Five Faux Pas of 2011…. or the Scratchiest Head Scratchers of the Year!

Well to every ying, there needs to be a yang… for every Batman there needs to be a Joker…for every East Hampton Patch there is a Hamptons Chatter and for every U2 there needs to be a Justin Bieber. In other words, you have to learn to take the good with the bad. So in response to the good stuff that we had out east last year, there were some less than stellar moments in the Hamptons. So starting with number 5 and going to number 1, I’m counting down the biggest mistakes in the Hamptons, 2011!

#5 The Empty Red Horse Market in East Hampton – What a waste to let a prime piece of Hamptons real estate sit for over a year totally vacant. It was last fall when Tutto Italiano shuttered its doors in this prime location only to leave shop owners in the center collecting cob webs on their registers. Well the only reason this isn’t number one is because it looks as if they finally have a new tenant there. Prime Meats, formerly of the over cooked and newly scorched Hamptons Market (personally I like uncharred non-burnt markets) moving into the new location along with Gurney’s Bakery, a bread shop and a cheese vendor. Although, I heard it’s the former Pasquale of Tutto Italiano as far as I know that is an unconfirmed. Let’s hope they can stand the challenge if that Whole Foods really goes in the old Plitt Ford as rumored.

#4 The Carvel Drive Thru Window – Now, I love my soft serve and Cookie Puss Cakes as much as the next guy but I’m willing to park my Mercedees before I make a dash for a vanilla cone with sprinkles. Hey, it would have been ok if you called even! I mean, it’s in the store and it’s not melting yet, so relax. In all seriousness, luckily nobody was hurt in this race for the cone. But don’t you think Carvel should have just left it that way?!

#3 Rugosa – Ok, I checked in there once in 2010 and I was the “MAYOR” on Foursquare til the day they closed. Ok, so you’re telling me I’m the only one who ate there!? I know, it looked like it. The food wasn’t bad but the menu there was virtually impossible. While I don’t know who owned Rugosa, I have to ask did they really think there was a big demand in the summer for “squab in plum sauce?” But even if you found something you could eat on the menu, while the food was actually pretty good the service was enough to make you beg for a scrap of bread or a “Hungry Man” tv dinner. So essentially 2011 was a mistake.

#2 LIPA’s Hurricane Irene Recovery Plan – Ummmmm yeah, they’ll be there to fix uh… the.. um.. what do you call it.. the uh…the power lines….ummmm… sometime between… ummmmmm… uh… later today and next Saturday at 5pm! It was like they were getting their customer service playbook from Cablevision. But what LIPA screwed up this past year has been a boom for contractors on the east end. HOW? I have never met more people installing generators than I have in the past 3 months.

#1 THE MTK Festival or Music to Know – Ok guys, first mistake was did you ever look into how much it costs to rent a house or hotel room in the Hamptons during August?! Second, where were all these sort of Woodstockers going to sleep… pitch a tent on some lawn on Gin Lane? Third, the people who actually like Vampire Weekend for example (although I do but I’m very cool for my age) are probably working at the restaurants and stores in August and they can’t take off because it’s busy! DUH! My suggestion, skip the music to know and give me music I already know. I would have paid to see The GO-GO’s, The Pretenders or Duran Duran… or even Neil Diamond for G-d’s sake. But that’s just me and most of the 40 something friends I know. I’m forever stuck in the 80’s and the rest are too tired learn anything new.

How to de-haunt your house… some restaurant obits.. and Bieberfever to hit the Hamptons?

I don’t know what to say, I’m so annoyed at myself for neglecting my little blog. At one point I was getting about 300 to 400 hits a day but alas, I took a few weeks off due to a cold, exhaustion and creative drain. You don’t think this blog just writes itself do you??! So how can I make it up to you? I’m not sure but here it goes.

Sad news… very sad news….one of East Hamptons favorite spots Turtle Crossing is no more! But more on that in a minute… also sad… La Fondita, the best Mexican food in the Hamptons will soon be closed for the season. What’s worse is they won’t be selling their amazing tortilla soup and tacos at Town Line BBQ this winter!! Two years ago it was great to go to town line and have your choice from either menu. I’m sad. I will say that Estia in Sag Harbor actually has some pretty good Mexican options on their menu if you’re going into withdrawal. The tacos and the home made chips and guacamole could hold their own at any cantina in the city!

Now, Back to restaurants closing, according to their facebook page “Turtle Crossing” in East Hampton has shuttered their doors for good. Sad news! They’ve entered the zone of restaurants past along with … here’s a shocker… RUGOSA! What there wasn’t a demand for “roast pheasant in plumb sauce” in the Hamptons!?” We all knew Rugosa’s location there is a little jinxed or at least haunted. And speaking of…

So, this may be a day late and a dollar short but a website called is offering some tips on how to keep your house from being haunted! What are some of their ideas? Nail a horseshoe over the front door! WHAT?!!! HAVE THESE PEOPLE EVER SEEN A ROADRUNNER CARTOON!? Horsehoes are deadly! How about a nice MEZEZUAH instead? Yep, that’s one of their suggestions too. Along with painting the porch “Haint” blue, because it resembles water and ghosts are apparently afraid of water. Hmmmm… ok.

Also, make sure your stairs don’t have a number that is divisible by 3! This is of course the Filipino tradition of “Oro, Platta, Mata.” Of course we knew about that already. Divide by three? I’d be better at calculating 3% or 6% for that matter (realtor humor)! Anyway, if you want to read more… go the website and check it out and click in the blogs section. By the way, I hear Murph’s in Sag Harbor is allegedly haunted. I don’t think they need to paint the porch blue if they want to get rid of the ghouls in that place, they just need to raise the prices!!!

Finally, is it true or not? A broker friend of mine allegedy got a call from some guy who says he works for Justin Bieber. Apparently the Biebster is looking to find a house in the Hamptons. Fashon trend alert, tupperware bowl cuts for everyone!!! Oh the humanity!

Welcome to Hell Hamptons and a weeks worth of blogging!!!

Yeah, I was busy last week and it took me some time before I could take some pen to the page I’m still in recovery between work and the events south of the highway LAST WEEK, and north of the highway too. Heavy rains and high winds knocked down trees, downed power lines and overflowed ponds from Montauk to Quogue. A friend sent me this picture from Sagaponack where a tree got it’s revenge and cut power to some folks in the area. It was horrendous! The high tech phones… the Wolf stoves.. the Tivo’s…. the radiant heated floors were all kaput!! In fact, some home owners were trapped like a group of Iranian hostages behind the gates of their homes that wouldn’t work because, they’re electric!!! Thank goodness for 911, they were throwing pate and cashmere blankets to all of those south of the highway families in need!!!

In a similar vein, the New York Post has scooped Hamptons Chatter yet again! Apparently writer and the east end’s own Mr. Ripley Steven Gaines has joined forces with the Post to label the east end a “third world country!” Said the article “Bentley – and Mercedes Benz-driving Hamptonites are suffering blowouts and bent rims because of huge potholes on Route 27.” Wow, it sounds like a Roland Emmerich movie!!! 2010! Maybe we can also get a great special effects shot of an expensive mansion falling into the sea!? Wait, I forgot no effects needed we can just shoot that happening to Estee Lauder heir Ron Lauder’s house as we speak!

Finally… restaurant week came and went. I tried Rugosa for the first time in about a year. The menu is a little better…. the food is pretty good but they need to hire bus boys! The wait staff was sweating bullets on Friday night trying to wait on tables and clean them at the same time. I don’t care how good the food is if the experience sucks I won’t go back. SWEATING AND PANTING WAITERS AND WAITRESSES IS NOT A GOOD EXPERIENCE!

New American cuisine.. and the New American Economy… friendly high end retailers!!! Yeah, I know I’m late.

Well first on my list today is that RUGOSA is now open!! Located at the site of the old  ALMONDCELLO an ALMONDITTO. Chef Bill Mammes has created a truly inspired menu. All of your favorite dishes with a destinctive East End flair.   While I only got to try a few of the dishes, I arrived for the opening night party a little late.. although I did show up early on Sunday… the party was on Tuesday.   Anyway what I did have was really impressive. If memory serves me right an awesome “carrot with ginger soup and mussles.” Also, a salt cod, I hate cod but it was was pretty terrific. Served with potato and grilled asparagus. Finally the ceviche, I didn’t get a chance to try it but Ben from the East Hampton Independent said a big thumbs up. Congrats to chef  Bill Mammes formerly of The Maidstone Club and general manager and  my budette Chimene Visser.   The interior by the way has been totally redone since Almoncello and it’s stunning (see above).

So I discovered that high end real estate is really a lot like high end retail. Some brokers are forcing themselves to be a lot nicer to both customers and other agents but the prices ain’t coming down!!! The following is a real conversation with “L” from HERMES in East Hampton. She was absolutly lovely and nice… I’m sure she’s now laughing with all of her co-workers at me.

Me: Hi, L. .. a friend of mine said you’re having a huge like 40% off sale. Is that true?

L: (giggiling) No,we en’t having a sale. (but very nice)


Me: Is ANYTHING on sale?!


L: No, we usually don’t have sales here.


Me: What about an outlet shop… do you have one in Riverhead at Tangier?


L: (totally serious) No we don’t have any outlet shops.


Me: Bummer. Thank you L.

L:  You’re welcome.. thanks for calling HERMES!

Ugh, it would have been so much funnier if she were nasty!!

L: (A very nice thank you) Thank you for calling Hermes.

TORY BURCH: After going through a myriad of voice mail options, no human beings were answering the phone. IRONY!?