June 22, 2012
East Enders looking for an easy way to spice up a meal will find it in the form of Salvation Seasonings from Calverton’s Peconic River Herb Farm. “We make them from certified organic dried herbs and spices,” says owner Cristina Spindler, whose summer dishes frequently feature the Chile Lime Zap! seasoning. With equal parts crushed red pepper flakes, lime peel, and sea salt, “it’s great on roasted and grilled vegetables, and also wonderful on fish,” she says.
Her other favorites for grilling include the Habanero Hot Sauce, “made with habanero peppers that we grow ourselves,” says Spindler. “It’s a really nice seasoning sauce for grilling because it mixes well with fruit juices if you want to make a marinade.” For a sweet treat, she likes the Toast Topper, “which is granulated maple syrup with cinnamon, orange peel, and brown sugar— great for grilled fruits like peaches and apples.” 2749 River Road, Calverton, 369-0058
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SVETLANA KOLPAKOVA/GETTY IMAGES
June 21, 2012
The Bell & Anchor
From David Loewenberg and Sam McCleland, the powerhouse team behind The Beacon, The Bell & Anchor is Sag Harbor’s newest hot spot. The waterfront venue, decorated by David’s wife Sarah, is elegantly masculine, with plank flooring, sturdy wooden tables, maritime accents, and cozy lighting perfect for canoodling over a romantic dinner. Executive chef McCleland’s surf and turf menu includes a full raw bar with shellfish plateaus, creative small plates, salads, and signature seafood entrées.
Raw oyster and clam plate
Appetizers and salads include salt cod brandade; smoked duck tacos with spicy hoisin jam; baked oysters with lump crabmeat and citrus beurre blanc; and chickpea salad with grilled octopus, preserved lemon, and arugula. Lobster comes in multiple persuasions: lobster cobb salad; “old-school” lobster mafaldine with corn, basil, and saffron cream; and lobster thermidor baked with mustard, Cognac, and Gruyère. For dessert, try the classic float with an anchor-shaped cookie or the rich brownie with coffee ice cream.
Full-time East End residents and homeowners will be happy to hear that the restaurant, which serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday, beginning at 5:30 PM, will be open year-round. 3253 Noyac Road, Sag Harbor, 631-725-3400
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TARA BERKOSKI (OYSTERS)
June 20, 2012
Hamptons vineyards have a unique grape-growing advantage: their proximity to the ocean allows for richer soil that holds water better—that’s according to winemaker Roman Roth of Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Roth describes East End wines as being “more elegant” on account of this fact.
With his gorgeous reds, Roth proves that you don’t have to go to Napa for a good pinot noir. He also grows chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc on his 50 acres of vineyards, where he makes interesting blends of reds and rosés.
In addition to Wölffer, there are two other Hamptons vineyards that reap the benefits of their marine surroundings, Channing Daughters Winery (Bridgehampton) and Duckwalk Vineyards (Water Mill). And the wines these vineyards produce couldn’t be more distinct from one to the next.
Duckwalk Vineyards has a winery in Southold in addition to its Water Mill location. While the Southold winery attracts more serious oenophiles, its Water Mill sister reels in tasters who just want to relax with a glass of chardonnay. With more than 20 wines, the Southampton White, a blend of cayuga and chardonnay that’s often compared to to Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, is Duckwalk’s fan favorite. The beachy, vintage label doesn’t hurt, either.
At Channing Daughters, partner and winemaker Christopher Tracy leads wine education, with a focus on conducting wine appreciation and knowledge classes for small groups. The wine selection is quite unusual, ranging from clones, a blend of 10 different chardonnay clones, to mosaic, a blend of six different white grapes that Tracy calls, “the expression of the Hamptons wine trail.”
June 19, 2012
With locations in Southampton and Southold (and a third opening soon in Riverhead) and a wholesale client list that includes restaurants such as Almond, Nick and Toni's, and Navy Beach, Blue Duck Bakery is the ultimate Hamptons go-to for artisan bread.
Bypass the cookies, skip the brownies and cakes, and focus on the bread; this is where Blue Duck shines. Rather than soft sandwich breads, here you’ll find crusty loaves with deep scores and tender crumbs—think Parisian, not American. (You buy the bread today, you eat the bread today. No breadbox necessary.) Over 25 different types of bread are baked daily at Blue Duck's Southold location, including the classic French baguette, ciabatta, and yeasty, golden brown Pugliese loaves.
The rye breads are especially notable, namely the Finnish-style sour rye, a sauerkraut rye, and even a pumpernickel rye. For a classic, everyday bread, go for the multigrain baguette, the surface of which comes studded with toasted seeds and grains. When it’s warm from the oven, it’s close to perfection. Slice it up, slather it with butter, and wash it down with a cup of Hamptons Coffee Company Joe, which is served at both Blue Duck locations. For something sweet, opt for the decadent chocolate loaves, buttery croissants, and eggy challah. 30 Hampton Road, 204-1701, Southampton; 56275 Main Road, 629-4123, Southold
—KATHY YL CHAN
June 18, 2012
Almond executive chef Jason Weiner eats his way around New York and East Hampton—from five-dollar shawarma to Pike’s strawberries.
Breakfast with my 4-year-old. Poached egg on buttered toast—Piment d’ Esplette on hers, Sriracha sauce on mine.
Now I’m driving into the city to our 22nd Street restaurant. Stopped at the Manorville McDonalds for a large French fry. Second stop in Manorville: you guessed it, Starbucks. Rice crispy treat and a large (I refuse to use their parlance) iced coffee shaken with one pump of simple syrup.
1:00 PM to 11:00 PM
I’m in the restaurant now, so it’s a random assortment of nibbles and tastes; a combination of quality control and a manifestation of an oral fixation. Specifically, but not necessarily in this order, I had smoked blue fish, polenta ravioli, merguez, grilled asparagus, fontina fonduta, green goddess dressing, fava beans, chocolate-peanut butter baked Alaska, mignonette, oil-cured tuna, bresaola, and basil oil.
‘Mixed with Yellow Rice and Everything’ from the Halal cart on the corner of 30th Street and Fifth Ave. It’s equal parts lamb shawarma and grilled chicken thigh, chopped and served on saffron rice with a piece of falafel, pickled okra, julienne jalapeno, grilled peppers and onions, an identifiable white sauce, and hot sauce—all for five bucks. It’s easily the best in the city, as evidenced by the double and triple parked cabs and Lincoln Town Cars. Not only is it an amazing deal, the execution is always spot-on. These people really care.
Back home in East Hampton and… score! There are leftovers from dinner. My wife’s a pretty sharp cook with good insticts. Not a huge repertoire, but what she does, she does well. Tonight it’s a chicken and chickpea curry with coconut rice. I guess I could microwave it, but I’m not in the mood to wait 45 seconds. For dessert, there happens to be a pint of Jen and Jim Pike’s strawberries.