AUGUST IN THE HAMPTONS… NO RESERVATIONS… NO PROBLEMS… THE BEST GOURMET TO GO!

Yes, it’s finally August in the Hamptons.     The water is warm.  The sun is shining.   Traffic is bumper to bumper on 27 with Range Rovers in full bloom.    While SoulCyle’s parking lot looks like a WWF pay per view.    But enough about all the things we cherish in the Hamptons during August. Instead lets talk about a major first world problem that so many of us know first hand,  the difficulties with getting a weekend restaurant reservation!

Yes, it’s the time of year when 25 minutes turns into 2 hours for a bar table.    It’s more than any south of the highway socialite should have to endure.   But luckily for you Paris, Kimye and all of the other society readers of Hamptons Chatter, you don’t have to suffer in silence any longer!   Here are a few ideas for getting gourmet meals in your very home without having to stoop to pizza or any sort of wonton that comes in a paper carton.

Free form lasagna from JK Chef Collection

1) Call JKChef Collection – 631-460-0010 – started by chef Jeff Purrazzi and Jack Kelly, the service has a stable of top tier chefs that come to you and and will handle the entire meal from soup to nutted apple tare-tatine.   According to Purrazzi, “The process of hiring a private chef is pretty easy.   We normally speak with our clients over the phone and get an overview of the families culinary likes and dislikes…

…. from the formal dining to the beach BBQ.  The key is to match the clients needs to the perfect chef.   Once we do that, we put the two together to create the perfect dinner menu.”    Prices vary based on the size of party and the duration of the event.   If you like more information you can visit their website www.jkchefcollection.com or give them a call at 631-460-0010.    Make sure to tell them Hamptons Chatter sent you!

2) Saaz -1746 CR 39 Southampton – 631-259-2222 – Gourmet Indian food that in it’s short in town has garnered a large and loyal following.    The location is easy since it’s virtually the first restaurant you see as you drive into the Hamptons.    The full menu including a slew of vegetarian dishes is available online and they even deliver to a large chunk of the east end.  So skip the pizza and go for some steamed chicken somos instead!

Salmon Tartare – Fresno

3) Fresno – 8 Fresno Place East Hampton – 631-324-8700 – New American cuisine at it’s best.   Head Chef Gretchen Menser’s rotating menu of classic crowd pleasers with an epicurean twist is why updated menu and get your tilefish or osso bucco to go! Diners have been lining up at this East Hampton favorite for years.    But the real reason I’m mentioning this here is you can go online, check out the

4) East Hampton Grill – 99 North Main St. East Hampton – 631-329-1955 – Walk right by the crowd at one of the most popular Hamptons restaurants, step up to the bar and grab your grub and get out of there.     Yep, the home of the “heavenly biscuits” will pack your dinner for you to enjoy in your own kitchen.   The menu is available online and updated frequently.    While I’m not sure I would get the oysters to go (a little messy) from the fresh fish, to the roasted chicken and the french dip all are made from scratch daily and travel well.  But most important of all, the clean up is a breeze.

The french dip at East Hampton Grill – ask for horseradish!

5) The Seafood Shop -356 Montauk Highway, Wainscott – 631-537-0633 –   Yes you can buy your shrimp and your fresh fish for home cooking but you can also get a complete dinner on the fly without breaking a sweat.   Lobsters, grilled fish and fresh salads and even a chicken breast sandwich are all on the take out menu.    It’s a complete menu available online that is updated with specials daily and diverse enough for even the finickiest of diners.      It might not be fancy but the food is awesome!

So there you have it 5 ideas for the hungry agoraphobic in all of us.

Bikini Busters… the 7 deadly sweet and savory sins of Hamptons Dining! Plus it’s a time warp in Sag Harbor this weekend.

In case you missed it, a few weeks ago the Wall Street Journal announced that the Hamptons have gone  healthy.    The opening of the new Juice Lane in Wainscott, Soul Cycle and Tracy Anderson apparently have constituted a trend and now we’re all supposed to look like Brangelina.    Well, not so fast WSJ!   While, I’m not saying they’re going to start serving fried Coca Cola at Nick and Toni’s (look it up, it’s a real thing) there are quite a few pot holes and road blocks on the road to wellness here in the Hamptons.    So, here are my favorites and I hope you find as tempting as I do…

Dangerous territory!

1) Sam’s- East Hampton – It’s the pizza and chicken Parmesan that get me every time.     The cheese is thick on both and the sauce is thick and tasty, just like my mama never made (she was Lithuanian and Irish neither which are known for good cuisine).

2) Round Swamp Farm- East Hampton – What’s not to like?!  The cinnamon buns, the coffee cake, the guacamole, the chicken salad, the chocolate chip cookies…. oh, the list goes on and on your gut!    This place is not where you want to go while dieting.    I dare you to go into there and leave with just one thing!  It’s not going to happen!

3) Dreesen’s Donuts at Scoop Du Jour – East Hampton –  The donuts are freshly made and need I say more!?   It’s deep fried dough with sugar!   You could serve me deep fried wood with sugar and I bet I’d eat it but the dough is a little easier to chew…. fluffier too!

4) Bobby Van’s – Bridgehampton – If you’re allergic to shellfish you may want to avoid the shrimp nachos at Bobby Van’s.  But if you’re not, get ready for a spicy blob of shrimp, chips, jalapenos, guacamole and enough cheese to keep Lipitor profitable for the next century.    Yeah, the Chinese Chicken Salad is good too but for some reason it doesn’t seem as decadent.

Yeah, they look sweet and innocent at Mary’s.

5) Mary’s Marvelous – Amagansett – When Ina Garten shuttered the Barefoot Contessa years ago, I went into a deep depression.  WHERE WILL I BUY MY COCONUT CUPCAKES?!    Yes, I could go buy Ina’s cake mix but that would leave evidence around the house.    Luckily Mary’s is there to fill the void!   Her sandwiches and muffins are great too but it’s the coconut cupcake that is the standout!    If you don’t know my cousins Eileen and GiGi or Ina for some CC’s of lovin’ (as I call them) make sure you go to Mary’s and eat them there.   Coconut shreds are often a dead give away.

6) Fresno – East Hampton –  Tons of good stuff on the menu and a bar/restaurant scene that’s fun and unpretentious is what keeps me going back to this East End staple.    From some of the same people that bring you Red Bar and Beacon this is the closest to my house so I’m a little biased.  I’m also terminally in love with the Sticky Toffee cake desert.   I also drool over their …staff… I mean burgers and fries.   Gosh, I only hope I look attractive in my Sans-a-belt pants with Spanx
when I got there next time!!!?

Fat Free Biscuits at Grill…NOT!

7) The East Hampton Grill – Yeah, I know I write a lot about this place.  I’m the mayor on foursquare.com and yes they know my name ( no, smarty pants I tip well so that’s not the reason!).    The buttermilk biscuits, the ribs and the home made hot fudge (that I think comes with Ice Cream) are all impossible to avoid.  Although I don’t eat them all together at the same time…. hey wait… hot fudge on ribs and buttermilk biscuits on the side… no stop it… wait…

On an entirely different note, they’re having a Soap Box Derby this weekend in Sag Harbor.   The big event will take place this Sunday afternoon on High Street.   The festivities will begin with a parade down Main Street at 1pm (they have a parade for everything in Sag Harbor) followed by the big race on High Street.     While my 25 year old nephew had no clue what a soap box derby was, I proudly told him to keep an eye out for the kids named Spanky McFarland and Alfalfa Switzer.   They’re both heavily favored to win!    There’s still no word if Darla and Petey will be there.