EH VILLAGE BEACH PASS UPDATE… & MY LIFE BEHIND BARS!

I can feel it!  The days are longer and the weekends are getting a little more crowded with city folk looking for their summer retreat.     So while we all enjoy the re-leaf of spring and increasing temperatures, it’s actually time for beach lovers to think about Summer!   Yep, those coveted East Hampton Village beach passes have been on sale for a

beachpermit17b.jpg
2019 EH VILLAGE BEACH PASS

while now and the supplies are running low.   According to the folks at the Village Clerk’s offices there are currently less than 200 still available for the Summer ’19 season.   But don’t panic if you can’t make it out here to pick up your sticker.    You can go online and purchase your pass.     If you need the link, click here.    Remember, you need the pass to legally park at village beaches after 9 am to 4pm from May 15th to September 15th.   I know with the cold damp weather it might not seem like it,  but summer is approaching faster than you know.

Sometimes you really wanna go where everybody knows your name.   One way to ensure that will happens is to get in on what more and more Hamptons homeowners are discovering, bars are the new media rooms.   Yep, you heard me right!    It’s something I discovered for myself a few years ago when my partner and I bought our “spec” house in East Hampton.     In the family room was a big, bulky and industrial looking wet bar.   It felt like my college pub without the brokgreenhollowbaren glass and funky smell.    My first thought was to pull the sucker out but after our first get together we noticed this had become the focal point for the party.    Eventually, we renovated and changed the bar to its current state (pictured) where it is still the place everybody hangs!    It really makes entertaining fun and apparently I’m not the only one who think so.   In just the past few months I’ve listed homes both new and old with expansive set ups; wine fridges, sinks, dishwashers, ice machines, etc.    But most important of all buyers are looking for homes that have these entertaining centers.   I guess it’s all part of what author Faith Popcorn called cocooning.  Home is the place to be and people enjoy bringing the outside world into their homes.  Now if I could only get my dog to change his name to Norm.   Below some of the more impressive  (but far from the only) bars currently on the market.  It’s a far cry from that 1970s basement version with the budweiser light and shag carpet.

Lower Level entertaining at 633 Hedges Lane, Sagaponack.  $9,995,000.  Listed by Douglas Elliman… yours truly!    Click for more details.

633_Hedges_Lane__Sagaponack_(10)

Arts and Crafts coolness at 44 Little Noyac Path, Water Mill.   $5,950,000.   Listed by Douglas Elliman Joe Piccininni  Click Here for more. 

JoeP

Rooftop cocktails at 6 Union Street, Sag Harbor.  $7,495,000.   Listed by Compass Kathy Zappola & Scott Strough.  Click here for details.

Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 12.37.53 PM

 

CHEERS!!!

 

ITCHING FOR MORE LOCAL PRODUCTS? FORGET THE FLEA MARKET! 3 LOCAL GOTTA BUYS!

It’s not as glamorous as it sounds but I was recently driving back from Philadelphia to the Hamptons.    I know, I know… the Outerbridge Crossing is New Jersey’s answer to the Pacific Coast Highway.  But alas, I’m straying off point.   While taking said drive I stopped  at the Long Island Visitors Center in Dix Hills which in case you didn’t know is the first non-disgusting place to stop after Trenton.    It’s also the home of a little store called “A Taste of NY.”   The store features all locally made foods and products from area farm, vineyards and bakeries.    This had me thinking, while we all know about the bigger local products like Tate’s Cookies and Wolffer wines.   There are some other great local products that you might have missed.    Lucky for you, I’m here to share a few of my favorites.

vsc bolo

Vine Street Cafe’s Mushroom Bolognese Sauce – A hearty alternative for your vegan dinner guests, this stuff is just as good as visiting the restaurant.  Seriously, this is not like buying Emeri’s stuff which is more like Ragu with a different label!  I’ve always loved this dish at the restaurant and this is pretty close to dining out.    While VSC has other sauces including a basic tomato and vegetable to go,  this one is IMHO the winner.   It doesn’t taste like a real bolognese (sausage, veal, etc.) but it is rich, hearty and doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing anything.  It’s thick rich and awesomely flavorful.   The sauce retails for about $12.00 and you can buy it at Vine Street on Shelter Island, Cove Hollow Tavern in East Hampton, Harbor Market in Sag Harbor or order it online by clicking here.

Nounos

Nounos Greek Yogurt – Real greek yogurt made right here in Southampton!  Don’t let the fancy packaging intimidate you, this is like a trip to Mykonos without the hangover or Lindsay Lohan.  This stuff is incredibly rich, flavorful and it’s low-fat!  Nounos according to their website is all natural, hormone and anti-biotic free.   If you’re going to try one, I suggest the blueberry blend or mixed berry.    You might have seen Nounos around town in places like the Golden Pear but probably didn’t know it’s local.  Well it is and it’s good and you need to try it.    A 5+ ounce container retails for about $4.00.    If you don’t see it around town you can visit their website to find local sellers.

Hamptons Salt Company Black Truffle –  When I was growing up my Lithuanian Grandmother used to love to cook for me.  I always wonder if she actually liked me based on her stew.    She would cook for my family more than I cared to admit and food had two flavors, salted or really salted.   Anyway, real chefs know the

Hamptonssalt

seasoning is as important as

the actual cooking and there is nothing more crucial than the salt.    I discovered this stuff at Red Horse Market in East Hampton and it was love first shake.    My personal favorite recipe is slightly blanched brussel sprouts covered with a light olive oil and the Hamptons Salt Company Black Truffle seasoning.  Awesomeness!   They also have a variety of salts including rosemary,

ghost pepper and even lime.   Prices range from about $10 for a basic sea salt to $29 for the truffle.    If you want more information or where you can buy HSC click here.

So now you know why I haven’t blogged in a long time.  I’ve been cooking…. and eating.  Now time to hop on the Peloton and burn off all the extra calories.  Hopefully I’ll be back again soon.

 

MIDWINTER BLUES?!

I know we’re all counting the days till spring.    But if you can’t shake the cold in your bones you might as well celebrate it.   That’s why Sag Harbor’s annual “Harbor Frost” is a welcome event during these cold weather doldrums.    Some of the events include a culinary stroll, art exhibits, live music, fireworks and of course the annual “Frosty Plunge.”   This is not to be confused with a “polar bear plunge” which happened earlier this year.  One involves sun starved adults and teens jumping into frigid waters for two seconds so they can take selfies and tell their friends.   The other involves sun starved adults and teens jumping into frigid waters for two seconds so they can take selfies and tell their friends.  If you want more details on Harbor Frost click here.    If your curious about how much Hampton folk love their cold water plunges, take a look at the video below from the East Hampton New Year’s Polar Plunge.

So, if you’re like me … winter is the perfect time for binge watching and seeing all the movies you never had a chance to catch at the theatre.   But if you’ve been suckered like me into upgrading

IMG_1138to the new “Altice” cable system, you’ve been cursing and screaming more than binging and drooling.     The new “higher tech” system that was formerly known as Optimum sounds great.   Each box is a router which you can pause and rewind shows.  There’s also more storage on the DVR that actually can be controlled with voice recognition.  It all sounds great!  If it works!  It doesn’t.   The boxes are constantly frozen, the DVR rarely works and the whole “router” thing is a complete joke!   I’m not saying it’s a complete flop but I’m tempted to go to one cable box and do the rest via Amazon Firestick or Google Chrome.      The ironic thing is I also had a chance to chat with a few of their own employees on the street and even they said the new system is filled with bugs.

So, the moral of today’s blog is go outside, get off your sofa and be social!   Besides, yourTV doesn’t work anyway.

 

JANUARY IS THE CRUELEST MONTH!

T.S. Eliot once said, “April is the cruelest month.”   Well, let me just say anyone who was willing to write the lyrics for that awful Andrew Lloyd Webber musical gets no respect from me!   The Hamptons in January is truly the cruelest month!  Case I point, today I went to a home inspection and there was no heat.    The homeowner had winterized the property and it was a 20 degrees INSIDE!     Yeah, Hamptons real estate is so glamorous!     My feet are still numb, but I guess it’s better than working in a coal mine or being a food critic in Des Moines.

 

Anyway, all things considered the Hamptons are not a bad place to be even when it’s 5 degrees outside.     So, here they are in no particular order a few fun INDOOR things to do when the forecast has more negatives than a yelp review for a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

 

Montauk Salt Cave

The Montauk Salt Cave – Imagine sitting comfortably in a nice heated room as you breath in Himalayan salt infused air.    It’s like going to the beach but without a village parking sticker.    According to the company website, the cave helps revitalizes ones respiratory tract with lungs and nasal passages cleared from pollens, inflammations and other pollutants.  This is particularly handy if you’ve recently been spending anytime on Main St. Amagansett.   The cave has various scheduled sessions that included everything from guided mediations to reiki healing.    Locals secret:  Take a look on Groupon where the session are often offered at a steep discount.  For more information click HERE.

 

Photo: The Clubhouse East Hampton

The Fieldhouse East Hampton – If you haven’t gone yet you should.   Located on Daniels Hole Rd. in E. Hampton, this entertainment center has something for everyone.    There’s an arcade for the kids, bowling for the families, bocci balland corn hole for the millennials and a bar/restaurant with full a menu for people like me.    They also have a mini golf course but I don’t think that’s in the cards when it’s this cold.   Long needed on the east end, the Fieldhouse is perfect for everyone.  It’s especially great for parents who want to ignore their children with a cocktail as the little ones play games, win points and hopefully buy a prize.   If you want more information check out the website HERE.  Local secret:  Check out their Facebook page for special events and discounts.

 

 

The Spa at Gurney’s – Book a massage or treatment at the Seawater Spa then for a small facilities fee of $30 take a dip in the salt water pool, sweat in the sauna or sweat it out in the Swedish steam room.   The best part of the deal is actually swimming in the pool while overlooking the sand and surf through the expansive wall of glass doors.     Follow it up with a glass of wine and lunch at Tillie’s café.   Although last time I was there I got in trouble for trying to eat my tuna salad sandwich in the pool, so I don’t advise.    For more information you can click HERE.    Local secret:  Memberships are available for access to the fitness club and spa areas.

 

The Parish Art Museum – It’s indoors.  It has art.  I never took an art history class so it’s pointless for me to elaborate.   There are no dogs playing poker, toreadors on velvet or cats hanging onto bars so I’m lost.   I will say people seem to enjoy it and find it EDUCATIONAL.   For the latest exhibitions and hours click HERE.

 

So, there you go!  I know!  You’re welcome!  You don’t have to sit on the sofa binge watching Netflix the entire month.    There are actually things you can do INDOORS that are a little out of the normal routine.    Now, excuse me while I book my flight on Southwest.