The Hamptons… Debunking the Myths!I

I’ll never forget my first visit to the Hamptons back in the mid 80’s.    A friend of mine brought me to stay at his parents house which I think was in Southampton.   It was somewhat of a culture shock for me.   I mean I grew up going to the Jersey shore.     Margate, Cape May and Long Beach Island were all I knew of beach living.    So when I first crossed the canal… Yes, that’s really where the Hamptons begin.. it was a bit of an eyeopener.

Now that I live out here full-time, friends from near and far have questions about living in our little slice of “heaven.”   So along with their requests to visit with friends and friends of friends (I’m sorry, the house is being bug bombed that weekend), come misconceptions about what its really like to be in the Hamptons.   So, today I’m here to debunk the myths and misconceptions about life east of the canal.  Where is Quogue anyway?

It’s a movie you idiot!!!

1)  Myth:  If you’re nice to your boss maybe they’ll invite you to their beachfront property for the weekend.      

REALITY: Hello McFly, “Weekend at Bernie’s” is not real life!   You’re not that lucky, your boss isn’t going to invite you and he/she probably won’t die.   So,  even if you do somehow get an invite it’s going to be exhausting butt kissing and sucking up all weekend!   Your boss comes out here to get away… especially from you! It’s the truth.  If they liked you even a little they would have invited you already.    I don’t care if there was a “Weekend at Bernie’s 2” it’s just not going to happen!  In fact, if you bumped into them at the Golden Pear they’re going to pretend they never saw you before!  I experienced that one first hand from Harry C. years ago.  (I heard he now lives in Michigan and works as an assistant manager at Friendly’s, sometimes Karma works!)

2)  Myth: People come to the Hamptons to get mellow, relax and get away from it all.


REALITY: Wait I gotta catch my breath from this one!  MELLOW!!?? RELAX???! GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?     If you’ve ever been to The Palm on a Friday night in the summer you’ll know it isn’t true!  The overcrowded lobby where everyone dressed in designer duds is aggressive, pushy and jockeying the host stand as if they were starving and getting free government cheese (not as good as it sounds and not kind of bland tasting).   Not only that it’s networking central once you get inside the dining room.    In fact, I was there a few weeks ago with 3 friends and we didn’t even talk to each other.    They were talking business deals and I was working the room seeing who wanted to sell!     I always knew good things would come from the 837 Club!

3) Myth: There are palm trees in the Hamptons.


REALITY:  They don’t shoot “Revenge” in the Hamptons.    It’s shot in California or North Carolina or somewhere.    There are many beautiful trees on the east end, especially Scrub Oak (I’m trying to make them the new “it” thing and improve my property value).   Did I say how spectacular Scrub Oak are in the fall.  They’re beautiful in the summer too.  Boy I thing Scrub Oak are THE tree of the super wealthy and stylish.    Call me about seeing my house, it’s on the market.  By the way, whatever happened to Conrad Grayson?

4)  Myth:  The celebrities in the Hamptons at all of the benefits are refined and super glamorous! 

The only “Housewife” I want to meet!

REALITY: I have to quote Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., “you don’t have to be a star baby…. to be in our” benefit.   I have to blame Andy Cohn for this one.   Now, I love you Andy and I’m happy for your success but those housewives are a nightmare!    I am an addict to the History Channel so I’ve never actually watched a “Real Housewives” of anything.     I know plenty of real housewives and personally most of them really aren’t that interesting.   So why do I care about Ramona (who screams at waiters)… or Jill (who abuses real agents (moi) about “over priced” houses which I know she couldn’t afford anyway)?    Besides, you can’t fool me they’re nothing more than Snooky in Pucci dresses.    Classy!    Now, don’t get me wrong there are some real Hollywood type celebrities out here; Alec Baldwin, Kelsey Grammer, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Seinfeld and Christie Brinkley (who I swear uses a stylist to go to Yummylicious) that are well dressed and well behaved.   But lately I think they’re keeping a low profile on the benefit circuit.  I guess they heard that indicted NJ Housewife Teresa is coming to town.   Although personally, I think I’d kind of get along with that housewife.  I bet she’s been to Long Beach Island.

 

Date Night Advice in the Hamptons and the Best Burger!?

So a few years ago, I did a posting about how when it comes to dating, where you go can tell you a lot about the person.   It’s also a good guide to picking the right location for someone who is truly special.  Well as we all know, it’s always changing here on the East End with new restaurants and some of the old favorites.  So here is my updated 2012 dating guide for Hamptons restaurants.  This is more geared towards the ladies but guys, use it as a guide as well.   Perhaps you can make a better impression on your next blind date.

Restaurant: Nick and Toni’s , The Palm or East Hampton Grill

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 (N&T) onion rings (Palm) or buttermilk biscuits (EHG) 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 the bartenders or waitresses know them by first name, they’re generous and good tippers. 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.

Additional Advice: My advice hasn’t changed much since last time on these, avoid topics or conversations dealing with the following: ex-wives, alimony or investing with Bernie Madoff.  Notably missing from this list is the American Hotel which I think has truly earned it’s reputation as the wax museum of the Hamptons.   If you go on a date there, you’re probably double dating with someones parents and as Whoopi said in GHOST, “you’re in danger girl!”

Restaurant: Players Club & Agave (Bridgehampton)


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 Gwyneth’s or Sarah Jessica Parker’s forget it. If this is a first date, finish the evening and change your cell number. You can do better.  Besides, if it were in the city you know they’d be taking you to Scores or El Torito!

Additional Advice: 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.  You’re date is likely 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!

Additional Advice: 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.

Additional Advice: 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 or Murph’s Tavern

What does it say: People go to Cyril’s and Murph’s for one reason; to drink!  If someone actually takes you there on a date it could be they’re  fresh out of rehab or about to go! 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.”

Additional Advice: Avoid such topics as binge drinking, rehab, STD’s, sobriety or monogamy!  Also having the number for a cab service in speed dial will be really helpful!

If like last time,  today’s blog offends anyone.. I apologize, it was written with a sense of humor. But remember, there’s a little bit of truth in every jest!  Finally, a little poll…. Who has the best burger in the Hamptons.   I’ve asked a few folks and these five seem to be the frontrunners.    Remember to vote early and often!

 

Breaking News!!!! Della Femina sells to Hillstone Restaurant Group!

In news that is going to have all of the Hamptons a buzz… Jerry Della Femina has allegedly sold his East Hampton restaurant to the Hillstone Restaurant Group. In case you don’t know the group it’s the company behind the hugely successful HOUSTON’S restaurant group. The company recently changed their name to Hillstone’s in the Manhattan locations. I’m not sure what the name will be here in the Hamptons, but I assure you the food will be awesome. I have long been a fan of Houston’s/Hillstone in the city. Their salads, their steaks, their everything is fresh, a great portion size and at a great price. If I were The Palm, I would be very nervous right now. This will be the biggest restaurant on the east end this summer…. MARK MY WORDS! Look for an opening in early to mid May!

Just imagine Edward Everett Horton announcing; Friday Night Food Fever or Might I Munch at Midnight???

Yeah, Yeah, I know traffic sucked you didn’t have time to stop for dinner and you’re pulling into Southampton and you’re really really hungry. What to do?! Well, you can stop at BK or Mickey D’s but you’ll regret it later. Here’s my quick guide to what’s open til when along 27!

Roberts in Water Mill open til 10 pm. I love this place. My favorite dish is the Free-Range Organic” Chicken w/ Fresh Herbs & Gorgonzola Polenta for $32.00! A little more formal than Chef Robert Durkin’s Paradise in Sag Harbor with a warm in intimate atmosphere.

Almond is more casual and on Friday night is a little congested. If you’re comfortable in a Chelsea restaurant on Saturday night then you’ll be find here. Almond is open til Midnight on Fridays. My favorite thing on the menu is the Roast Chicken..it’s a classic! Yes, I order chicken most of the time! And as if nobody knew this… a single gal will meet plenty of single guys there but they’ll be better suited for a partner in “Name that Showtune” than partner in courtship. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

If you want something a little more casual, there’s Bobby Van’s and World Pie in Bridgehampton. Both are open til Midnight and have great bar tenders. So what do you eat at World Pie? Try the Escargo! NOT! It’s the pizza… Duh! As for Bobby Van’s, I suggest the Asian Chicken Salad! Now let’s keep driving down 27….

Ok, I’m getting tired of writing this so here is the rest of 27
Town Line BBQ – 11 pm – the best onion rings!
The Palm – 10:30 or 11ish.. depending
Rowdy Hall – 11pm

But wait… if you’re coming out REAALLY REALLY REALLY LATE… the new and IMPROVED GULF Station in Bridgehampton is my new favorite… hey it’s not BP right?! It has a wide selection of delicacies ranging  are these nut free???? from microwavable burritos to those rotating hot dogs! A big minus in the staffing department. I got a nasty attitude when I asked them about the house specialty. They also couldn’t answer if the premade sandwiches were OK for someone with a nut allergy. I’m sorry, I don’t always carry an Epi pen and need to be cautious with my car passengers!! Overall I give it a C.

3 quick benefits to tell you about! ANN LIGUORI FOUNDATION OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE DINNER DANCE AT DUCK WALK VINEYARDS, WATER MILL. Benefiting American Cancer Society and Healthy Children. The food is provided by OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE (Why they never opened in Southampton is still a mystery to me) Saturday 6:30-11:00 PM. DUCK WALK VINEYARDS. WATER MILL. (917)488-1412 innerview@aol.com.

also Saturday ROCK THE DOCK FOR BAY STREET! AT THE SUMMER GALA BENEFIT BASH at 6:30 PM. Joy Behar of The View and Mario Cantone of Sex and the City 2 are the hosts… I have my earplugs ready! It will be held at the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. Cocktails, Hors d’oeuvres, Sit-down Dinner, Dancing, Silent Auction events@baystreet.org or 631.725.0818 for info. baystreet.org.

Finally… HSN EVENTS FOR WEEKEND OF JULY 16, 2010

FRIDAY JULY 16, 2010
Hamptons Social Series At Lily Pond Benefiting The Help for Orphans International. Jill Zarin and R.Couri Hay invite you to the third installment of the Hamptons Social Series at Lily Pond to honor the Help for Orphans International on Friday, July 16th. Doors open at 9 p.m. with cocktails followed by a light buffet supper by Philippe at Lily Pond’s new garden patio and a portion of the proceeds from every check will go to Help for Orphans International . For reservations RSVP@hamptonssocialseries.com or visit Hamptonssocialseries.com. Lily Pond, 44 Three Mile Harbor, East Hampton.

SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2010
ANN LIGUORI FOUNDATION OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE DINNER DANCE AT DUCK WALK VINEYARDS, WATER MILL. Benefiting American Cancer Society and Healthy Children, Healthy Futures Romantic weekends away, local and worldwide golf course giveaways, Judith Ripka jewlery, and various sports memorabilia are some of the fabulous items up for auction at this event. It is a great opportunity to get amazing prizes and help a great cause. 6:30-11:00 PM. DUCK WALK VINEYARDS. WATER MILL. (917)488-1412 innerview@aol.com.

ROCK THE DOCK FOR BAY STREET! AT THE SUMMER GALA BENEFIT BASH at 6:30 PM. w/ HOSTS: Joy Behar of The View & Headline News & Mario Cantone of Sex and the City. The Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. Cocktails, Hors d’oeuvres, Sit-down Dinner, Dancing, Silent Auction & Live Music by DJ Tom Finn (“The King of Spin” – Avenue Magazine) and Escola de Samba BOOM! events@baystreet.org or 631.725.0818 for info. baystreet.org.

2nd Annual MARTININS FOR MUTTS! Sat 5 to 8 pm. Cocktails, entertainment, Raffle, Silent Auction at 214 Toppings Path in Sagaponack. A $40 minimum donation in advance or $50 AT the door. RSVP to Michelle@LCARF.org or visit lcarf.org for more info.