ClIFFS NOTES FOR HAMPTONS DINING!

Spring has sprung here in the Hamptons.    The crocus have bloomed, the trees have buds and new restaurants are popping up everywhere.   But before I go into what’s new, let’s talk about what is no longer around.   Let’s bow our heads for a moment of silence and say something kind about a few of the shuttered establishments.

Old Stove Pub-They really knew how to kill a cow twice.

Hudson Blue Crab House – They employed a lot of people in witness protection.

EMP Summer House – I always knew who was there every minute… thanks Instagram.

Bay Burger – The Jazz nights were very jazzy.

The Princess Diner – It was better than prison food.

Now onto the brighter side of things.   There are more than a few new restaurants coming to the east end this summer.    One bit of news is that we’ll have not one but TWO new Mexican restaurants coming to town.   One is from the folks at Nick and Toni’s and La Fondita.     It’s called Coche Comedor and from what I read on Edible East End, it’s going to be amazing.  You can read the details by clicking here.   Although, they said they were opening in April, my “sources” tell me it’s actually opening later this week which believe it or not is MAY!    I’m sure it will be great and besides I’ve always been a fan of Commodores (especially with Lionel).

The other Mexican is an upgrade from La Superica in Sag Harbor.   I actually liked the food at Superica but found

Coche
The Old Honest Diner is now Coche Comedor

the party atmosphere (which often included the staff) a little frustrating and too much for even this hipster.  Anyway, the folks from Sen in Sag Harbor are upping the ante, renovating and hoping to open K-Pasa by this memorial day.  The Sag Harbor Express broke the big news back in February but the clever name was just announced recently.   K-Pasa…. Get it!?!?!  Personally I would have preferred if it were named “Tequila  Mockingbirds” or “Taco bout It” or “Guacstar” or … Ok, I’ll stop.   You can read more about by clicking the link to the article here.

But enough about Mexican, this is the Hamptons…. where is the seafood?   Well for those who like to have their fish and filet it too there will be Ed’s Lobster Bar in Sag Harbor.   Going into the slot formerly occupied by Bay Burger on Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike.   The building will be refitted to resemble a sea side cottage and feature both indoor and outdoor seating.    My idea was to keep it Bay Burger but add roller skating waiters and have trays for the car window.   But hey there’s a reason I’m not in the restaurant business.    Apparently Ed’s is a big deal in SOHO and they’ll be bringing the same cool vibe to here in the Hamptons.   If you want more details, you can read more about Ed’s in 27 East by clicking here.

Finally, some major switcharooing in East Hampton.   Hold your hats for this one…. The folks behind Bay Kitchen in East Hampton which used to be Bostwick’s are heading to the site of the former Princess Diner in Southampton.   The new establishment will be

Silver Linings
The Princess has left the diner!

called Silver Lining Diner.    The menu will be a bit more upscale than your average diner and you can read more about it here.   Ok, are you following me?    So, now the place that was Bay Kitchen for the past few years and The Boat House before that will become Bostwick’s once again!   Meanwhile, Bostwick’s which is currently on Rt. 27 at the former Snow Flake will stay put and remain Bostwick’s Chowder House.   So you’ll have two Bostwick’s to choose from this summer.

Oh and one last thing, if you’ve driven by the site of the former Agave, Mercado and Hudson Blue Crab House you may have noticed there has been some renovating going on.  Rumor has it they’ll soon be reopening as the Gawanus Canal Lobster Company!   Just kidding,  I’m not actually sure what’s going on but I heard a new restaurant will be going in the spot, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.    Also, Michael’s restaurant in Springs is relocating to the site of their other location known as The Blend on Three Mile Harbor Rd, East Hampton.

That’s all folks.

 

 

 

 

 

DISCOUNT DINING ON THE EAST END… PLUS, WHY YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT TILL EXIT 70.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s starting to look a lot like spring in the Hamptons.    Are the trees budding?   Have the lilies bloomed?   NO!   Traffic is picking up.   There are more cars today than there were last weekend and probably more next week.    One of the other rites of spring is also here, “RESTAURANT WEEK.”     From March 26th to April 2nd, a select number of eateries will be celebrating “East End Restaurant Week.”   I’m not sure how this IS different than “Hamptons Restaurant Week”….. but…..  many of the names are similar.   Fresno, Nick and Toni’s and Service Station in East Hampton, Le Charlot and Union Cantina in Southampton and Page, Wolffer Kitchen and Barons Cove in Sag Harbor are a few of the participating eateries.

zuccini chips
Zucchini Chips at N&T’s!

For a complete list of where to chow you can click here for the details. For a complete list of where to chow you can click here for the details.

Speaking of Union Cantina in Southampton..  I recently stopped by for dinner and was pleasantly surprised.   I went when they first opened and was initially underwhelmed.

UNION CANTINA 2
Deconstructed Enchiladas

Luckily, I decided to give them another shot.      You should too.    We started with what I assume are the homemade chips and guacamole,  very solid.   After that,  I had the “deconstructed” enchiladas, house salad and tortilla soup.    All were delicious with a little heat but not overwhelming.      The service was good… not great but good.   It could be that I was there on a snowy night and nobody really felt like working.   I know I didn’t feel like cooking on a snowy night!    We all love a snow day.    Anyway, I would say try for yourself and let me know if you agree.    Oh, the margaritas are definitely worth trying too…. not too sweet with a good kick.

Are we there yet??????  Are we there yet?    Well, I’m already here …. out of the traffic suckas!    But while you haul your buts… or is it butts… out here in the

Whale
This just screams fun!  Unlike Sea World where there are just screams.

next few weeks there’s something new along the LIE!   I know…  excitement on the expressway!   No longer do you need to ignore your kids and spouses and declare they, “hold it in until exit 70.”     You now have the Long Island Visitors at Exit 52!   That nearly 18 exits sooner!!!  Yes, I’m good at math… I took Calculus 101 twice!     Anyway, “THE” answer is yes… they are clean bathrooms.    Plus, they have a a market featuring long island specialties and some fine cups of coffee too.    But for me, I had a whale of a good time just walking into the place (see photo).   It’s almost as fun as Sea World but nobody gets eaten by the giant fish!

 

 

Carrie, I don’t think we’re in Conneticut anymore!!

Well, it’s been too long since I’ve blogged but I promised some folks I would get back on the horse and start again! So here I am!

First up… good news about real estate. Yes, I can feed the kids! Things are looking up for Hamptons real estate. Houses are actually selling!! But… and you knew there had to be a “but” in there; the good news bad news scenario is more homes are selling… The bad news is all of those lousy properties that didn’t sell before are coming back on the market. Anyway if you want the full details, check out our website for our 3rd Quarter 2009 market report.

http://www.prudentialelliman.com/MainSite/MarketReports/ReportListDetail.aspx?rptType=Hamptons

Meantime, so much has been going on. Yeah, there was news of some town official stepping down… the Blue Parrot continues to disappoint diners… and the Madoff house in Montauk actually sold but the BIG story is.. THE SEX AND THE CITY SEQUEL
WAS FILMING IN SOUTHAMPTON! It is important news indeed. Why? Because the scene they were shooting at Coopers Beach was subbing for a “Connecticut inn.” This is interesting because when it comes to towns where “whale belts” and wearing slippers in public are the fashion norm, most Americans can’t tell the difference. I know I can’t. Meanwhile, I have a suggestion for the sequel that will actually make me want to see it! Have Quentin Tarrentino direct and throw in a subplot about Miranda getting attacked by a great white shark and Carrie gets a job working for a bookie! I thought there were was too little blood and violence in the first one!

Finally…. gosh I don’t know but I’m talking about most these days are the Prix Fixe dinners now available all over town!!! My favorite… Nick and Toni’s is offering a “Freedom of Choice” prix fixe every Sunday all night. Guests may choose either a three-course prix fixe for $30 or a four-course prix fixe for $40, not including tax and gratuity. Also back… the dinner and a movie special; $30 for two courses and a free movie ticket!!! Now I have no excuse for avoiding the movie “Couples Retreat” since technically I won’t be paying “two cents” to see it!!

IT’S DATE NIGHT IN THE HAMPTONS… AND LOCATION MEANS EVERYTHING!!!

So many of my friends…mostly gay men and women ask me for my impressions on various restaurants and what they mean in the dating sense. Like in the city a friend of mine would call and say, “I’m going on a date tonight… we’re going to Per Se.” I would usually respond to that with “awesome… you got a winner or you found a winner and you’re willing to spend some bucks.” So, in the Hamptons what does it tell you when the person picks the restaurant. TONS! If you read below I’ll answer all your questions. Now remember, this guide and glossary is only good if you’ve been asked to one of these establishments. It’s also a good guide to picking the right location for someone who is truly special.

Restaurant
: Nick and Toni’s , The Palm or the American Hotel.

What does it say: If it’s on a Friday or Saturday night.. it means they have connections. They’re also not short on cash and willing to go head to head with some of the biggest attitudes in the Hamptons. If they order the zucchini chips (at N&T) or onion rings (Palm) they’re daring… not afraid of calories because they’ll be at the gym in the morning. It also says, they really know the menu. If one of the hostesses or maitre d’s say “hello,” you know they’re doing well because they obviously slipped one of them a few buck$ for Christmas. They deserve a least a second date or to go a few bases. If you’re date is on a Sunday or prixe-fixe night, it’s up to your discretion.

Underlying issues: My advice would be to avoid any topics or conversations dealing with the following: ex-wives, alimony or investing with Bernie Madoff.

Restaurant: Matto

What does it say: Chances are your date is a summer renter here in the Hamptons. They’re still new to the scene so if you’re waiting for that invitation to Jerry Seinfeld’s residence forget it. If this is a first date, finish the evening and change your cell number. You can do better.

Underlying issues: Avoid topics relating to home ownership in the Hamptons, real estate, St. Barth’s at Christmas and flying coach versus first class.

Restaurant: 1770 House

What does it say: Your date obviously knows some of the hidden treasures of the Hamptons. It also says, they’re willing to go to a quiet place and they’re not afraid to hold a conversation with you. They’re smart and into the finer things in life. Confident and not afraid to spend a little extra for something special. Now, I want to be clear we’re talking about the upstairs restaurant here… if you end up in the downstairs pub it only says one thing to me; THEY’RE MARRIED!

Underlying issues: If your upstairs you can pretty much discuss anything, they obviously are open and willing to talk. If your DOWNSTAIRS avoid discussing wives, mistresses, explaining difficult things to children and commuting to the city from Nassau County.

Restaurant:
Almond

What does it say: If it’s Friday night and he’s taking you to Almond, he’s gay! If you already knew he was gay… then just enjoy he probably knows a lot of people.

Underlying issues: If it’s Saturday, I’m not quite sure what to do but I think you’ve done ok. If it’s Friday and your on a hetero date… avoid topics like musicals, football and closets. It will only make you both uncomfortable.

My last note today and probably the most obvious!


Restaurant:
Cyril’s

What does it say: People go to Cyril’s for one reason to drink. Odds are your date just got out of rehab or is probably fresh from the daily Montauk AA meeting. I would also be suspect of everyone your date just said hello to, odds are they’re tomorrow’s date! If you drove separately (hopefully you did) pretend to get a text message and leave immediately to deal with a “personal issue.”

Underlying issues: Avoid such topics as binge drinking, rehab, STD’s, sobriety or monogamy!

If today’s blog offends anyone.. I apologize, it was written with a strong sense of humor. But remember, there’s a little bit of truth in every jest!