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!


Lighting the Hamptons one lamp at a time!

Wainscott, the land of quarries and Speedway Stations has two new things to actually brag about.     The opening of the new Home Goods and the arrival of Osteria Salina at the former site of Georgica Restaurant and night club.  I’ll have more on the restaurant tomorrow!

After lots of moaning and complaining, Home Goods has finally arrived at it’s new location at 368 Montauk Highway. The newly constructed building drew some fire from local officials and some residents for it’s hulking size and close proximity to the road.   But after all the fears and wolf crying, the Hamptons have survived the opening and from the reaction of the crowds it’s a big improvement over what was an abandoned car dealership.   The cedar shake building which is lushly landscaped opened it’s doors Sunday and it was packed to the rafters.
See I’m not kidding!


So why was it so crowded?   Well the discounted purveyor of all things domestic featured everything from Pratesi sheets to Baccrat and Waterford wine glasses at around 50% off of normal retail prices. They also have a good collection of linens and even some furniture and rugs.   Yes, the Hamptons may be considered a land of excess but that doesn’t mean they don’t like a good bargain here on the east end.     I really believe this will be good for all the business owners in the area since it will attract folks who normally wouldn’t travel to Wainscott to shop.   The more the merrier and the more cash for everyone who buys lunch, doesn’t find the right sofa, needs a new bed or has been wanting to get some new blinds!Meanwhile, after about a month the gym in Sag Harbor is open once again.   It’s cleaner, lighter and has a slew of fancy new lockers.    While much of the old equipment has returned, the fresh coat of paint and what I guess was a really good cleaning has actually made a difference.    The gym has never looked better and the towels are new too!    If you don’t believe me… see for yourselves!   By the way, don’t get confused, the entrance has moved to the center of the building and there’s a fancy new reception desk as well.

Sag Harbor Shuffles….. Plus Memorial Day – Benefit Update!

He former home of The Cuddy!

Big news in Sag Harbor, the site of the former Phao… The Cuddy… and whatever else… well it is now becoming a branded restaurant for Wolffer Wines.    Yes, I will miss The Cuddy’s burgers! Early reports had the property opening soon as a tasting room but I’ve heard it’s actually going to have a full blown menu and be a real restaurant.   It will have a “high profile” chef that has already signed on to get behind the grill… or the stove… or the deep fryer… whatever they’ll have!    No word on weather they’ll have a steady reserve of Wolffer Rose to last through the summer.   Remember last year, our rose cups runnith dry!

Meanwhile, don’t cry for Espresso Argentina… they’re coming back to town.   Yes, the home of the best turkey focaccia sandwiches ever..anywhere… will be going into the space formerly occupied by Cigar Bar…. hopefully they’ll get rid of stale beer and stale cigarette smell. The property was vacant for the past few seasons and is already undergoing renovations! So now, you can get your sandwich and have your Yummylicious too (you know the place that looks like a “Hello Kitty” brothel).

Finally, one of the big benefits for years in the Hamptons was The Miracle House Memorial Day Kickoff at Bridgehampton Surf and Tennis Club.   It was wall to wall people every year and guests mingled with celebrities like Taylor Dane, Andy Cohen and Cheyenne Jackson.   Well the organization which housed severely ill adults in NYC sadly shuttered last year.   It was a loss for the community in NYC and created a hole in the all important Hamptons benefit schedule.   Well now comes word that the date and the location have been reserved by the  LGBT Network of Long Island.   Tickets will start at a affordable $250 for the cocktail party and are already available with additional information on the organizations website!


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!