Posts Tagged ‘Hamptons’

A Weekend Away from NYC: The Hamptons

You may have missed last month’s premier foodie event in the Hamptons, the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs and Champagne tasting showcase, but there’s still much to sample for a weekend in the Hamptons at the tip of New York’s Long Island.

Starting with Art and the Great Outdoors

Peconic Land Trust

The Hamptons have perfected the art of the garden. And while most of the mansion have theirs hidden away behind their unfriendly privets, the Peconic Land Trust has created one that’s open to the public at any time. Bridge Gardens on Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton is the kind of oasis among the Hamptons scene that will make you rethink your plans, even on a sunny beach day. In this decidedly uncrowded setting of multiple flower and vegetable gardens you might feel that you’re in an English garden, one hidden and exclusively yours. In fact, you might have the gardens entirely to yourself, a rarity for New Yorkers. It’s a beautiful place to Zen out and ignore the Hamptons traffic.

Take Me Indoors, It’s Too Hot

The Parrish Art Museum

Museums also offer a respite from the summer heat.  The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill is one of the country’s finest, with a collection of art from local artists. The permanent collection is enhanced by frequently featured exhibits. This summer’s “live” Light Waves exhibit projects videos on the outside of the museum’s distinctive building.  A café and bookstore are welcoming and creative as well.  If you’re in town on August 21, a special Solar Eclipse program in conjunction with the Montauk Observatory will be hosted from 1-4pm on the museum grounds. In Southampton, the Southampton Art Center offers changing exhibits as well as other performing arts programming.

So You Must Be Hungry

Shinnecock Lobster Factory

Dining is one of the pleasures of the Hamptons.  Each town has its local favorites, some with outdoor dining.  For a quick lobster fix, the Shinnecock Lobster Factory in Southampton,  Bay Burger in Sag Harbor, and Canal Café in Hampton Bays have the best lobster rolls around.  At each, you can choose to enjoy your sandwich outdoors or indoors.

Manna in Water Mill

If you like Italian food, you can try secluded Manna in Water Mill or go family-style at La Parmigiana or the casual Paul’s Italian Restaurant in Southampton, where the heroes are large enough to be shared and pizzas by the slice include interesting versions such as Buffalo chicken. Yearling Doppio la Spaggia in Sag Harbor, and this year in East Hampton as well, serves up crudo, pasta, carpaccio and other Italian favorites, each with a special farm-fresh twist. Note: sit outside if you’re sensitive to noise. The North Fork has two Italian eateries worth traveling for: Grana in Jamesport is a rustic, inventive trattoria which plates whatever vegetables are freshest of the moment. Chef Marco Pellegrini of Caci has brought his Umbrian savvy to Southhold to a setting on a farmstead. Here, Chef has a kitchen entirely devoted to pasta making. His green basil tagliatelle is as close to Italian perfection as I’ve ever eaten. Wines, if not from Italy, are all from the North Fork and menus proudly list the local purveyors of the proteins and produce.

For breakfast, two standouts are Hampton Bay’s The Hampton Maid, an inn with a restaurant that only serves breakfast; nearby Orlando’s adds a bit of Costa Rican spice to the dishes at this homey restaurant. Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor is a popular choice for breakfast and lunch as well with Mexican-inflected dishes.

For a restaurant experience that’s more sophisticated, lunch at Sant Ambroeus, Le Charlot or Silver’s in Southampton is casually elegant with Italian, French, and American cuisines respectively.

Calissa in Water Mill

Among the newest restaurants in the Hamptons, Calissa in Water Mill and Kuzo in Southampton will keep you satisfied with their Mediterranean and Japanese-Peruvian flavors, respectively. Save these for a splurge, as the prices are as high as the quality. Book late for Calissa so you can dine to live music.

Wölffer Estate Vineyard

If you love wine, the Hamptons are New York’s answer to the West Coast. The North Fork has 43 vineyards, many of which offer daily tastings. Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Channing Daughters Winery on the South Fork offer two gorgeous settings where you can tour, taste, or enjoy an open-air yoga class.  Pick up a bottle of Wolffer’s acclaimed “Summer in a Bottle Rosé” at their new Drive-thru Rosé Stand if you’re short on time! Wölffer also has two restaurants, Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor and a new one in Amagansett, where you can sample their many varietals as well as enjoy their farm-to-table expertise.

The Maidstone Hotel

Don’t feel like driving? Have a taxi bring you to The Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton. The hotel offers a charming Scandinavian-influenced setting on the town’s historic mall. Here, you can spend the night, drink some fabulous wines and Aquavit, and enjoy the cozy hotel restaurant, all without worrying about joining the car parade on Montauk Highway.

Fall Getaway from NYC: The Hamptons – Where to Eat

Fall is gorgeous in the Hamptons and the drive (without the summer rush) can be as little as an hour and a half. Here are some dining choices to whet your appetite.

noahs greenportNoah’s, Greenport – Noah Schwartz has brought his farm-to-table expertise from his days in Sonoma County.  Here, adding sea-to-table expertise to his repertoire, and a sophisticated knowledge of wine pairings, he brings the North Fork’s best and freshest to the table in this airy waterfront restaurant.  If you’re visiting from the Southern part of the island, you can take a ferry from Sag Harbor to Shelter Island, and a second ferry to Greenport.  You’ll feel like you’ve taken a vacation for the day. Be sure to try whatever crudo is on the menu, any shellfish (as fresh as you’ll ever have it), the BBQ duck on polenta, and filet mignon sliders. Try some local wines like Coffee Pot, which can be ordered in 3 ounce or 6 ounce pours. http://www.chefnoahs.com

Fresh FoodsFresh Hampton, Bridgehampton – It’s so wonderful that someone finally came up with a menu that lets you graze through a menu of the freshest of the fresh.  The name of this restaurant, helmed by Chef Todd Jacobs, tells you what to expect: everything fresh, local, and seasonal. Most of the ingredients come from the restaurant’s own garden, supplemented by produce from neighboring farms in Sag Harbor.  You can try a small portion of skate, steak, or chicken, or arrange a full medley of veggie dishes and skip the proteins entirely. All are delicious. The vibe is casual and buzzy. No reservations mean a democratic, but sometimes lengthy wait for seats.  It’s worth it. http://www.freshhamptons.com

Bay Kitchen BarBay Kitchen Bar, East Hampton – You couldn’t ask for a more picturesque setting than at this open-air restaurant, seemingly set at the end of the world.  All seats have an oceanview of Three Mile Harbor from the blue-and-white dining room and bar. Come early for sunset and join the group at the bar and then move to a table for a seafood feast. Recommended are the dishes featuring local catch, like the super-fresh ceviches and crudo. Try the tastings of each. The lobster roll simply dressed with mayo on a roll is a worthy exception – only Maine lobster should ever be in a lobster roll anyhow.  Cocktails are well thought out. Served perfectly chilled in a metal cup filled to the brim with ice, the blackberry julep adds a Long Island twist to this Southern fave with macerated blackberries, a touch of mint, and agave. Desserts are scrumptious – if you can only order one, try the strawberry shortcake made Hamptons-style with strawberry rhubarb compote. http://baykitchenbar.com

The Lobster RollThe Lobster Roll, Baiting Hollow — And while on he subject of lobster rolls, I suggest you head North to The Lobster Roll in Baiting Hollow for the finest the area can offer.  The slightly more refined twin of Lunch in Amagansett, the restaurant doesn’t take reservations but it’s worth the wait. Begin your meal with creamy lobster bisque, add a palate cleanser of cole slaw, and finish with the piece de resistance, a lobster roll filled with fresh lobster and crunchy celery bits. A nice selection of North Fork wines is offered which you can also enjoy at the tasting room next door. Finish with a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie – there’s even a sugarless version. Pure heaven. http://www.lobsterroll.com

DelmonicoDelmonico’s, Southampton — For a meat fix that perfectly accompanies a starter of raw Montauk oysters and Peconic little necks, the sister restaurants to Manhattan’s downtown legend is the place to go.  Easy to reach from the Southampton train station, the restaurant sits in a tasteful house surrounded by lush gardens. Enjoy a trio of oysters drizzled with a tart mignonette sauce to start. Go for steakhouse perfection with a Caesar salad, the signature Delmonico steak, served sliced with grilled onions and a side of creamed spinach. The Southampton sibling adds a few special Long Island touches like seared scallops with corn pudding. The wine list is extensive so ask the sommelier for the best pairing.  Dessert is a no-brainer: the dish created by the restaurant, Baked Alaska. http://www.delmonicosrestaurantgroup.com/southampton/

Race Lane, East HamptonRace Lane in East Hampton welcomes you into its casual environment, a combination of tables, a bar, and even a sunken fireplace area for drinks and appetizers. Seafood preparations are glorious. Grilled branzino exemplifies the best of the Hamptons, served with a side of rich lobster mac ‘n cheese.  Scallop crudo, drizzled with yuzu, is refreshing and delicious in its simplicity, as are the Montauk pearl oysters served with a blood orange granita.  http://www.racelanerestaurant.com

Sen in Sag HarborSen, Sag Harbor – Sen in Sag Harbor takes no reservations but you can spend your wait time watching the nightly passegiata or walking the small town yourself. Friendly service, masterfully prepared sushi and Japanese selections are the attraction. Start with a plate of lightly salted, blistered shishito peppers, grown locally, a more interesting opener than the usual edamame. Follow this by a miso-glazed cod, also locally caught, and a selection of creative maki. If soft-shelled crab is on the menu, try it in any roll offered. A lovely selection of sakes is offered including a cold, unpasteurized Masumi. http://www.senrestaurant.com

Pierre’s in BridgehamptonPierre’s, Bridgehampton — Pierre’s in Bridgehampton is a casual but refined French bistro with a lively, in-the-know feel. The menu gives carnivores and non-seafood eaters something to cheer about, too, with duck, pastas, and a cheesy Alsatian tarte flambé. Try to meet charming host Pierre Weber if you can. Be sure to look around the room, as this is a favorite haunt by both “out there” and undercover celebs. http://www.pierresbridgehampton.com

Bell and AnchorBell and Anchor, Sag Harbor — I know I’m sounding a bit redundant when it comes to seafood recommendations, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Bell and Anchor, sister restaurant to Sag Harbor’s wonderful Beacon and Southampton’s Red Bar. The nautical dining room is the setting for a lively evening of seafood dining. Clams, lobster, calamari, pretty much every kind of seafood is on the menu and it’s all delicious. http://www.bellandanchor.com/#oysters-to-start

Crow’s NestCrow’s Nest, Montauk – Another restaurant with a no-reservations policy, Crow’s Nest actually makes your waiting time a desirable experience. You can sit by the beachside bar and watch the sunset while eating oysters on the half, washed down with a specialty cocktail like a watermelon cooler or a gin concoction aptly named the Summer Rental. If it’s chilly, there’s a fire pit to cozy around. The dining room has lovely views of the harbor and a small, handwritten menu of dishes ranging from pasta with sea urchin and chilis, to locally caught striped bass and Montauk fluke crudo. The busy restaurant manages to keep a very cheerful tone with a rustic, yet polished feel.  To avoid the wait, arrive by 7:15, especially on a weekend when everyone seems to want to be in Montauk. http://crowsnestmtk.com

Downtown Activities for All Ages through August

If you’re not heading to the Hamptons this summer, downtown Manhattan with its cool river breezes is the place to be.  Check out some of these wonderful, mostly free activities happening throughout July and August.

Sunset Jam on the HudsonJoin a drumming circle every Friday through August 22 in Battery Park City’s Wagner Park for Sunset Jam on the Hudson. Along with a master drummer, you can add your own rhythm to a mix of African, Caribbean and Latin pieces. Drums are provided. Wagner Park. 6:30-8pm. www.bpcparks.org

Board the ferry to Governors Island for a day outdoors and a chance to see an exhibit featuring Trisha Brown’s early career as an artist and choreographer.  Located at the Manhattan Cultural Council’s arts center, “Trisha Brown: Embodied Practice and Site-Specificity” includes videos, photographs and installations, all highlighting Brown’s community of performers and artists, and the Lower Manhattan in which they lived and created. The exhibit shows Brown’s investigation of movement and performance occurring in non-traditional spaces. Through September 28. Friday and Sunday, 12 Noon-5pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm. http://lmcc.net/event/trisha-brown-embodied-practice-and-site-specificity/

Governor IslandAlso on Governors Island, kids will love “From Drills to Drums: Civil War Life on Governors Island, ” a program specifically designed for them, with first-hand depictions of the lives of soldiers, civilians and prisoners on the island in the 19th century. No tickets or reservations required. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday throughout the summer, 10:20am and 11:20am. http://www.nps.gov/gois/planyourvisit/things2do.htm

For adults and kids alike, “Hike through History” is a comprehensive tour of Governors Island. No tickets or reservations required. Wednesday and Friday. Meet at Soissons Dock, 2pm. http://www.nps.gov/gois/planyourvisit/things2do.htm .

Museum of the American IndianAnother favorite for all ages with no admission charge, the National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10am – 5pm. The museum offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House designed by Cass Gilbert. The 1907 building is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. 212.514.3700. http://nmai.si.edu/home/

South Street Seaport MuseumThe South Street Seaport Museum’s lightship Ambrose and its sailing ship Peking welcome visitors Wednesdays – Sunday, 11am-pm on Pier 16 (on the East River at Fulton Street). The Ambrose, launched in 1908, was used to guide large ships through the Ambrose Channel into New York harbor. Peking was launched in Hamburg, Germany in 1911 to carry goods from Europe to South America. The museum’s Visitors Services associates explain the importance of the ships to the history of New York as a port city. $12 (adults); $8 (students, 12-24 and seniors); $5 (children 2-11); under 2, free. http://southstreetseaportmuseum.org/tickets/?utm_source=May+Newsletter&utm_campaign=June+2014+Newsletter&utm_medium.

“Defining Lines: Maps from the 1700s and early 1800s” at the Fraunces Tavern Museum. Twenty-seven maps provide a perspective on the evolving nation’s place in history. A map from 1804, never before exhibited, shows the U.S. postal routes. Noon to 5pm, daily. Admission fees: $7; $4 (seniors, students with ID, children, 6 to 8 years old); active military and children 5 and under, free. 54 Pearl Street, 2nd floor. http://frauncestavernmuseum.org/exhibits-and-collections/

Planning a trip to NYC?