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!


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!

Hamptons Hostility… If you miss the city don’t worry, there are plenty of unfriendly places here too!

I have an old friend named Hope, not that she’s old but I’ve known her forever. Anyway, she used to have this idea that New Yorkers are basically masochistic at heart.  They loved to be abused.  She often toyed with the idea of opening a restaurant named “Insults,”  where diners can come for a good meal and get insulted as they dine.  Now, I personally loved the idea, I knew it would be successful too!  I mean it took the term “home style” to the next level!  It was like a Saturday night at my house growing up!!!

Anyway, this theory explains why some of the most popular places on the East End are some of it’s most unfriendly!  So where, who , why?   Here is my list; THE TOP 5… Hostile Hamptons Hot Spots!!!

Normal people sit over there!   We will ignore you!

1) Navy Beach – Sure the views are great and the crowd is good looking but unless you’re hanging with Giselle or Kate Upton you can forget about getting decent service.   I went a few days ago with some of my middle aged friends, yeah the ones in their early 40’s and late 30’s.  We couldn’t get the waitress’ attention for anything.   The food came out sporadically, some had food others didn’t.  When we asked management, it was brought to our attention that the order was too confusing so it was our fault half of us weren’t being fed!   As for getting a second round of drinks, I would have been better off going to Gossman’s to get them.

2) Citarella East Hampton – “Excuse me mam’ if I could get a half pound of the Alpine Lace Low Fat Swiss.”  “Excuse me.. ?”   “Excuse me mam’?!”  “Can I get… (she cuts me off) “YEAH I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME.”   Charming!  But if only this were an isolated incident.   While the guys in the fish department are actually friendly, it doesn’t make up for the rest of the store.  I guess if you don’t enjoy your job, you’re not exactly smiling to the customers. There must be a lot of unhappy people at Citarella.

3) Goldberg’s Bagels (Southampton) –  To me the Goldberg’s in Southampton is last chance to get a cup of coffee before hitting the highway.  But yet, it’s nothing like going into the Bagdad Cafe.   It’s surly city with an exclamation point!!!   But unlike other establishments,  I know, I actually think I got a handle on why they’re not happy flipping their flagels!     It’s the fear of working too close to 27 and the terror they live with that a speeding BMW may one day careen off the highway and create a drive in window!   Meanwhile, if you go to Goldberg’s in East Hampton, FRIENDLY, FRIENDLY, FRIENDLY.   So I know my 27 theory must be the reason!


4) East Hampton Parking lot behind Walbaum’s – I know it’s not me but EVERYONE in that lot is nasty.  Perhaps the fact it was built on an ancient Indian burial ground has something to do with it!   It starts with the aggressive drivers and trickles right down to the overly aggressive “brownies” who are no doubt getting paid in Clearasil.  The biggest mystery to me is how it could be the nicest beach day of the year….  and that lot will still be packed!!!   WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE SHOPPING NOW!?!?  Do it in the city, it’s easier!  Perhaps the heart of the unfriendly is the actual Walbaum’s!   Everyone in this place is either annoyed or uninterested!  I never went to a Soviet grocery store during the cold war but I imagine it must have been a lot like this; long lines, hostile help and lousy produce… in my opinion anyway.

5) Pierre’s Cafe Bridgehampton – Do I really need to elaborate? It’s French!  I’m talking about the little walk in place next door to the restaurant.    It’s a little bit of Paris right in the heart of the Hamptons, “you stupid American!”

Two bucks will get you on the subway, but fresh garlic will get you a seat. I know where to buy it and announcing THE EAST HAMPTON GRILL!

Well, now that we all know that Della Famina is soon to be no more… I can tell you that the Hillstone Group the people behind Houstons will soon be opening “THE EAST HAMPTON GRILL.” I’ll assume it’s to be much like the PALM BEACH GRILL which the company owns and currently operates in that “OTHER” resort area. I only hope one thing, they have the Slow Roasted Pork Ribs, the Spinach artichoke dip and the crab cakes! It’s funny but I’ve never heard so much buzz or excitement about the opening of a new restaurant in the Hamptons like I have about this. Sure NOBU is going to Southampton but as I said before, the lines will be longer at The East Hampton Grill!

Citarella is getting a run for it’s money as Mike and Sandy DeGennaro, who own Long Wharf Wines in Sag Harbor and Southampton Wines at Water Mill Shops and Muse Restaurant & Aquatic Lounge chef Matthew Guiffrida have finally opened their long awaited AVANTI CULINARY MARKET.

Located at the site of the old Citerellas in Water Mill, I went to the shopping center the other day to buy cupcakes for a friend’s birthday (at Water Mill Cupcakes) and ended up strolling through what is one of the best epicurean (thank you spell check) centers in the Hamptons. The prices are more than competitive with the other gourmet shops in the Hamptons but the staff was over the top helpful!! The selection of seafood and meats were well stocked but I was bowled over by the extensive selection of herbs and spices (why do I sound like I’m talking about KFC) with the slick and cool packaging.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t try much of the prepared foods since I’m currently trying to squeeze into my 29″ waist speedo so I can’t comment. But I did try the tuna which the chef offered to turn into freshly prepared “tuna tare tare.” It was probably the best I ever had! To make a long story longer or shorter, AVANTI is now open visit their website for more details. But why do that… just go… EAT!

Sayonara, Saks and Citarella (Water Mill)! There’s some major shake ups in the Hamptons retail world!!

Well here’s a move that kind of had me blindsided. Saks Fifth Avenue will shutter their Southampton store as of this Sunday! So, what does this mean to you and me… not much but if you think you’re going to go head over and get some Jimmy Choo’s for a song guess again. Is anything on sale then? Well not according to my sources. The gossip around town has everyone going into the spot from J. Crew to Ralph Lauren to Saunders real estate. So far nothing confirmed but for the ladies of the Hamptons, Riverhead will soon be the place to be! HA!

Now as for the other retail news which is less of a shocker, Citarella will close their Water Mill store as of this Sunday. So far, the employees don’t know if they’ll be kept and moved to other locations. They’re all waiting to hear! Meanwhile, an informed source tells me there will still be produce in the Ghost Town Shopping Mall …. a new concept organic grocery is set to move into the location soon after it’s vacated. No, it’s not a Fresh Foods or anything like that. It’s an original and a new concept. I’ll have more details soon!

Meanwhile, a little broker gossip; what Shelter Island agent is so reviled…. this person’s nick name is Count Chocula! Apparently because of an uncanny resemblence to a sugar coated breakfast icon! Pluck the eyebrows!