So the Hamptons are more crowded this year than last. But yet, everyone from shop keepers and especially real estate agents (talking rentals) are saying that business is off. One thing I always do when I take my stroll around town trying to look better dressed than the next guy, I always ask shop owners “how was your season?” The response I keep hearing “not great.” But it’s so crowded, which leaves me wondering what gives!? Well some folks are blaming the increasing popularity of those short term rental websites for the problem. For example, you can rent a house in Southampton from a website called Marquis for a nightly rate of $1,100 a night even though this is in violation of town code which requires a minimum of 14 days. So, according to some there lies the problem. You have a house which advertises an occupancy of 12 people each essentially paying $100 per person, they’re not the types who are going to be spending money about town in the shops and restaurants. By the way, I like that the Hamptons are becoming more accessible to folks who wouldn’t normally be able to visit but by allowing overcrowding in houses it’s more like a spring break location than quiet escape from city living. What do you think?
In case you missed it there was a lot of buzz a few months ago as Tom Colicchio and Topping Rose House parted ways. Much of the well deserved criticism revolved around the fact that the prices were steep and the food was just a tad too “precious.” Well, when it was recently announced that Jean-Georges Vongerichten would be moving into that prime location, it was with a skeptical eye that many Hamptons folks awaited the arrival of it’s latest celebrity chef. I mean, doesn’t everyone want quail and sweet breads when visiting the beach?
But guess what? A good thing happened on the way to Bridgehampton. Rather than taking a step on the fancy side, the restaurateur took a page more from his Inn at Pound Ridge menu and gave it a Hamptons spin. Jean-Georges at the Topping Rose House is now open and ready for business. While make no mistake the bill is going to cost you a few more dollars than an Olive Garden Prix Fixe, the prices are reasonable by local standards and the menu is actually pretty accessible. The restaurant was open over the Memorial Day and served dishes from the new menu including; Tuna Tartare with Avacado and ginger marinade for $22, Kale Salad with Lemon and Parmesan $15, Parmesan Crusted Organic Chicken for $32 and a Cheeseburger with Frizzled Onions and House made pickles for $21. For the vegetarian in the group, they also have a Garden Vegetable Brown Rice bowl with Salsa Verde for $26. While I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, if it’s anything like the Westchester outlet I have no doubt it will be packed from now until Labor Day! For more information or reservations, you can try calling 631-537-0870 or go online by clicking here!