August 20, 2012
As a digital media mogul (think: involvement with DailyCandy, Thrillist, Vital Juice, and more), Andy Russell is naturally in-the-know for of-the-moment spots out East. This summer, Russell helped co-found and launch InsideHook, a free daily lifestyle email that curates local and national recommendations for men. Here, Russell provides a personal snapshot of his Hamptons favorites:
Favorite Restaurant - Beaumarchais (44 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton, 675-2400) has a south-of-France vibe to it—great food and right next door to SL East (44 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton, 627-1235). The whole room is warm and open, with a great bar area and a well-behaved but fun crowd.
Favorite Nightlife Spot - Nobu at The Capri (281 County Road, 39A Rte. 27, Southampton, 504-6575) on Friday nights.
Favorite Event of the Summer - Tough one. It’s a toss-up between the annual Love Heals Benefit, Apollo in the Hamptons held at the estate of Revlon's Ron Perelman, The Creeks with great performers every year, and the Hamptons magazine clambake.
Favorite Farm Stand - Round Swamp Farm (184 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton, 324-4438), Pike’s (Sagg Main Street, Sagaponack), and Comfort farm stand (791 Lumber Lane, Bridgehampton, 537-1374) for the strawberries!
Favorite Best-Kept Secret - Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack. First stop is The Sagaponack General Store (542 Sagg Main St., Sagaponack, 537-6036) to pick up sandwiches for the family and then right to the beach! Even though this beach is right in the middle of the Hamptons, Sagg Main feels a lot more low-key than most of the other beaches around. It’s great for an afternoon snooze, or catching up with a few friends (but not tout le monde!). Also like Ditch Plains beach in Montauk to watch some serious surfing...but it seems the word got out on that one recently.
August 17, 2012
Revive your East End dining space with this striking Card Chair Set ($7,000/set of 4) by Jimmie Martin. Chic enough for any Hamptons home, muted blue and white bring sophistication to the funky card stencils, while subtle studding along the frame and seat adds an updated twist to the chair’s classic structure. Even better, the card suits are sure to spark conversation and impromptu games of Rummy. Maison 24, 2424 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton, 537-2488
August 16, 2012
Creating a custom backyard is especially important in the Hamptons, where an abundance of time is spent outdoors relaxing, entertaining, and escaping. One renowned landscape/garden expert is Linda Ardigo, who utilizes elements of nature to enhance a backyard’s beauty. A satisfied East Hampton customer shares:
"I installed my pool and gardens almost 10 years ago, yet the backyard never felt finished. Despite the beautiful panoramic backdrop and cascading fountain, something was missing. I had seen Linda Ardigo's work at a friend's house and admired her creativity. After several meetings, Linda gave me great ideas on creating a sculpture garden, as well as an additional seating area surrounded by colorful seasonal plants. The end result is breathtaking. I enjoy my gardens both day and night—sometimes it’s hard to leave the serenity of my backyard."
-Stephen, East Hampton
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LENNY STUCKER
August 15, 2012
When I was 10 years old my grandmother died.
My grandmother Lucille (who owned the Wavecrest Resort in Montauk) passed away in October and instead of heading to Montauk (the only place we EVER spent our summers), my parents shifted gears and announced that we were now going to a place called Westhampton.
In an attempt to distract themselves, my parents tried to start new rituals for my sister and I. And while most of the places felt like shiny new shoes (in the wrong size), that we desperately were trying to fit onto our feet, we did find one spot that became a homey ritual of warmth, great food, and laughs. It was a small gourmet food store called The Barefoot Contessa.
I remember loving the place early on: how pretty it was, how good it smelled, the line outside to get in, and once in the store, how privileged we all felt. I think I loved the place most because we were all happy there. It became a ritual—one we needed that summer.
Last summer, I found myself in Montauk doing a party for one of my favorite clients.
The day and party could not be more perfect or beautiful. My clients were all smiles. I was working in a kitchen that one only dreams about with panoramic ocean views.
But my gaze was interrupted by another vision. Wait really, could it be?! Is that Ina?! Is that Ina Garten? Is that Jeffery? IT WAS!
My creative director Fabio came running in at the exact same time I saw her: “Marie, Marie, she is here! The Fontessa.” He’s Brazilian; I guess Barefoot and Contessa get a little gargled, and yes, he calls me Marie.
Wow…wait was she really eating our food? Was it good? Did we salt well? Did we over salt? Was it too hot or too cold?
“Mary, I would like you to meet someone,” my favorite client announced as he entered the kitchen.
There she was, Ina, the Fontessa. The Contessa.
I was a blubbering, non-brain-to-mouth connected fool. I smiled, gushed, spoke sentences that made no sense and all. All I remember was she was as wonderful and kind as you would imagine she would be.
She asked ME (!) for my business card, introduced me to Jeffrey (!!), and said a kind and warm goodbye.
A FEW WEEKS LATER Hurricane Irene hit the Hudson Valley. My fellow neighbors were unprepared, shocked, devastated, and their lives were turned upside down. There was nothing to do but pitch in and help with the clean up.
In one of the yards, I found a small tin box. It was a recipe box—I am a sucker for an old-fashioned recipe box and especially one with handwritten cards. I grabbed this box and took it to the owner with pride. I said, “I think we can save this if we put it in the sunlight and let it dry.” A warm smile came over this woman who had lost everything. She said, “That would be wonderful. These recipes were my mother’s and my daughter works in television and food, so I’d love to give this to her.” Well then this MUST be saved, I agreed.
ONE MONTH LATER I receive a call from a producer from Ina’s show. Ina wanted me to come on her show The Barefoot Contessa. She wanted me to cook with her. ME?!
TWO MONTHS LATER I find myself arriving at Ina’s house for my dream day come true.
It was raining heavily when we arrived at Ina’s, and a beautiful, delightful woman greeted me at the door. I think she sensed I was nervous, so instead of going back to her emails and the important things she needed to do as the producer of the show, she spoke to me, calmed me with kindness, and asked me questions.
"Do you live out here?"
"No, I live in NYC, my folks have a home in Montauk, but my husband and I have a home in Woodstock."
"My mother lives in Phoenicia," she says.
"Oh wow! How did she do in the Hurricane?" I ask.
"Not well," she replies. "Her home was devastated; they had water up to the second floor."
Water, flood, Phoenicia, second floor, tin recipe box, wet handwritten cards, “my daughter works in television and food.”
Goosebumps go up and down my entire body. Time stops for a second. My eyes widen, and I say, “I think I may know your mom.”
I begin to tell her my story and we realize that it was her mother’s house and her mother’s backyard in which my husband and I first set down our shovels that day. And now here we are, connecting in The Barefoot Contessa’s kitchen.
The day went on. Ina was as beautiful, warm and as incredibly impressive as you would imagine. Whatever draws you to watch her show or buy her books, multiply that by a thousand and that is what the day was like. She calmed my shaking hands that were trying to make grilled cheese. Just being next to her inspired me to be the best at what I do.
The whole experience taught me that sometimes we are exactly where we are supposed to be and every moment in life is a gift. Oh, and also that karma sure is a boomerang.
Mary and her husband Ryan launched marygiuliani.com in 2005, based on their shared love of entertaining, food, and hospitality. The figurehead of the company, Mary creates parties and mingles with the absolute crème de la crème of the Hollywood and fashion scenes. Her clients look to her to break the traditions of entertaining norms and to provide them with party ideas that are one of a kind, out of the box, playful experiences.
Her schedule is jam packed from morning to night when she’s on the party circuit. Mary is the exclusive caterer for J. CREW, Madewell, and Christie’s. Her client roster includes: The Rolling Stones, Bradley Cooper, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Portman, Sephora, Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., Stella McCartney, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, and many more. In 2011, Mary executed 27 events in one evening across Manhattan for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night out and her company produces over 600 events a year. Biz Bash also honored her as “Caterer of the Year” in 2011. Follow Mary on Twitter: @mary_giuliani
August 14, 2012
Richie Notar—the hospitality mogul whose partner position at Nobu means he plays a huge part in the brand’s Southampton outpost at The Capri—naturally knows some of the best spots in the Hamptons. But Notar’s East End experience isn’t just about dining and nightlife. Read on for a glimpse into his favorite farmer’s markets, why he appreciates the area's art, his best-kept secret, and more.
Favorite Restaurant - Nobu at Capri (281 County Road 39A Rte. 27, Southampton, 504-6575) because it’s my baby and always great, and Tutto Il Giorno (6 Bay St., Sag Harbor, 725-7009) because I always crave Italian food and I love sitting in the garden.
Favorite Nightlife Spot - The summer is about outdoors day or night, and the casual vibe at The Bathing Club at Capri (281 County Road 39A Rte. 27, Southampton, 504-6575) is sophisticated and fun.
Favorite Event of the Summer - All of the art gatherings and anything Jason Binn. I appreciate the history here in the art world—I continue to be inspired by the art shows and exhibits. And Jason always has exciting gatherings with great people and fun.
Favorite Farm Stand - I love all the farm stands in the East End, but EECO Farm (55 Long Lane, East Hampton, 329-4694) is one of the best, and Iacono Farm (106 Long Lane, East Hampton, 324-1107) is right across the road for the best chicken you can buy. Makes me want to go home and cook every time.
Favorite Place to Shop - The farmers market at Nick and Toni’s (136 North Main St., East Hampton, 324-3550) and Williams-Sonoma (2044 Montauk Hwy. Ste. 49, Bridgehampton, 537-3040). I love supporting the local markets and being in front of one of the best restaurants in the Hamptons. Buying fresh ingredients is a buzz.
Favorite Best-Kept Secret - Walking the dunes in Napeague—I have been going for 30 years, and once camped out on the beach there in a tent when I couldn’t find a hotel room.