Posts Tagged ‘James Beard Foundation’

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.

Food Events around NYC This Weekend (and more)

Lately I’ve been bombarded with news of special food days.  It reminds me of those made-up Hallmark holidays, the ones used to sell cards, like Grandparents’ Day, Remember Your Teacher Day, and such nonsense.  Well, now it seems to be all about food.

So you won’t feel so bad that you’ve missed Pancake Day, Margarita Day and Decaffeinated Coffee Day, here are a few holidays and food events that you might want to mark on your calendar right away:

Macaron DayMarch 20 – A sweet one for sure, it’s Macaron Day. Note that the spelling is the French version, so that you won’t be expecting any of those Passover gems. This is the day that a slew of French bakeries and restaurants in the city give away free macarons a la Parisienne.  Places to check out in NYC for your freebie include Macaron Parlour, Sugar and Plumm, Epicerie Boulud and, of course, Francois Payard who modeled this event on Paris’s Jour du Macaron which falls on the first day of spring.  The full list is here and tell them you’re there for Macaron Day.  http://macarondaynyc.com/what_is-mac.html. This event happily has a charity component to it, as a portion of the day’s proceeds are donated to City Harvest.

DavosMarch 20 – Another one to celebrate the first day of spring (but I honestly don’t get the connection), is Ravioli Day.  Various Italian restaurants around New York City and the country are sprucing up their ravioli offerings, highlighting the new and different among the tried and true red-sauce versions. For example, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse has whipped up a lemon ricotta ravioli that sounds more like dessert to me than pasta, along with a prosciutto ravioli that’s served as part of a special tasting menu just for the day. www.davios.com/nyc. If you happen to be in LA, STK LA is offering half-off its famous lobster ravioli if you order an entrée as well.

Seventh Annual Sunday Supper Event at Chelsea Market in ManhattanMarch 22 – Another charity event, James Beard House is organizing the Seventh Annual Sunday Supper Event at Chelsea Market in Manhattan.  Hosted by Jamestown and the James Beard Foundation, this is a benefit to raise money for not-for-profit organizations including the James Beard Foundation focusing on culinary education, Wellness in the School, and other charitable initiatives of the Jamestown Foundation. The seated dinner is a multi-course event, prepared by 20 well-known chefs and served family-style to 300 people in the middle of the market’s block-long concourse. For details and tickets, www.jamesbeard.org/chelseamarket. Cocktails begin at 5pm, with dinner at 6:15. 75 Ninth Avenue, between 15th and 16th sts.

OystersMarch 31 – The end of the month means it’s National Oyster on the Half Shell Day. Oh no! Did I miss Cooked Oyster Day? Regardless, restaurants like STK LA are upgrading you from a half-dozen of these pearls to a full dozen, gratis. That’s not bad at all.  And if you speak the magic words, “STK Loves Oysters,” you’ll get a side of Chef Robert Liberato’s “one night only mignonette.”  It’s a good excuse to check out Grand Central Oyster Bar no matter what. http://www.oysterbarny.com/, 89 East 42nd Street.

Planning a trip to NYC?