rim with fingers or a fork; flute edge. Cut slits in top crust, then brush with milk. Bake until crust is golden and apples are soft, about 50 to 60 minutes. If edge of crust starts to get too brown, cover with strips of aluminum foil. 

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Deep Dish Apple Pie

YIELD: Makes one pie.


Nonstick cooking spray

6 cups tart, firm apples such as Granny Smith, Greening, Winesap or Jonathan

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Small pinch of salt

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pie crusts for 9-inch pie, rolled out 1⁄₈ inch thick

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray sides and bottom of 10×6×2-inch baking dish. In large bowl thoroughly combine all ingredients except butter. Transfer to baking dish; spread evenly. Dot with butter and top with pastry crust; with small sharp knife, make a few slits in crust, then brush with milk. Bake until crust is golden and apples are soft, about 40 minutes. 

Apple Crumb Pie

Apple Crumb Pie

YIELD: Makes one pie.


Pie crust for 9-inch pie

Filling for traditional apple pie, above

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 400 F. Line pie plate with crust and seal edges against rim. Put apple mixture into crust. In medium bowl combine butter, sugar and flour and salt; mix until crumbly. Spread evenly over apple mixture. Bake 50 minutes, until topping starts to crisp and apples are soft.

Pumpkin Risotto

By Barbara Beltrami

Most of us think of pumpkins as the main ingredient in pies, but they’re far more versatile than you might think. I’m not talking about pumpkin martinis or lattes or dishes made with canned pumpkin puree. I’m talking about savory familiar dishes that feature fresh pumpkin instead of their usual main ingredients … dishes such as curry or risotto or even oven fries. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work to cut up a pumpkin, but the taste and texture of what you get from doing it are worth the trouble. If you really think you can’t be bothered, then wait till Halloween and use the pumpkin flesh that’s carved out of the jack-o’-lanterns.

Thai Curried Pumpkin 

YIELD: Makes 3 to 4 servings


One 1½- to 2-pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-size cubes

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon red curry paste

One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

Freshly squeezed juice of one lime

1 tablespoon brown sugar

¼ cup peanut oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


To a large pot of boiling salted water add pumpkin; cook 5 to 8 minutes, until barely tender. With slotted spoon remove from water and set aside. In a blender or food processor, puree shallots, garlic and curry paste with two tablespoons water; add coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar and pulse a few times to combine with curry paste mixture. Put oil in a wok and warm over medium heat; add curry mixture and stir constantly just until it releases its fragrance, about 10 to 15 seconds. Stir in coconut milk mixture, bring to boil, add pumpkin and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring once or twice until pumpkin is very tender but not mushy, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with basil and serve immediately with rice.

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


One 2-pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1½ quarts chicken broth

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup minced onion

½ cup minced celery

1½ cups arborio rice

¾ cup dry white wine

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss pumpkin cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper in shallow baking pan; bake until they are tender but not mushy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to keep warm. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat warm chicken broth and leave on low heat to simmer. In a large heavy pot or saucepan over medium heat melt butter, then reduce heat to medium, add onion and celery and, stirring frequently, cook until onion is opaque, about 5 minutes. Add rice, stir, add wine, and stir for another one and a half minutes. Add one or two ladlefuls of broth and stir frequently until broth is absorbed. Repeat procedure, always stirring frequently, until all broth has been absorbed and rice is al dente, about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the baked pumpkin and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with a sauteed leafy green vegetable.

Pumpkin Oven Fries

YIELD: Makes 8 to 10 servings


One 2- to 3-pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch sticks

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl toss all ingredients together until pumpkin is thoroughly coated. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread pumpkin sticks around so that there is space between them. Place in oven and bake 20 to 30 minutes, until crispy and golden brown on outside and tender on inside. Place in a serving bowl and toss with cheese. Serve hot or warm with poultry or meat and a green salad.