Newsday Love Story

Written by Jedediah on . Posted in News, Press

BindersLove Story: Gina and John Binder of Melville

May 2, 2016 11:17 AM
By Virginia Dunleavy

Gina and John Binder of Melville married in March 1966 when he was home on leave from Army service in Germany. Photo Credit: Binder family

John and I met in 1953 when we were third-graders at Main Street Elementary School in Farmingdale. I was Gina Westre back then. He was 9 and I was 8.

One day John happened to walk by my house on Grant Avenue. He saw me in the yard and stopped to play. That was the beginning of our life together.

We became good friends and would ride our bikes back and forth between our houses — he lived on Nelson Street — to play with his dog or my two cats. We have a picture of the “hot rod” we built from scraps of wood and old carriage wheels.

In 1955, John’s family moved to Massapequa. We spoke on the phone, exchanged birthday and Christmas cards and occasionally our fathers would drive us to visit each other.

Things changed when he turned 16. On the very day John got his driver’s license he drove straight to my house!

He went to Massapequa High School and I attended Farmingdale High School. Every Friday night we’d stop at E&R pizzeria on Main Street and eat an entire pizza. On weekends we drove around Suffolk County looking at the new model homes and imagined ourselves living in one someday.

After graduating in 1963, I went on to Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, and John worked for his father. I missed John, though, and quit college. We got engaged that Christmas. I found a job at Sunrise Federal Savings and Loan in town and took evening courses at SUNY Farmingdale.

In 1965, John was drafted into the Army. He was sent to Stuttgart, Germany, and assigned to the 25th Base Post Office at Robinson Barracks. We wrote daily and began planning our future.

While John was home on leave in March 1966, we had a small wedding on March 26 with just our families in attendance. We honeymooned in Puerto Rico before flying back to Germany, where we lived off base in Botnang, a suburb of Stuttgart. I worked on base as secretary to the chief accountant of the Post Exchange. We were able to visit several other countries while in Europe.

John and I returned home in 1967 after John finished his military service, and we bought a house in Massapequa. We have been blessed with one son and two grandchildren.

John retired in 2003 as a U.S. Postal Service clerk in Melville. I received my master’s degree in secondary education in 1983 and taught at Farmingdale High School until I retired in 2005. We moved to Melville in 2013.

In March, John and I celebrated our 50th anniversary with friends over dinner at Blackstone’s in Melville, then spent a weekend at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport. We discovered we shared our anniversary with Jedediah and his wife, who married in 1862.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

Chick Naming Contest on Facebook

Written by Jedediah on . Posted in News

Facebook Post: Introducing one of our new baby chicks taking a stroll on Chuck’s shoulder. Silkies are calm and friendly and grow up to have a lot of fluffy feathers. Name her for a chance to win a $50 gift card.

Jedediah Hawkins Inn's photo.
We reached almost 3000 people, 131 were engaged  and we had  45 names and comments!
Growing up in Moriches,L.I. my Dad raised Rhode Is Reds and Longhorns. This L.I. Chick nominates this Silkie be named “Sunshine” in honor of my former pet…
When I lived in the house back in the early ’50s, my dad had a chicken farm there. He had an egg route in Nassau County and sold eggs and fresh chicken. The farm was called “Overlook Farm.”
 Milagro it’s spanish for miracle.
Because all living animals are miracles and all have a purpose. To have been born and survive the nurturing of her mother it’s all a beautiful miracle and a wonder to witness. Good luck baby Milagro.

Gunner…as in the Gun Runner.
Chip because looks like you have a chip on your shoulder.
Since Sunday is Mother’s Day: Mother Clucker.
Loretta Lynn
Donald Trump. Good name for a chicken.
Quinoa- like making Fluffy Quinoa.
Never Hillary
Zsa Zsa (as in Gabor)
Harriet Hawkins 🐓
Sadie (as in Hawkins)
MegaSonic Teenage Warhead
Chicken Little
Silkie Sue
Nom nom

Where to Brunch on Easter LI Pulse

Written by Jedediah on . Posted in News, Press

“The taste of history at Jedediah Hawkins Inn is as rich as the brunch dishes.

Head East for a brunch and dinner menu that will be available from 11:30am-6:30pm (smoked salmon crepes at 5pm? You only live once!) in the 152-year-old one-time home of former Italian sea captain Jedediah Hawkins. The beautiful property, which includes gardens, a gazebo and a speakeasy that may have been a stop on the Underground Railroad, is ripe for some post-meal exploration.” Beth Ann Clyde


2016 Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Award

Written by Jedediah on . Posted in News, Uncategorized

Jedediah Hawkins Inn has received the 2016 Forbes Travel Guide’s Recommended Award. We are honored to receive this award and be recognized as the only one of two hotels outside of New York City on Long Island that meets their huge list of rigorous hospitality standards.

“We are delighted to recognize the 2016 Star Rating recipients, a phenomenal group of hotels, restaurants and spas,” said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide. “These properties set an unimpeachable standard of excellence in hospitality at a moment when the proliferation of voices claiming to provide unbiased ratings online is exploding. With Forbes Travel Guide-rated properties, there is no ambiguity, no doubt: based on a stringent set of standards developed and refined over six decades, our ratings are now accepted and embraced worldwide. We are proud to congratulate each of the owners, property managers and their teams, and everyone associated with the prestigious properties recognized today. Together, we help discerning consumers make better luxury travel decisions worldwide.”

Jedediah Hawkins Inn underwent a rigorous process to receive this distinguished award. Each inspector is completely anonymous, judging every detail of the facility, the maintenance, the cleanliness with an emphasis on the guest experience and customer service. “The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Award signifies that Jedediah Hawkins Inn is one of the finest properties in the world,” writes Amanda Frazier, Senior Vice President Ratings.

Congratulations to our team!

Forbes rating-icon-big-recommended



Northforker by Monique Singh-Raye

Written by Jedediah on . Posted in News, Press

A ‘Raclette & Riesling’ soirée on the North Fork

by Monique Singh-Raye
The Speakeasy at Jedediah Hawkins was packed with wine and cheese lovers (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

The Speakeasy at Jedediah Hawkins was packed with wine and cheese lovers. (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

The first serving of raclette cheese comes melted over fingerling potatoes, with a sprinkling of chopped chives. The pairing, to put things plainly, is delicious.

This creamy, buttery and tangy cheese was the star of “Raclette & Riesling,” a food and wine pairing event held at Jedediah Hawkins Inn restaurant in Jamesport last Saturday. The two-hour event featured wine from Jamesport Vineyards and offerings from The Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck.

For those unfamiliar with this style of fromage, it’s a semi-firm cow’s cheese intended to be melted and served atop foods like bread, meats and potatoes. “Raclette” is a French word meaning ‘to scrape,’ according to Village Cheese Shop owner Michael Affatato.

“This is what Europeans do in winter,” said Affatato, a Long Island native who owned the Bordeaux vineyard Chateau La Gatte for several years. “They go for raclette at night with some wine. It’s done all along the borders of France and Switzerland and is a ritual that goes back centuries.”

On this particular evening, the first serving of raclette was a French version of the cheese. It was pasteurized, but Affatato described it as retaining a barnyard taste. 

“When it’s not heated, it’s fairly mild,” he told the crowd. “But when it’s heated, it picks up a lot more aromatics and more of what we call farmyard flavors — more of a wild taste.”

Affatato, along with Jamesport Vineyards president Ron Goerler,  guided participants through the evening in Jedediah Hawkins’ speakeasy bar. There, on the restaurant’s lower level, the décor is overtly masculine, with stone walls, brown leather chairs and wooden tables.

On this night, the bar was set for dinner. Wherever a place setting could fit there was one; even the coffee table and bar were set with dishes. Although the event was planned to accommodate about 25 guests, it looked like it may be expecting more.

People began to arrive, seating themselves at intimate tables for two or joining a larger group.

Affatato jokingly dispelled any fears that there wouldn’t be enough cheese, assuring us that he brought plenty for all.

The first riesling served with the raclette-topped potatoes was Jamesport Vineyard’s Dry Reisling. The wine was slightly sweet, crisp and refreshing. Described as having a perfect balance of acidity and fruit, it boasted aromas of apricot, pear and apple.

“Riesling was one of the first wines that we planted,” Goerler explained to the crowd. “We felt it was a natural because of the beautiful acidity that it has in this wine.”

Bresaola served with dried apricots (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

The second course was a plate of dried cured meats, or “bresaola,” served with dried fruit. Affatato descibed it as air-dried, cured spiced beef that was aged for several months.

The flavor was mildly salty, like ham or a dry prosciutto.

By then the first wine had run out, so everyone was treated to a glass of Jamesport Vineyard’s Cabernet Franc. With aromas of sweet cherry, spice and cedar, it was a delicious surprise.

Along with the cab franc came the third course, a plate of warm flatbread topped with roasted tomatoes and warm goat cheese. The tomatoes were art and juicy, with the goat cheese adding the right amount of zest.

The final course was a Swiss raclette melted over small slices of French bread. Since it was unpasteurized, it was stronger than the French version. The dish was served with Jamesport Vineyard’s Late Harvest Riesling. Because the grapes for this wine were picked later in the season, it was very sweet, with aromas of crème brulee, vanilla and butterscotch.

“This is wonderful winter dish,” Affatato said. “It’s also a wonderful way to finish up an outing.”

Throughout the event, small plates of melted raclette atop medallion-sized pieces of bread were served intermittently while waiting for the next course. At this point in the evening, those plates were now coming fast and furious. Customers were literally holding up their hands to fend off the cheese plates since they were so full.

“I think this is really great,” said participant Hank Wells of Shelter Island. “They have hit on something really, really good here.”

The relaxed casual setting, it turns out, was a great way to showcase Jamesport Vineyard’s portfolio — especially for those who might not be as familiar with their offerings.

“It’s nice to have these intimate gatherings,” Goerler said. “These, I think, are the more memorable ones.”

Affatato was still giving away cheese as he said goodnight and thanked everyone for coming.

“It’s a very simple formula, molten cheese and good wine,” he said. “The possibilities and pairings are fairly limitless.”