MMMMMMMMMM…. DONUTS… AND TUNA TARTARE! -UPDATED!!!

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?

www.toppingrosehouse.com
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…. donuts!

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!

Meanwhile, something is apparently brewing in Sag Harbor and Homer Simpson will very happy.    I was on the street and I glazed over to find out that  Grindstone Coffee and Donuts is coming to town.   The hole deal is getting ready to set up shot at the location that was formerly occupied by Pepalajefa at 7 Main Street in Sag Harbor.   Fronted by two veteran coffee shope folks,  locals Kyle Shanahan and Anna Coffman will have brioche style donuts in such mouth watering flavors as strawberry shortcake, chocolate coconut and of course the traditional glazed!  The two are also making a point of sourcing all of the ingredients from local providers like Mecox Dairy and Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett.    In fact, they’re taking the local angle so seriously they’ve decided to start working on a beach plum filled jelly donut recipe.     But if you’re hoping these will be low calorie, fat free, taste free confections, forget it.  The plan is for real “super buttery brioche donuts”… dare I say it’s a the Hamptons answer to a cronut….. a bronut?    The shop will also have a range of gourmet coffees and teas to help unclog your arteries.       Look for Grindstone Coffee and Donuts to open sometime at the end of the month!    One final thought before I go?  Some folks say, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”… except for donuts which say, “skinny can go “f” itself.”

WARNING TO ALL EASTER BUNNIES…. AND SMALL DOGS! HAPPY EASTER! SUGGESTIONS FOR BRUNCH!

Break out the pastels and the whites… it’s now officially ok to wear your fancy duds!  Well as of Sunday anyway.   So after the bunny has dropped the basket, where are some great places to wear your best bonnet?   Well look no further, Hamptons Chatter is here to help.  Here are my top 3 suggestions:
Page at 63 Main in Sag Harbor (page63main.com, 631-725-1810)  will have an a la carte brunch menu from 11 to 4 featuring such holiday favorites as leg of lamb and Eggs Benedict.   They’ll also have plenty of champagne and mimosas to help with that headache from the all the little kiddies sugar high!
So CUTE.. and hopefully not on any menu!
Topping Rose in Bridgehampton (toppingrosehouse.com, 631-537-0870) will also have an al carte brunch menu featuring everything Brioche Donuts to Painted Hill Short Rib hash from 11:30 to 3p.   They’ll also have activities for the kids and a giant Easter Bunny around for photographs.  You’ll be able to order EXTRA champagne without drama.  Earplugs will not be provided.
Barons Cove in Sag harbor (baronscove.com, 631-725-2101) will be hosting an Easter egg hunt for the kids… so hopefully they’ll be outside.   Brunch will be served from 11 to 4p and feature all your holiday favorites including lamb, roast beef and rabbit stew.  OK, actually there is no rabbit stew…. that would be kind of cruel.   Don’t cha think!?    I mean… “Thank you Easter Bunny for the chocolate… now jump into the pot!?”

Speaking of Easter Bunnies, they need to be watching their eggs and hops these days.   While I’m not sure if it’s a real warning or where the heck it originates, there is a message circulating on the internet and Facebook about there being a larger number of Hawks this season on the east coast.   The alleged warning has been issued by “Park Rangers” and “Veterinarians” to pet owners who have dogs or cats that weigh less then 12 pounds.

WARNING: FOR OWNERS OF SMALL PETS

Apparently our small furry friends run the risk of being swooped away.   I actually had a friend who swore that happened to her pet a few years back but I question that particular incident and attribute it more to her 3 martini breakfast.    “I saw it… my dog flew away!”   Kind of scary considering it was a German Shepard. Anyway, all kidding aside I did some digging online and while the “warning” may possibly be bogus, the risk is actually quite real.    But before you panic and call your local veterinarian for advice or veteran with a gun on addressing the potential problem, just remember these birds of prey are FEDERALLY PROTECTED!      So what can you do?   Well here is are a few tips for keeping your pets safe.

-Keep them leashed and supervise when outdoors.
-Remove bird feeders.   They attract small birds and mice which in tern attract raptors.
-Put hhiny objects that move out of the yard, such as silver streamers.   They will scare off the birds.
-Build a pen with a wire mesh for your pet to play.
So keep your pets safe, have a great weekend and remember SUMMER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.  Which means traffic.   Yeah!

BUSTING A SUMMER RENTAL MYTH… AND DOPPIO IS DONE-I-OH! AGAIN.

Doppio in Sag Harbor…. brown paper seems to be it’s color!

Good Morning all.. or is it afternoon?  Either way, HC as some people like to call this blog has been off the grid for the past few months.  It’s been a period of reflection and real estate and a media blackout.  I’ve ignored TV, radio and the internet for weeks now.  So before I read the papers about the Jeb versus Hillary show… I mean nobody was going to vote for “him,” I did some recon in and around the Hamptons to get the latest in our neck of the woods.

So word about town in Sag Harbor is that DOPPIO is definitely DONE-I-OH.   As if the incident of last summer’s sudden shuttering wasn’t a big enough omen for you, the Italian bistro has packed it’s bags and headed off for greener and perhaps less discerning pastures.    But while this is a surprise for virtually nobody, the big buzz is about what’s going in there!  So, what will it be?   Apparently, it’s going to be brown paper on the windows for the next few months.  Unconfirmed word about town is that the state of the space is in a bit on the worn side and a renovation is afoot.  If I have wrong information here, let me know and I’ll fix it!  I still miss the old “Paradise” in Sag Harbor.  Please can somebody talk to somebody and bring it back?    It had good service, good food and a great atmosphere, something far too many restaurateurs in the Hamptons have a hard time understanding.

Meantime, why is it so tough to find a summer rental this season?  Well it’s not as the NY Times would have you believe.     The mad rush that they report every year (“act now if you want your summer Hamptons get away) as having taking place is more myth than reality.    The truth is with all of the new regulations that include rental permits, registries and blood oaths more than a few home owners have decided NOT to rent rather than deal with all of the drama.    Now, I’m sure some agents and brokers are going to say, “not at all.”   But I’m speaking from my experiences in the past few weeks.    I’ve called numerous landlords about renting only to have them inform me the house is no longer available.     I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing but I can tell you, if you’re debating on renting your home this coming season… make sure to get the permit and protect yourself before getting into the pool… it’s smaller this year than it’s been in a long time!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL… MORTGAGE NEWS…. PLUS WINNERS OF OUR (lame) DECORATING CONTEST!

So there’s good news and bad news here.  The bad news is you people are essentially lazy.    The good news is everyone who entered my holiday decorating contest is a winner!   Yes, I got 4 entries.  One of which was a friend who was actually staying in my house.   So he’ll get a prize along with Lisa Barone of Sag Harbor and Deanna Covino of Hampton Bays, the gang at Baron’s Cove and D. Strohmeir.    So anyway, happy holidays all even though I will never do a contest like this again.   BAH HUMBUG!   Here are the winners…

Deanna Covino of Hampton Bays

 


Lisa Barone of Sag Harbor

D Strohmeir of East Hampton

Meanwhile, lots of news about interest rates.  They’re up… and people are upset!    But wait…. defying the hike, rates actually went down?  I’m so confused!   But while folks like me are waiting for the dust to settle on what all of this actually means there’s still lots of news in the lending biz.   In fact, one thing I recently learned … wait.. why am I telling you… watch it for yourself.   Recently mortgage guru Melissa Cohn of MC Home Loan sat down with me to discuss what’s happening.

FINALLY… a little something fun from the 80’s music fanatic that I am.  It’s 60,000 LED lights dancing to the song “We Three Kings” by Book of Love!    Gotta love this!!