Peter Panarites, owner of Northport Sweet Shop, could make ice-cream...

Peter Panarites, owner of Northport Sweet Shop, could make ice-cream soda in his sleep. (June 17, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Sunday’s Northport Artwalk provided a fine excuse to walk around the charming village, and even to see a little art in between culinary stops.

We started out with lunch at The Purple Elephant (81 Fort Salonga Rd., 631-651-5002), David Inonato’s 2-month-old organic / sustainable / mindful takeout shop. We took out as far as the little patio in front of the store and enjoyed a “new Centerport roll,” actually two hot dog rolls filled with lobster salad (with big chunks of sweet lobster) and topped with local arugula, a good value at $16.99. An immense crabcake ($12.99) was also very good. We accompanied our crustaceans with tart-and-spicy El Salvadoran slaw ($4.99/pound) and a mayonnaise-free Lebanese potato salad ($5.99) that was tasty, though I could not quite pinpoint the connection to the Levant.

Artwalk’s “headquarters” was in the parking lot of Copenhagen Bakery (75 Woodbine Ave., 631-754-3256) and gave me a chance to see the store’s new expansion, an indoor seating area that accommodates about 30 people. More of Copenhagen to love.

Next stop, Clipper Ship Tea Co. (80 Main St., 631-651-2764). Over the last few months I’ve been unable to find my favorite Japanese green tea, kukicha, at the Korean markets (H-Mart, H&Y) where I usually buy it. Clipper Ship’s knowledgeable owner, Melissa Wawrzonek, explained that production had been affected by the tsunami in March 2011 and that many retailers who don’t specialize in tea were no longer carrying it due to the higher price. I bought a nice big bag, plus a new teapot.

Posted in the window of 70 Main Street, home of the late, lamented The Northport Tasting Room & Wine Cellar (which closed in March) was a sign saying “The Wine Cellar on Main, wine and tapas. Summer 2012.” That sounds promising.

I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch, practically an hour earlier, so I treated myself to an ice cream soda at the Northport Sweet Shop (55 Main St., 631-261-3748). Owner Peter Panarites told me he’d been making sodas for more than 50 years and it was a pleasure to see him blend syrup, milk, soda and ice cream with such assurance and aplomb.

Sadly this meant no ice cream at Wolfies Frozen Custard (42 Woodbine Ave., 631-754-4850). But my pal got a cone there, and I had a taste of butterscotch custard that made me want to plan a return trip to Northport very soon.

Peter Panarites and his supernal ice cream soda at Northport Sweet Shop

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