Salsa… Soros… and more!

I’ve griped forever about how there isn’t a good Mexican “sit down” restaurant in the Hamptons.    I’ve complained and complained.  Yes, I like La Fondita and Sabrosa but I can’t really see having a nice quiet dinner at either location.     But this summer, it seems we finally can get the whole enchilada and enjoy it too!

First in Southampton is Union Cantina.   Located at the site of the former Southampton Public House,   the “Cantina” opened in mid-June and has been packing it’s tables ever since.   So far, the reviews have been pretty good.   I haven’t yet been but FOHC (Friends of Hamptons Chatter) have been telling me the foods pretty solid… not outstanding but good.    The standouts according to my sources are the enchiladas, roasted peach glazed pork and the freshly made salsa.  While the prices are certainly not Taco Bell they’re not exactly Nello either.    So based on the word of mouth around town it seems Union Cantina is worth a visit.    If you’ve been, let me know what you think.
Secondly,  The Blue Parrot in East Hampton has long been a punch line for bad food and bad service in my book forever!  I went a few years ago when it first opened under the new management which includes Jon Bon Jovi and the girl from Jerry Maguire who has a name I can’t spell.   The food was overpriced, lousy and served with a snarl from the surly staff.      If that wasn’t bad enough they used to have a bouncer there which would have lead you to believe, folks were clamoring to get inside…. and they weren’t.   Anyway, for whatever reason I decided to stop by for a visit last week after a hiatus of close to three years.      The first thing I encountered was a friendly staff and no bouncer!     I had to wait while my table was being prepped so I sat at the bar and had a really great margarita… at $15 bucks it was no bargain but the pour was generous and the mason jar/drinking glass was filled pretty high.
I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I like you!!!

After about 5 minutes, the table was ready and I sat down as fresh tortilla chips and salsa were being dropped off at the table.      That was followed by the house Oaxaca salad and Lime Chipotle fajitas.  While I know fajitas aren’t exactly gourmet and probably not the best way to judge the cuisine, I have to say they were really good and served with fresh made corn tortillas.     By the way, yes you can make bad fajitas I should know, I worked at a Chi Chi’s in college (for those of you who don’t know, it was the Mexican Olive Garden of the 80’s).     My partner in crime Peter had the fish tacos which which also garnered a big thumbs up.      The final verdict is that I take back all the negative things I’ve said in the past about Blue Parrot.    The snarky Go Fund Me page for the chef to take cooking lessons has been taken down and my mea culpa is complete.     So ,  if you’ve not been to The Blue Parrot in years, take my advice and give it another shot.

Finally, just in time for August some good news about what makes the Hamptons such a fun place to live.    According to sources, billionaire investor George Soros made a stop with a few friends at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor.   While that’s not anything to set rumors flying what happened when the check was delivered is the interesting part.  Apparently Mr. S. (as I call him) paid his hefty check with 4 figures not including cents and added on a 100%+ tip for the staff.     While I haven’t been able to confirm this Christmas come early gift from the tight lipped staff at the hotel… my sources are pretty reliable.     Besides, what’s so wrong with being nice!?


I know it might sound shocking to some but I’m not originally from the Hamptons.  Yes, many think I’m the quintessential Hamptonite.  But here’s my deep, dark secret….  I actually grew up in New Jersey…. but it gets worse… South Jersey!   Yes, a place where something called Scrapple (google it if you don’t know – but don’t say I didn’t warn you) is considered gourmet, water is pronounced “worder” and the differences between peeing in the pool and into the pool are debatable.      Yet, after being here now for more than 20 years, I’ve become jaded.

Yet, while there are certain things that many on the outside already know about life in the Hamptons… the fun of a good star sighting… (You know sitting next to Jack Nicholson at The Grill – yep I did),.. $25.00 containers of guacamole or the insane price of real estate.. there are a few things that only those who really live here can understand.   Things that would make the average jaw drop in say, Ohio (are you reading Laura D?) that we here on the East End completely take for granted.  So here are a few of my observations that only people on the inside will understand as everyday life as we know it in the Hamptons.
Valet Service at the Hospital – Where I grew up, the only valet I ever experienced for medical treatment involved an ambulance.   But here in the Hamptons we have valet service!   Yes, you can drop off your BMW or Tesla as your holding your blood soaked bandages on that gushing wound and get a free claim ticket!  I know, its just as glamorous as it sounds and almost as fancy as taking a “Blade” helicopter to Stony Brook.
Oblivious Texting and Walking –  Perhaps the reason so many are using that valet service is because they were claiming their G*d given right to text and walk without looking.    Yes,  it doesn’t matter if your crossing Main Street or 27 in the Hamptons, if you’re texting and walking there is no need to look.   It’s the drivers or bicyclists obligation to be on the lookout for you!  Ugh… I know I get it… pedestrians have the right away but there is a certain amount of responsibility we all need to take.     But only on the East End is this sort of behavior not only tolerated its commonplace and it’s something I guess we’re all kind of used to seeing.
Cancel all appointments… I’m getting my car washed.


Fistfights at Yoga –  Well in the parking lot to be more exact.  Why?  Because there’s no parking… there’s no parking… there’s no parking!  I don’t care if I’m there to find my center, if you take my space while I’m waiting you’re toast!  It’s a scenario that’s more common than you think and is also a frequent scene at that other hub of zen, Soulcycle.    Now let’s go to the Golden Pear and get an iced coffee!
Taking an Hour to Get Your Car Washed – UGH!  OK, it’s a lot better in Hampton Bays but in Southampton it’s like sitting through a Merchant-Ivory production.   SLOOOOOOOOOOWWWW. Now,   I don’t think it’s the fault of the staff but the simple fact they’re the only game in town that makes this a most exhausting endeavor.    “I’m sorry, I’m not taking appointments on Wednesday.. I’m getting my car washed!”
Overdressed Ice Cream Stands – If you’ve ever been to Olaf’s, Scoop Du Jour or Sant Ambroeus… especially the latter on a hot summer night, you know the Hamptons has it’s own dress code.  This ain’t no Dairy Queen in Idaho…. You’ll stick out like a sore thumb if you dare wear a Harley T-shirt, Docker’s shorts or even rubber flip flops.     It’s designer duds for double dipping.   But don’t think any trendy outfit will do.   Hamptonites have put the Blah in Manolo Blahniks… its more than just shoes… you need to be decked from head to toe when you order that Mint Chip no-sugar added lactose-fat free gelato.     Yes, consider it a dairy themed “Mean Girls.”
But everyone, please know living here hasn’t changed me at all.   I’m still a softy at hearty.   Now, like everyone else out here I don’t judge people by their race, religion or sexual preference.. I judge them by the car they drive (yes I stole that from Ellen Degeneres).

The best burrito in the Hamptons continues to be from 7-11 in Sag Harbor!

I got another round of nasty comments about the New Blue Parrott in East Hampton. Overpriced, tiny portions, bland and too much attitude are the most common complaints. Sure, Mr Bon Jovi or is it Mr. Jovi occaisionally shows up but if you’re actually going to eat it sounds like that isn’t the place where you want to go. It’s obvious the Hamptons needs a good southwestern or mexican restaurant… why can’t we get one???

I forgot a few weeks ago to mention a great place on the water in East Hampton. While I love the food and view at Bostwicks, I hate the wait. So, if you want to have food with a great view without waiting for 45 minutes, try Harbor Bistro. The prices are actually pretty decent and the menu is ecclectic and interesting without being so exotic you’re scratching your head. My personal favorit is the “seared tuna with soba noodles.” AWESOME! They also have a really friendly and competent staff. Harbor Bistro is located on Three Mile Harbor Road, next to East Hampton Point (where I recently had one of the worst meals of the summer— yes you can ruin a basic chicken breast)! The view is above left.

Finally, This Saturday… Stuff to do. Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge at Two Trees Farm on Hayground Rd, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm A portion of proceeds from the Mercedes-Benz Bridgehampton Polo Challenge will go to South Fork Breast Cancer Coalition. The VIP tent continues to play host to a large overdressed and overly liquered crowd that cares absoloutly nothing about the polo players, horses or anything else other than who else is in the tent and how much cooler they are!!

And for the un-chic set. Fireworks on 3 Mile Harbor this Saturday starting at 9pm. If you have friends on the Harbor, call now!

What’s with the attitutde!!!???

The Hamptons are getting some bad press lately and personally I find this shocking!!! One would have thought with the lousy weather and that in turn causing a lousy turnout on top of everything else in the world.. one would think we would have a season with better food, better service and a better attitude in Hampton’s restaurants. Well guess what!? You were wrong.

Gawker has made it a sport for attacking Hamptons attitude and the first target they assassinated was “Georgica!” Watch the video!!
Then there’s the “Blue Parrot” owned by the trio of Perlman, Zellweggerrere (whatever) and Bon Jovi. Yes, they’re finally open but I haven’t had a chance to go yet. I heard the food is pretty good but the portions are tiny. But have no fear, the margaritas are here… and from what I hear they’re strong. The only odd thing I find about all of this is… THEY HAVE A BOUNCER! How come they didn’t have bouncers at the Chi-Chi’s I used to frequent in college! Well it wasn’t in the Hamptons for one! I promise I’ll go in the next few days to the “Parrot” and let you know if it’s everything I hear. If they let me in! ONE LAST THOUGHT… Why is HBO playing “FRED CLAUS” in the middle of June?!?