YOU CANOLI IMAGINE THE CHANGE IN WAINSCOTT…. TAKE A PEEK! PLUS A TALE SO STUPID IT HAS TO BE TRUE!

Makeover Mangia!

If you’ve been through Wainscott lately,  you’ve probably noticed there’s a whole lot of something going on at the former location of Georgica and Saracen restaurants.   The location is now the home of Osteria Salina and the inside has been given face lift that would make Cher green with envy!  Its been a much needed change for the 130 year old building that was more recently the home of ruckus night clubs catering to the hard partying “bottle and banquette” crowd.    Instead neighbors now have a traditional Sicilian restaurant in one of the most charming locations around.   In fact, if you ask me it looks like they spent a pretty penne to make it look good!  Sorry for the pun.

The Georgica Room with a view!

The restaurant which was formally located on School Street in Bridgehampton has now been expanded by purveyor Tim Gaglio and his wife Cinzia (the chef) into a larger 225 seat venue overlooking Georgica Pond.   The menu will remain the same and feature old favorites like Charred Octopus, Polpette (amazing italian meatballs), Mezzi Rigitoni alla Siciliana, fresh seafood specials but with the addition of pizzas cooked in the brick oven that was a staple back when the restaurant was “Sapore di Mare.”     If you don’t remember back that far then you certainly don’t know the reason Route 27 is so close to the site!?  Well I’ll tell you, it’s owed to two feuding brothers, one who designed highways for the state and the other who owned a house in Wainscott!

Classic design meets chic renovation!

Well enough about the location, the food which comes with a Sicilian pedigree (Cinzia comes from a long line of Italian restauranteurs) that goes all the way back to Sorra Italy has been earning raves from local celebs like Billy Joel, Alan Alda and Howard Stern to name a few.   In fact, I bet next door neighbor Ron Perlman will soon swing by for some Bucatini con Sarde … the smells will get ’em and I heard he loves to walk everywhere!   There’s no doubt it will be attracting the same crowd plus a few new ones with the expanded dining room.   Osteria Salina will open it’s doors quietly this Thursday (5/21) night at 5pm and be open for business year round.   It’s a great addition to the area and if you have any doubt they’re aiming for a different crowd than the last establishment, stop by on Sunday’s from 1 to 9pm when they’ll be serving traditional Sophia Loren sized “family style” dinners.    If you want a reservation and my guess is your going to need them… check out the restaurant on OPENTABLE.COM

As any real estate on the east end will tell you, dealing with Summer rentals is never easy.    This Friday will no doubt too be another hair raising experience for agents all over as tenants start to move into their seasonal rentals.  Yes, I’ll soon be getting calls about defective toasters, noisy neighbors and even the occasional call asking for an address (write it down before you go out drinking).

Well it’s a few years later and now enough time has passed to tell a tale I from a few years ago when one tenant called me complaining about the wireless Internet.   I explained I wasn’t an expert but I would swing by and take a look.    Apparently the code for the wifi wasn’t working and I thought I’d give it a shot.  When I arrived I input the code and bing!  It worked!   What was the problem?   Well, when I gave them the code in the e mail I wrote “the password is case sensitive xyz.”  Yes, you got it… they wrote “CASE SENSITIVE” when inputting the code.  By the way, English was their first language and it was a $200k+ seasonal rental!    Only in the Hamptons!

HIGHWAY DINER…. NEW LOOK… NEW OWNERS…. NEW ATTITUDE!

The best pot pie ever!
Ginormous salads!

So, a quick blog post is better than no blog post at all (at least according to me).   After being a sushi restaurant with financing by Wells Fargo, SHUKU the Highway Diner has reopened.   In the first restaurant opening of the season, they did it quietly but carried a big culinary stick!     While I don’t have many of the details on the chefs and owners etc., I can tell you the staff seemed to be experienced and ready to take on the task of breaking the curse of the tank!     So what did we have?  A chicken pot pie which is quite possibly the best one I ever tasted!!!!   My of my dinner companions had freshly made pasta where they said they can “actually taste the difference.”  I started with a Caesar salad that could have been a meal itself.    Also gone is the sterile cold interior that had diners sitting on edge as every new customer walked in the door.  Now, the old diner’s food wasn’t bad but I think the management and staff were in over their heads.  My favorite or least favorite experince I should say was when they ran out of bagels for breakfast at $10 a pop.  HELLO, THERE IS A BAGEL STORE TWO DOORS DOWN!    Anyway, for a first night the Highway Diner was a hit with me and everyone else at the table!   I think it has what it takes… good food … good service….a full bar and good prices!

Home made pastas!

It’s about time to have some good restaurants in the Hamptons.  Meanwhile, Nichol’s is really shuttered for renovations and who knows if it will ever return.  Meanwhile, I’m doing a death watch on about 3 different restaurants on the east end.  More on that coming soon, I promise!

HELPFUL HINTS TO GET YOUR HOUSE RENTED AND AN ENCLAVE UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT!

The summer rental season is officially in high gear EARLY this year.   Normally, it’s pretty sluggish around here till Presidents Day weekend but in 2013 we got a very early start, like JANUARY 1st!!    I’m not sure what it is this year that has everyone so gung-ho but it’s not just me, all of my friends in the business are saying this is the busiest January they’ve seen in a long time!   I’m not sure if it’s the  economy, the growing popularity of the Hamptons or even the fact so many at the Jersey Shore have been affected by damage from Hurricane Sandy and the Tsunami Snookie!?   It’s any ones guest really.  Get it Guest!?   Lame.  Sorry.

So if you’re a landlord thinking of renting, here are a couple of hints to help you get that lease signed a little quicker (In no particular order).  And yes, you may think these points are common sense but I’ve seen a few properties where these simple points could have been really helpful!!!

1) If your house has ash trays of cigarette butts all over the place, empty them and buy a vacuum cleaner.    It’s amazing but people don’t find the smell of stale tobacco as enticing as they once did.   Unless you’re renting to a member of the Rat Pack, most people in fact will find this a turn off.

2) And speaking of Rat Packs.  If you have a rodent problem, hide the poison or at least resolve the problem BEFORE you want to rent your property.     I know everyone loves a cute pet and a few people even liked the movie “Willard” but honestly,  most rats or even mice give people the heebie jeebies!

3) When a broker comes to your house, please don’t tell their potential renters about how horrible the Hamptons are in the summer.   Also,  its not a good idea to elaborate how you hate your neighbors because their kids are in the backyard pool screaming all hours of the day the entire season.     We as real estate agents work for you the landlord but when you talk about all the negatives of your own house, it’s not a good thing for us to contradict you.

That being said, for those who don’t want to rent a house and just want a quiet weekend out east,  there is a new option.  The 380 Inn, formerly the Enclave Inn which is located on Montauk highway in Wainscott.   As of now, there is no website so local folk will be left guessing changes have been made to this Hamptons staple.

I spoke with the receptionist on the phone and she let me in on a little secret.  The owners of the 380 Inn had actually been managing the Enclave Inn for the past five years and they finally just decided to buy. I know people who have stayed there in the past and enjoyed it, so I’m hoping we’ll have more of the same.

According to the old Enclave Inn’s website the Hamptons are “considered by many, the Malibu of the East.”    Ok, Malibu of the east… minus the tans and the waves but I’m I’ll go with it.   There are plenty who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle out here, similar to Malibu.    I just wonder if the bicyclist are as vulnerable on the west coast as they are on 27!!?