Doesn’t this scream romance? Murph’s

Happy Valentines Day Weekend everyone!    It’s that time of year when every newspaper and blogger in the Hamptons has ideas about romantic getaways and where to go.   But where do you go when you want to break up? Forget the romance ambiance of 1770 House or East Hampton Grill, take your date to one of these notable locations and you’ll be sure to be single by Monday!

Murphs, Sag Harbor – It’s not that the place isn’t good.   But there is absolutely nothing romantic about this place.  It’s loud, it’s packed and the idea of having a quiet conversation with any sort of privacy is out of the question.    The only way anyone gets romantic there is if the beer goggles are so tight you become oxygen deprived!
Village Hardware, East Hampton – Here’s the way this one goes down.    You buy two tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” at the matinee or 4:00 pm show.   You then promise a nice early romantic dinner after the movie.   After suffering through aforementioned movie, you remark how “hot” you got during the Hardware Store Scene.   You stroll over to Village Hardware so you can buy “a few things.”   When you get to the store, head right to the staple guns!  If your date hasn’t already disappeared then maybe you should.   RUN!
The front door is only a few more feet!

Harlow, Sag Harbor –  Who doesn’t love a nice romantic location!?    Yes, they’re closed for the season…. but if you order this weekend maybe you’ll get your entree by Memorial Day Weekend.   If you want to actually try to have food, stop by the IGA first for two sandwiches and a small bag of Sun Chips.   It’s all about the view right… frost bite or not!

Now for the other part of the weekend that has everyone in a tizzy.   The projected 6” of snow we’re supposed to get this Saturday night into Sunday.  This comes hot on the tail of a  reported “frenzy” for seasonal rentals.   As I said on Monday, so many drives and walkways are covered with hard packed ice, many sellers and homeowners are blocking showings to protect against a potential lawsuit.   Yes some good homes were rented already last fall or by the renters with good snow boots but inventory is still good.     So, don’t believe the hype… sip your hot chocolate, relax and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day Weekend!    Hopefully you won’t be going to Village Hardware or Murph’s!

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!