FOOD FLASH: MAIDSTONE GETS A MAKEOVER AND VINE STREET ON COVE HOLLOW.

Well the Summer season is off and running in the Hamptons, although as I shovel the snow from my driveway you wouldn’t know it!     Yes, the sex scandals (Vasectomy Fever) and celebrity misadventures are already hitting the web and Page Six.   But other than real estate the only topic worthy of lengthy conversation is the new restaurants, at least in my humble opinion.

By now many of you know there are a slew of highly touted arrivals including, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bilboquet coming to the east end.    What you may not know is there are a few more new eateries that are also causing a buzz among the Hamptons regulars.

The first is the newly revamped Maidstone Hotel on Main Street.    Partners and Alchemy a boutique hotel and restaurant management group has taken over management of the

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The New Maidstone Inn.

village landmark and given it much welcome facelift. With a freshly trained staff and revised and diverse menu from Chef David Standridge of NYC’s Cafe Clover,  it’s a change for the better.   Gone are the Swedish meatballs and plethora of salmon dishes and instead you have more accessible menu dishes including local fare such as scallops, fresh fish, burgers and roast chicken.   Lots to choose from here.

Popovers
Say yes to the carbs!

But for me the biggest standouts from my dinner were the freshly baked popovers, butter lettuce salad with roasted beets and tarragon and the seared Montauk fluke.   Prices are pretty much on par with most places around town with entrees averaging in the $30 range.    Also worth noting is the huge shrimp cocktail.  Huge shrimp… that cracks me up! But i digress.   Between the fresh new atmosphere, attentive staff and diverse menu it’s really worth the trip!     Oh, and if you’re on a non-carb diet the popovers are worth a cheat day!  SERIOUSLY!

The other entry on this weeks blog is the newly opened “Cove Hollow Tavern.”    The owners of Shelter Islands hugely popular Vine Street Cafe have moved

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The sleek new look of Cove Hollow Tavern

into the spot of the former Cafe Max on Montauk Highway in East Hampton.     The menu features some interesting items including for ahi tuna crudo with watermelon and chilies; haricot vert salad; snail and squid ink spaghetti with snails and fennel.    While my gang ordered the Grilled Atlantic Snapper and Seared Diver Scallops, I was a little less adventurous and ordered the roasted organic chicken.   Now, while I’m a big fan of Vine Street I was a little disappointed in the “CHT.”   So were all of my companions.     It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great and there was nothing really compelling for me to advise running there anytime soon.  Granted it’s a brand new restaurant so give them time and hopefully they’ll get their game on. By the way, the interior while very intimate is spectacular and the bar space is inviting and spacious.   I have no problem heading to Vine Street which between the drive and a ferry is well worth the trip.   So here’s hoping “CHT” is as good as it’s sister restaurant in the near future.

 

 

 

HOW (some) BROKERS REALLY DESCRIBE YOUR HOUSE!!!

While you might be familiar with some of the more famous homes of the Hamptons, Grey Gardens, The Creeks or even the Orgy House, there are probably a few you haven’t heard of yet.    Why?  Because it’s what agents refer to certain homes behind the owner’s back…. and it’s not necessarily a compliment.     By the way, I won’t disclose any of the addresses but that doesn’t mean I won’t tell you when I see you.

First off, I knew of a listing a few years ago in Hampton Bays and the agents around town were referring to it as “Moscow on the Peconic.”  Apparently the décor was so unique the agents equated it to a “Russian bordello.”   Gilded faucets and ceilings, elegant

Russian decor
Yeah, it kind a looked like this!

patterned marble floors and chandeliers that would convince you that the interior

designer was Vladimir Putin.    It was as if you took the Trump Tower penthouse and put it on the water.    By the way,  I had my own listing that I used to refer to as the “bordello” a few years ago.    It wasn’t an easy sell.

 

Speaking of waterfronts, there is one in Sag Harbor that has some interesting qualities.    It’s dark, cavernous and overflowing with nautical touches.   Any guess how a few agents described it to me?   It’s like living in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disney World.     Wow!   I wonder if you could just say it’s where they actually filmed it and maybe get some p.r.?  I mean who would be the wiser?

But don’t think it’s all about movie themes in some of these homes.   Sometimes you can get the association with a store or restaurant.    One Southampton home which is overflowing with Asian accents, industrial grade carpeting and Formica countertops is affectionately known as the “Benihana” house.     I also know of another home in East Hampton that’s walls are so overloaded with posters, knick-knacks and flair it’s just referred to as “TGIFriday’s.”   Wow, why do I suddenly have a craving for some shrimp tempura and potato skins?

1313 mockingbird
The Original???

Finally, one of my favorites is a home I think I coined with the nick name “1313 Mockingbird Lane.”    Yes, if you’ve ever driven to or from Sag Harbor and East Hampton you’ve no doubt seen this lovely little ditty!       It’s kind of funny but who knew a cedar shingled beach house could look so sinister?      But everyone has their own style and once size doesn’t fit all.   I’m sure there are some folks out there who think my prominent oil based painting of Bella and Russell is kinda tacky.    I have no problem with that I get my own joke.    But don’t you ever dare insult my collection of Hummel figurines.

 

Well this Friday it’s Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of the Summer Season.  But before we take off our suits and ties for the season, a little advice for landlords and tenants in the Hamptons the season is about to begin.   Trash is not automatically picked up by the town.    You need to either drop it off at the

east hampton dump
This is how we… and you should do it!l

local dump or hire a trash service to come and pick up your refuse.  You know like Norsic or Mickey’s.    It is not recommended that you take your Hefty or Glad bags and throw them over the fence onto another person’s property.     Yes, this really happened to a landlord who discovered a years worth of garbage as they were prepping their property for summer tenants.     Ain’t the Hamptons just so glamorous!?

 

 

FOODIE ALERT…. 11 MADISON PARK HEADS EAST.

TRUST ME! Bragging rights this summer will belong to those who actually get a reservation at “EMP Summer House.”    It’s the “Hamilton” of this summer.  The much hyped pop-up of Eleven Madison Park (which will be closed this summer for renovations) launched their website for reservations on May 1st and already they are booked solid through mid July (unless of course you don’t mind sitting down at 11:30 at night).    Located in East Hampton at the site of the former Farmhouse, Laundry, Purple Cow, Spring Close and Moby’s…  reservations are exclusively

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A whale of an improvement at Moby’s. EMP Summer House1

for American Express card holders and are being done online at the EMP SUMMER HOUSE website.     According to their press release, the fare will be a bit more casual than the city venue, with lobster, fried chicken, flatbread and salads on the menu.     So far I’ve not had much luck getting at table after navigating the website and two hung ups with American Express.   I called Monday to get information on the website from Amex and got a recording the wait time was 45 minutes – apparently Paul McCartney tickets went on sale at the same time.   Membership has its privileges indeed!   It’s called frustration!  Anyway, thanks to me you now have the web address (a step ahead of where I was) and the knowledge that new reservations will be made available online on June 1st at 12 p.m.    These available dates will be from July 15th through August 15th.   I’m not sure how anyone can plan a meal that far in advance?  I can barely decide what I’m doing today but I’ll tag along if you get a reservation.

Well if you’re new to the Hamptons, let me give you a little word of advice.    When visiting friends, looking for homes or hooking up on Tindr make sure you double check the address.     Recently, I had made plans to meet customers at a home on a certain street in Bridgehampton.     While I eagerly awaited for them to arrive, they called to say they were already inside the house looking.    The only problem with this story is they

Halsey Lane
ONE OF 10…. HALSEY LANE.

were looking in the wrong house!  They had the right address but on the wrong street and town!  UGH!  Luckily, this all happened without any incident but it could have been a tad uncomfortable if this had happened in say Texas where everyone has a gun and cites those “stand my ground” laws.   Anyway, I’m here to tell you there are certain streets you need to be wary when playing Lewis or Clark on the East End.   Here we go:

THE TREE STREETS:  Oak –17 Streets in Southampton and 7 in East Hampton, Cedar – (including Points, Views etc.) 18 streets in Southampton and 6 in East Hampton, Pine – 23 in Southampton and 4 in East Hampton.

THE OLD FAMILY STREETS: Hildreth – (not including the stores) 9 streets in Southampton and 2 in East Hampton.    Halsey –10 in Southampton and 0 in East Hampton and Gardners – 4 in Southampton and 5 in East Hampton.   Luckily there is only one Widow Gavitz Lane and Downer Place in all the Hamptons.

THE WATER STREETS: Bay – 24 in Southampton including the views and 12 in East Hampton, Ocean – 9 in Southampton and 8 in East Hampton, Beach – 8 in Southampton and 7 in East Hampton.

THE LOCATIONS: Middle – 5 in Southampton and 3 in East Hampton, Northwest – 1 in Southampton and 3 in East Hampton, Main – 3 in Southampton and 5 in East Hampton.

I mentioned these streets in a blog once before but I thought it was worth reminding everyone given my recent missing customers.

 

“THE” HAMPTONS ACCESSORY FOR THIS SUMMER…. AND SAG HARBOR’S LATEST EATERY!

While we just had a killer weekend in the Hamptons with warm temperatures, sunny skies and enough people you’d think it was 4th of July weekend…. the real story this past week was in Sag Harbor.   No, I’m not talking about the overly dressed folks with neck damaging bonnets strolling around Main Street.    I’m talking about the stuff that makes a difference and not with a chiropractor.

First of all the big story was the fact that the Sag Harbor Cinema was optioned for purchase by a non-profit group known as The Sag Harbor Partnership.   The group is hoping to make it into a local media and arts center, with screening rooms, classrooms

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FASHIONABLE AND FOR A GOOD CAUSE!

and an arts movie theater.   One way they’re trying to reach their multi-million dollar purchase price is through donations.     While there has already been at least one pledge of $1 million from one very generous supporter, the group is also welcoming more humble contributions..   One way you can contribute and for a lot less zeros in your checkbook is to head to Sylvester and Co. on Main Street in Sag Harbor and purchase one of these chic little chapeaus.    The “Sag” hat is selling for $29.00 and for each hat purchased $5 will go toward saving the cinema.    Hey, they’re chic they’re limited edition and they’re for a good cause.     But if you’re one of those fancy pants who is worried about the whole memorial day and white thing, relax white hats will be in stock by the end of the month.

Another stir in Sag Harbor is about the new restaurant at the site of the for

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A SNEAK PEEK AT “LULU.”

mer Doppio (that wasn’t an editorial comment about management of the failed establishment… they really named it that).     Wall Street big wig Marc Rowan from Apollo Management and the man behind Duryea’s in Montauk and Arbor is staking his claim in the village with “Lulu.” From what I’ve been told and read in “other publications” the vibe will be more casual with a menu of American fare featuring foods from a wood burning oven such as pizza, chicken and local fish.   It works for me.    So, if you’re wondering if the new restaurant will have a chic new look… you bet cha’.    I took a snap quick pick the other day and here is your look at Lulu. Look for an opening in the next two weeks and if you want to check their website… here it is.   They also have a facebook page with updates and information.

FinAluminum-Speed-Limit-Sign-K-2085ally while you may be wanting to rush to LULU or to buy your hat at SYLVESTER AND CO., I’m telling you that’s a bad idea.   The village recently installed 20 m.p.h. signs throughout town.    So slow down and don’t say I didn’t tell you.     They mean business in Sag.    Besides aren’t you here on vacation anyway?????????  TIME TO SLOW DOWN FOLKS!