June 29, 2012
FROM LEFT: Made-to-order sangria, margarita, and apricot smash at Townline BBQ
Who needs a fussy, foamy bespoke cocktail when you can sip a fresh lime margarita or apricot and mint whisky cooler from a Mason jar? You’ll find all that and more at Townline BBQ, where a Monday through Thursday happy hour (4–7 PM) promises signature Southern cocktails for as much or less than a venti latte. Weighing in at a full pint, favorite drinks include the aforementioned margarita and apricot smash, as well as made-to-order sangria, Texas tea, and the cucumber cooler. Do not miss the apricot smash, which packs fresh apricot purée, mint, lemon juice, and rye whisky. It's the perfect sunset cocktail. And, conveniently, Townline has a cozy back porch for your sunset viewing pleasure.
Equally tempting, the Texas tea mixes passion fruit-peppermint tea with lemon juice, organic agave, and rye whisky. The margarita is simple and refreshing with tequila blanco, fresh lime juice, and triple sec—no syrupy sour mix whatsoever. For your fill of fruits and fruits and veggies, the cucumber cooler has plenty of cucumber and mint (mixed with a healthy amount of gin) and the red wine sangria bobs with oranges and lemons. Bar snacks are served during the first three hours of the happy hour. Choose from warm pretzels with mustard, Townline wings, hush puppies with chipotle mayo, and chili-cheese nachos. 3593 Townline Road, Sagaponack, 537-2271
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATHY YL CHAN
June 28, 2012
Serving Puerto Rican fusion in a colorful former Greek diner that now feels more like a Miami café, La Bodega is downtown Montauk’s newest casual dining option.
Opened by local partners Paulette Davis (who winters in Puerto Rico) and former town board member Julia Prince, together with Jose Rodriguez, the restaurant serves breakfast all day, as well as lunch and dinner.
The lengthy menu includes diner classics like a granola bowl and a turkey club, plus more Latin-inspired dishes. Try the avocado toast, which combines cool avocado with buttered Los Cidrines toast, chile flakes, and honey or the Bodega Dog, made with two beef hot dogs, sweet red onions, pickles, and special jalapeño sauce.
Ultra-refreshing yet decadent shakes include the signature Soy So Happy, made with soy milk, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and peanut butter and the Orange Julius, which has a creamsicle flavor with vanilla ice cream, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and whipped cream.
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a nice, cold (alcoholic) beverage with your lunch, you won’t be disappointed. La Bodega recently received a full liquor license. 752 Montauk Highway, Montauk, 668-8338
June 28, 2012
The Big O at Muse in the Harbor
Whether you want to lie back on the couches in the indoor lounge or party on the patio, Muse in the Harbor offers some interesting libations to quench your thirst.
Chef and owner Matthew Guiffrida enjoys experimentation behind the bar as much as he does in the kitchen. Expect to find interesting house-made vodka infusions, such as fresh pineapple mango with rosemary that Guiffrida infuses for three full weeks. Composed cocktails are equally creative and also focus on vodka.
Guiffrida’s Big O, his version of a vodka Greyhound, mixes Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, cilantro, and prosecco. Considerably more decadent is the Peaches & Cream, a blend of Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka, Cîroc Peach Vodka, and orange juice—with a whipped cream topper.
If you are looking for something to really tickle your palate, the Basil Raspberry Beret has fresh basil, Finlandia Raspberry Vodka, a maraschino and Champagne Floater, and a bit of cranberry juice. 16 Main St., Sag Harbor, 899-4810
June 26, 2012
“Through struggle comes a lot of yummy—a lot of deliciousness,” said Marcus Samuelsson of putting his life story onto paper for his new memoir, Yes, Chef. Born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and catapulted into chef stardom in New York, Samuelsson’s journey is a page-turner. At age three, he left his birthplace of Ethiopia, where his mother had recently died of tuberculosis, a disease he also had and overcame, to live with an adoptive Swedish family. At age 16, charged with culinary inspiration from his grandmother Helga’s kitchen, he set his sights on becoming a chef. At age 24, after landing in New York and taking over the kitchen at Aquavit, he was awarded a three-star rating from then New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl. Today, he’s the chef and restaurateur behind Harlem’s Red Rooster and a newly minted author embarking on a cross-country book tour. First stop: the Hamptons. In advance of a celebratory book dinner at Solé East this Saturday, we spoke with Samuelsson about writing, cooking, and the East End.
What time period of your life does the book cover?
MARCUS SAMUELSSON: My whole life, from when I was born to where I am today; coming from Ethiopia to being raised in Sweden to having the opportunity to cook at the White House to opening Red Rooster in Harlem.
You had a very diverse upbringing—born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden. What about that most inspires you as a chef today?
MS: The fact that we cooked together as a family. My grandmother’s house was almost like a little factory—you have to pickle, you have to preserve. She taught me how to butcher a chicken, how to clean a cod. We were a mixed family: my cousins are Korean, my aunt is Jewish, my parents are white, I’m black. So our dinner table was also preparation for the world. The meatballs that I did when I was eight are the same meatballs I do now at Rooster.
When did you find the time to write this book and how long did it take?
MS: I’m a chef first so I had to write it when I could, and then in the middle of that I had to open Red Rooster, which was a big commitment. It was good to write a little bit and put it down, write a little bit and put it down. Life happens, right? I got married in between, I found my biological father. It wasn’t just sitting down and writing. It was reflecting on all of this and adding to it in a compelling way.
How often do you go out to the Hamptons?
MS: A couple of times a summer. I love it. It’s nice to be close to the water. I always do Chefs and Champagne with the James Beard Foundation.
What do you get up to in your free time out East?
MS: I love going to antique shops—I love vintage—and maybe going out for lobster rolls on the way to Montauk. I also like to grill, run on the beach, go to the wineries, and pick up fresh strawberries and corn.
What do you have planned for this Saturday’s dinner at Solé East?
MS: A four-course menu that is based on Sweden and New York, with some nice African touches. It’s our first tasting event, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.
To purchase tickets for Marcus Samuelsson’s book release dinner at The Backyard Restaurant at Solé East on Saturday, June 30, email email@example.com
June 26, 2012
Home to the legendary $75 per pound lobster salad (light, barely dressed, and tossed with capers and dill), Loaves & Fishes Gourmet Takeout is an East End institution. In addition to deli cases stocked with ripe cheeses, tuna niçoise, gorgeous deviled eggs, and an array of picnic perfect prepared dishes, the small shop brims with just-baked pastries, pies, and breads.
Follow your nose and look to the right as you enter. There you'll find fresh croissants cooling off in the open window separating kitchen and storefront. Buttery and golden, with countless flaky layers, these croissants demand to be devoured on the spot. Next, focus your attention on shelves of fresh bread and the cake counter, where there’s usually a fragrant fresh strawberry and buttercream cake. There are also moist, dark chocolate cakes, if strawberry isn’t your thing. And behind the register there’s a frozen Key lime pie that’ll knock your socks off.
Headed to a party? Pick up the best summer hostess gift of all: A trio of glossy apricot, plum, and peach tartlets. For your upcoming Fourth of July festivities, go for the patriotic blueberry-strawberry fruit crumble. Top with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have red, white, and blue dessert perfection. 50 Sagg Main Road, Sagaponack, 537-0555
—KATHY YL CHAN