A Tale of Two Restaurant Openings…. Plus, Everyone Really Is A Critic!

Ok, the dust has settled and we’re back to a calmer and more civilized Hamptons, well up until July 4th weekend anyway.    That being said, I’m exhausted the guest, the traffic and the difficult cocktail conversation.  “Yes, I heard that Saint Barth’s is not what it used to be.”  Oi vey!  But other than the buzz about where everyone else went and where I didn’t there were a few topics that seemed to be on everyone in the Hamptons lips.   The state of the real estate market on the east end and what new restaurants have come to town!    But if you thought today’s blog was going to be about the market, you would be wrong!    I’m going to spill the beans on the two biggest openings of the last week!

Now, while I didn’t go to any restaurants this past weekend I do have sources that braved the openings of two highly anticipated new restaurants in Sag Harbor; Doppio and Harlow.   The menus and pedigree of both are very different and the reaction to both was pretty much the same…. VERY DIFFERENT!

Harlow which arrives in town with very high expectations opened it’s doors recently.   Located at the

A rough start?   But oh what a view!

old B.Smith’s location on Long Warf, it comes from one of the partners of the infamous Nobu and already has one location in the city.     Billed as similar to their city outlet with a more “low key East End atmosphere,” the restaurant will none the less attract a similar crowd with offerings such as their signature oyster bar.   So,  was it a home run?   Well according to  friends of mine who went this past Saturday, it was a more of a strike out.   They described the restaurant as a complete “cluster f***!”  In spite of having reservations they were put off not 1…. but 2 hours before they called it quits and headed off to The Cuddy instead!    They said the staff was also very surly and I’ve also heard mentions about the bathrooms not working and patrons having to go down the block.    So as you can tell, I have no reports on the food just yet!

Now, I get it!  It’s Memorial Day weekend and you got slammed and we’ll give you some time to get your bearings.   But then again, it’s not like you didn’t know it was going to be a crowded holiday weekend!    We’ll check back in a few weeks and see how they do especially since it is one of THE best locations on the east end and the menu looks really impressive.

Doppio is up an running!

Meanwhile, down the street at the home of the former Madison and Main the folks at Doppio apparently got off to a very auspicious start.   Billed as an artisan bistro, the restaurant with the
“dopey” sounding name obviously came to town ready to do business.    I’m hearing  the crew in Sag Harbor is a well oiled machine with good food and good friendly service!    Let’s hope they can keep up the good work!    The last thing in the world I wanted on the east end was another Italian restaurant but Doppio sounds like its worth the trip!

Speaking of customers and their restaurant experiences, if you ever want a good laugh look no further than some of the reviews for Hamptons restaurants on YELP!    Now, I know sometimes people are just plain pains in the butt and that’s why I take the caveat here, I didn’t write these comments, I’m just reporting them.   I mean, god forbid people do online reviews of this blog!   I can hear them now; “How can you not know the difference between they’re and there.”   “You have all the wrong punctuation.”   “Lousy spelling.”   Yeah, well you know what….  lighten up Frances, it’s a blog not the New York Times!    I know I’m not Tom Wolfe but at least I’m no Bret Easton Ellis!   So anyway, here are some of my favorites that had me squirting my Sauvignon Blanc through my nose!    But more importantly it proves my point Hampton diners are sometimes hard to please!

Pierre’s Bridgehampton:  While the over all rating for Pierre’s was 3 out of 5 Stars, there were a few scathing remarks that have not doubt been responsible for a dent in their status.   TB from Manhattan said on 7/22/13 “below average food, fighting cougars…. and beyond obnoxious.”    Is a restaurant full of cougars a bad thing?

Calvin from NYC wrote on 8/30/13 “Too arrogant!  French man…. Do not give them a credit card for reservations and the reservation never on time.”   Well Calvin,  if you can own a credit card you can obviously afford to buy a verb.  Calvin you are a stupid American!

Sant Ambroeus, Southampton:  Overall they got 4 out of 5 stars, so why not 5?   Well, TF from Atlanta wrote on 6/12/13, “I tipped a very small amount because of poor service – about 10% but later on my credit card statement I noticed that they ignored the tip amount I wrote and “updated it to 18%.”  Sorry TF, zeros and 8’s look so similar it’s an honest mistake.  Maybe they were just agreeing with you and put another zero on top of your zero!?  See… it can happen!

Well apparently service with attitude is their biggest issue.   Christy G from Greenwich Ct. wrote on 7/7/13 “if you don’t walk in dripping in gold and Versace they assume you shouldn’t be there.”   While S.P. from Denver, CO. wrote 4/14/12 “why give a wine list if you ‘re never coming back to take the order.”   When in Rome you two!

LT Burger, Sag Harbor:   3 out of 5 Stars.   Josh M. from Manhattan wrote on 1/28/14 that he “wouldn’t go there if my eyebrows were on fire and the place had the only water in Sag Harbor.”    I guess he didn’t like it?

Trust me they get better but I’m trying to be nice here guys!    Some comments involve bad food and cases of Montezuma’s revenge!    All I can say is it’s rough out there!

Old Stove Pub, Sagaponack: 2 out of 5 Stars.   Michael S. from New York wrote on 8/23/13… “If you enjoy sea bass that smells like a soiled diaper served, eventually, by a shiftless and competent waiter than this is your joint!”

In the age of social media EVERYBODY IS A CRITIC!

What’s New in the Hamptons Hood ’14… or What Happened While You Spent The Winter with People!

It has nothing to do with Nixon or Kung Fu pandadiplomacy.com

While the folks over at Curbed Hamptons talk about all the new restaurants this year, I decided to go a different direction and talk about all the other stuff!     Which calls to mind, I once had a very successful client in my car some time back talking about all things Hamptons.  As we drove by the East Hampton movie theatre he asked me, “Kung Fu Panda’, what’s that about?”   Really?  He wasn’t kidding. Isn’t it obvious that its a morality tale about a poor tailor and his struggle with alcoholism set in pre war Europe! UH… Kidding!  It’s a frigging cartoon about a Panda that knows Kung Fu!   So, that being said, I wonder what they’re going to think when they drive by Panda Diplomacy in Water Mill!   website.  It’ looks pretty cool and I have no doubt it’s what everyone will be wearing at The American Hotel this summer!  Ok, well maybe not there.  The wax museum has it’s own separate dress code.  Well, for those of you that don’t know it’s a surfing apparel, boards and accessories store.   Located at 760 Montauk Highway in Water Mill, better known as the shopping center where there used to be Blockbuster-Citarella-Water Mill Cupcake-Avanti-Subway-Foodies and the soon to be opened West Elm Shopping Center.    If you want more info on surfing pandas, check out the

Citarella has hit Southampton!   While it’s not a “full fledged” supermarket according to sources.   It is no doubt a welcome addition to a town that has the second worst supermarket in the Hamptons Walbaum’s which only comes after Walbaum’s in East Hampton.  The store got approved earlier this
month by the Southampton Village Planning board and quickly settled into their Hampton Street location.   While some locals have voiced their concern over the potential parking problems let me accentuate the positive, THEY HAVE FRESH FOOD!

Another newcomer is located on Main St. in Bridgehampton and it’s called BLOW.  No, it’s not that kind of place!  Get your minds out of the gutter people… this isn’t Nevada!  It’s a hair salon that’s specializing in blow outs for ladies and the occasional puffy haired gentleman about to kick up their heels at the given Hamptons benefit!    If you want more information on getting glamours you can check out their website here!    If you want the other kind you need to get on a plane and head to Vegas or perhaps Amsterdam (ohhhh Amsterdam… more on that later… apparently the Dutch love the Hamptons).

If you’re like me one of the greatest things about living out east is not the surf, the beaches, world class boating, golf or even the lack of good cell phone reception.   It’s the fact we have some of the best damn food anywhere.  One of those that has a reputation of being the best of the best is Tate’s Bakery and now they’re selling their White Chocolate Macadamia cookies among other masterpieces out of the Red Horse Market in East Hampton.  But if you’re worried about your waistline  don’t fret, the cookies are sugar, fat, calorie and dairy free…. NOT… if you have to read the calorie label, move on!   I have not doubt there is like 12 pounds of butter in each cookie but damn, they’re awesome!   They make great chipwiches too… just in case you need more calories!

www.barrysbootcamp.com

But if you’re worried about calories and such silliness, fear not Barry’s Bootcamp is opening a new outlet in Amagansett this summer.    Yes, the home of sadistic (IMHO) workouts that burn tons of calories!  According to Racked.com  the location will feature healthy to go meals from Hu Kitchen.      Great news but I’ll pass on the meals, there’s a coconut cupcake (from Mary’s) with my name on it!  The gym is located at 199 Montauk Highway, right behind Mary’s Marvelous!   Did I mention Mary’s coconut cupcake?  It’s another Hamptons masterpiece and makes a great reward for just doing one of their  before I do one of their infamous 1000 calorie burning classes. UGH!

Finally one more thing new in the Hamptons this summer!  A deadly new tick born disease!  Goody!  I’m not going to bore or kill the mood by writing about it.  If you’re curious let the kill joys at CBS News do it for you here.    In the meantime, i’m going to get some new panda surf clothes and eat my cookies and cupcakes in peace!

New Snack Food Coming to the Hamptons… Ore Ida and Totino’s must be nervous!

I don’t know if this ironic but as the tundra on the east end is finally melting,  there appeared a sign suggesting that my one of my favorite frozen foods is getting it’s due in the Hamptons.

The site of the establishment known as The Pizza Place in Bridgehampton is apparently becoming a Goldberg’s Bagels and Pizza.   Now, I don’t know if they’ll be selling pizza and bagels or pizza-bagels but I’ll tell you if it’s the latter, Ore Ida foods are going to be mad!   It’s not the oddest combination ever but it is a bit different.   Anyway, here’s a helpful hint for the owners of this establishment, make a drive through window in the front!!!  That would be awesome!

Bridge Cafe, Ziggy’s, M+M is now an office!
Meanwhile, the former site of Bridge Cafe, Ziggy’s and M+E Restaurant on Sag Harbor Turnpike will not be coming back as another restaurant anytime soon.   It’s been renovated and now is an office for a builder and contractor.  Is it me but is every builder now taking high profile locations for their offices?   Well, they say real estate is the best form of advertising and builders are the new Starbucks in the Hamptons!
Bissell Spot Clean… a life saver!
Finally, last week I wrote about the best housewarming gift in the Hamptons and it was quite popular.   So, I’m going to do it again and give Hamptons folks another must have item!  If you have guests and or pets who are sloppy and have bad bladders….   with me the dogs are fine it’s the guests that have the problem… you need to get a Bissell spot clean.   So, let me paint a picture for everyone.  You’re hosting a party and you’re serving … let’s say…. pizza-bagels and someone drops theirs on the floor sauce side down.   Well go grab the spot cleaner spray the area and vacuum the water up!   I’m telling you this machine is a life saver and can be used on both rugs and furniture.     Also, if you’re a tenant and you don’t want to get billed for damages because one of your guests couldn’t make it outside in time to go, voila!   These machine really works.  You can buy it online or at the local Kmart or hardware store for about $100.   Trust me you’ll thank me!
Don’t fear the pizza bagel!

The Banana Splits…. and Which Professionals have the most psychopaths… I know what I think!?

In another strike against the average Joe, the Banana Republic store in Bridgehampton Commons has packed up and split.    While I don’t really buy my clothes at Kmart (OK, I bought a few Land’s End sweaters there) nor do I shop Bergdorf Goodman (OK I bought a few things there too), B.R. was one of the rare quality middle of the road shops out here in the Hamptons.    When I tried calling the company for a response, the woman on the phone couldn’t tell me why they left town but she did tell me she could save me 10% on my next purchase if I opened a Banana Republic credit card.

In other sad news, TheWeek.com has posed the question, “which professions have the most psychopaths?”  Now before you start thinking about “American Psycho,”  lets take a look at the definition of Psychopathy.   By definition, Psychopathy is a “personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear) stress tolerance, lacking empathy, cold heartedness, egocentricity …. and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.”  So those two sales agents that brawled at The Hotel a few weeks ago probably  psychopaths, it’s more likely they have anger issues.   So do you want to take a guess where sales people came on the list?  They were #4!  YIKES! Wedged between media personalities and surgeons.   That’s not such bad company is it?   So who are some of the biggest psychopaths I met working here on the East End?  Well, I never blog and tell.  But buy me a drink sometime… in vino veritas!

Finally, so why is this picture on my blog?  Because I can.  Happy Birthday Bella!!!