Sad news…. apparently the gang behind Sag Harbor Baking Company kneeded a break and have closed up shop. The confectionary establishment which was a favorite with locals for the past few seasons closed last fall and apparently decided not to reopen. But the news isn’t all bad. Going into it’s place at 51 Division Street will be a new gourmet chicken cafe called “Lil’Birdie.” Featuring brined 24 hour fried or rotisserie chickens along with sandwiches, side salads and a promising menu of fries this could be just want this village needs. They currently have their menu online but I haven’t receieved any information yet on opening day. I’ll keep you guys informed.
Meanwhile, if you didn’t try it last year you need to go this summer and try V-Cafe located at 172 Buckskill Rd. in East Hampton. Operating out of the former snack stand at Hampton Raquet the cafe orders a limited but perfect array of Vietnamese goodies. The chicken and shrimp summer rolls are my personal favorites. You can order to go or actually dine by the courts. This may also be the best deal in town with salads starting at $8 and chicken and steak satay’s going for $10. While they don’t have a liquor license, feel free to bring your own favorite wine or beer! Open every day from 10 am to 8pm (except Sunday till 3p) the V-Cafe should be on the must list for Summer 2021! You can find them online or give them a call at 347-217-0944.
Shrimp Summer Rolls…. Perfect for a light summer bite!!
East Hampton’s great white whale of a restaurant—whatever that means—Moby’s just opened for their eighth season on Wednesday. After a fire last month the Italian and wood-fired pizza joint, and market, has returned to its circa 1880 home at 341 Pantigo Road between East Hampton and Amagansett. Apparently they took my advice (see my previous blog) and are operating primarily out of their backyard tents (which are really awesome). They have good food to-go and outdoor and patio dining with a toasty fire that I just love, as well as bottled cocktails and wine. Check them out for dinner Wednesday–Sunday. It’s fun and worth the visit.
One, apparently, is no longer the loneliest number, at least not in East Hampton! I recently received an email asking for coverage of “one,” a new retail concept opening this weekend at, you guessed it, ONE Main Street.
This is no one-of-the-mill store. Located in the building, formerly occupied by Elie Tahari, one was conceived as “an open-ended space for brand, artist, designer and artisan pop-ups” under a single curated umbrella. The 5,000-square-foot marketplace is spread out across two floors (and 2,000-square-foot basement with VIP salon) and features more than 70 fashion, design and jewelry brands, various home goods, contemporary art, indie magazines, art books and other treasures from around the world. As the name suggests, one is basically a one-stop shop for chic Hamptonites, especially anyone who might be in the process of dressing up a new home or looking for a fab summer wardrobe, complete with sparkly accessories.
And along with what sounds like a satisfying experience for even the most prolific spender, one is planning a variety of special events, including artist talks, book signings, trunk shows and capsule collections throughout the summer. It’s all about the bringing back the joy and pleasure of IRL shopping in the age of Amazon and online retailers. And let’s face it—after the last year of forced virtual commerce, we could all use some time browsing and buying physical items in person at a brick-and-mortar location.
Back in the day I would get excited about going to clubs and hearing the latest music but not anymore. Instead of getting psyched for fresh beats I now get excited by fresh BEETS! Ha. Sorry. Hamptons foodies rejoice! Farmers markets are back, or coming back, this summer. With markets up and down the South Fork, we’ll have no shortage of fresh produce and locally sourced goodies until the leaves change. I, for one, cannot wait to dig into the many organic and artisanal delights, like local honey, gourmet mushrooms, fresh pies and heaps of fruits and veggies.
Navigating all that’s out there can be challenging, so I’ve put together this handy list of markets along the South Fork, from Montauk to Westhampton Beach.
Montauk Farmers Market New vendors and returning favorites will convene on Village Green (743 Montauk Highway) every Thursday from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. starting June 3. The day switches to Fridays on September 17 and will continue with the same hours every Friday through November 19. Covid rules remain in effect, including masks, social distancing and one-way aisles.
East Hampton Farmers Market This local favorite returns on Fridays at its new Herrick Park location starting May 28 and will continue every Friday from 9 a.m.–2 p.m., rain or shine, through December 12. The Sunday market is already underway at Herrick Park, but the final day is slated for May 30, following the return of Fridays. You’ll find something for every taste, including your dogs.
Look for: Arlotta Foods, Artisan Knives by Gary Parker, Balsam Farms, Blue Duck Bakery, The Complete Burger, The Cookery: Cyn & Trudy, East End Apiaries, Eli’s Bread, Finn’s Smoked Fish Dip, Hamptons Barkery, Hamptons Sourdough, The Hampton Grocer, The Heavenly Hive, Island End Farms, Knot of This World Pretzels, L’Acquolina Pasta, Manna Sauces, Mecox Bay Dairy, Montauk Scallop Co., Open Minded Organics, Papa Pasquale Italian Specialties, Peck’s of Maine, The Perfect Pickle, Regina’s Farmstand, Rena’s Dream Patties, Sand & Soil Farm, Sang Lee Organic Farm, Sharp Cat Knife Sharpening, Solemate Cakes, South Fork Bakery, Terra Nut, The Ferm, The Tumeric Store, Tulo’s Milk, Wickham’s Fruit Farm and Wolffer Estate Vineyards. Personal fave…. The Cookery with Cyn and Trudy! They have amazing fruit tarts, breads and pies!
Sag Harbor Farmers Market
Kicking off next Saturday, May 22 and continuing every Saturday on the corner of Bay and Burke streets from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. through Halloween, the Sag Harbor Farmers Market has all the requisite fresh foods, produce and local products from a long list of vendors. You might even spot a celebrity or two.
Amagansett Farmers Market / Amber Waves Farm and CSA Operating on land conserved by the Peconic Land Trust in 2008, Amber Waves Farm focuses on their effort to unite food and community “with the mission to provide rich educational opportunities in agriculture for aspiring growers, thoughtful cooks and eaters of all ages.” Visit seven days per week to find fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits and herbs, among other goodies, from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. at 367 Main Street. And ask about their CSA program if you want to go full-on crunchy granola.
Westhampton Beach Farmers Market Open Saturdays from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Village Green (Main Street and Beach Lane), the Westhampton Beach Chamber of Commerce’s market hosts over 60 vendors, growers and producers offering locally grown, caught made items such as breads, fruits and vegetables, herbs, honey, local wine, pickles, mushrooms, Greek yogurt, shellfish, ravioli, fudge, cheese, cakes and pies, eggs, fish, flowers, sauces, spice rubs, chicken, gourmet items and much more.
Go to one or go to them all! This is Hamptons living done right.
Local real estate is still on fire, according to the Hamptons Q1 Douglas Elliman Report released by Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants earlier this week. Bottom line: If you think you’ll find a bargain in the Hamptons—think again. Most likely sparked by the ongoing pandemic buying spree and coming summer season, the market pace is not slowing, sales volume is heavy and inventory limited.
Listing inventory shrunk at its fastest rate in more than 13 years of tracking, and year-over-year sales surged for the third straight quarter to the largest Q1 total in six years. The median sales price hit $1.3 million, rising sharply from $990,000 in Q1 2020, and increasing for the fifth consecutive quarter year over year. While sales surged market-wide, hitting 509 closings as compared to 343 in Q1 2020, activity on the $1 million–$5 million range nearly doubled, skewing the average sales price lower. Listing inventory for the luxury market rose significantly in contrast with the remainder of the market, which declined.
Now might be a great time to sell, but you risk not getting back in, at least not right away.
A Boat Without a Dock
If you thought the housing market was tough… It’s actually harder to find a boat and dockage right now. Getting a slip is never easy as the seasonal throngs make their pilgrimage east and prepare for a summer on the water, especially if you’re seeking a transient spot or accommodating a large vessel.
Star Island in Montauk is basically full for the summer, whether you’ve got a 20-foot Bertram or a multi-million-dollar 100-footer, but overnights are still possible on a “hit-and-miss” basis. For less-fancy folk, Montauk Marine Basin actually has some open slips, but don’t expect to find a lot of popped collars and sweater-over-the-shoulder types among these local fishermen and salty sea dogs.
In fact I’ve been told by a boathing buddy that Strong’s Marine, with multiple locations around the East End, has limitied inventory. I also found out that Mill Creek in Noyac only has dry storage, though they’ll drop your boat in the water after you call, if you don’t mind waiting.
In East Hampton, Seacoast Enterprises Associates (SEA)—owners of Three Mile Harbor, Halsey’s, Gardiner’s and Harbor marinas say they’re “uber busy across all four marinas.” SEA’s business has been ramping up since Covid hit and two other local marinas sold, adding to the already healthy annual demand.
What does it all mean? If you’re only just beginning your necessary searches to live the East End boating life, and you want to hobnob with the yachting elite, you may have to settle for a kayak or a 3 hour tour (which I strongly suggest you pack a steamer trunk because you never know). Clearly, summer 2021 is all about planning. Nothing is going to be easy without some forethought.