Greenport’s Frisky Oyster is a North Fork staple, with chef/owner Robby Beaver creating a delectable menu of dishes crafted from local ingredients. Beaver will be at this year’s inaugural Dan’s Holidays in the Vines hosted by RG|NY on Saturday, November 30.
Share some of your favorite holiday food traditions from growing up, and from your family today.
Every Christmas morning, I make brunch for a big group of extended family that stays with us each year. We all sleep in—even the kids—and wait until after we eat to open presents. It’s just super relaxed.
What is the one food or dish that defines the holiday season for you?
In early fall, I walk through my neighborhood and tag sassafras trees to later harvest for my turkey brine. It’s the most prominent flavor, and something that I look forward to using every season.
What is the secret to creating the perfect food-and-wine pairing?
Food and wine that originate from the same area seem to be an easy pairing. For example, Crescent Farm duck goes really well with McCall Wines’ pinot noir.
What goes into creating your fall and winter menus for the restaurant?
I like to pull from classics that reappear annually on our fall and winter menus as much as I enjoy creating new dishes. It’s always fun to talk to the local farmers about what they are excited about each season, and work alongside them to come up with something really special.
What aspects define your idea of the perfect holiday celebration?
That’s easy—good food, good friends, great fun.
What is the best holiday gift you’ve ever received, and why?
The most excited I ever was to receive a gift was when I was 13 and my parents got me a drum set. I was in marching band throughout high school, volunteered as a band instructor after I graduated, and to this day I still play. My oldest is also a drummer, so it’s awesome to jam with him.
What do you love about the cooler-weather seasons and the holiday time of year here on the East End?
I love the cooler weather seasons on the East End because everything has a calmer, quieter feel. It feels very reverent driving up the North Fork.
What is your favorite holiday movie or TV special, and why?
Home Alone is still funny, and especially fun to watch now with my kids.
What is the best kind of holiday cookie?
My wife makes double-chocolate peppermint cookies that I look forward to every year.
You have a glass of your favorite wine in-hand. What is your toast for the holiday season and the new year?
I hope the only pain in 2020 is Champagne. Cheers to family, friends, fun and food!